With the closing of Autriv back at the end of 2015, I’ve had time to think over what went wrong. Autriv was the basis for me to write Appitalize On Your Idea. Does this mean the concepts in Appitalize On Your Idea don’t work? Absolutely not. Let me explain.
Autriv launched in 2011 with SignMyPad – a wonderfully new app on the market landscape. In 2011, there were only 425,000 apps that were available [source]. Many of them were dumb fart apps (trust me I went through all of them). According to the same source Wikipedia article, as of June 8, 2015 there were 1.4 million apps on the store. Not only that, from 2011 to 2015 there were 3 OS changes, and there have been 3 since the beginning of 2016 [source] (I’m including the newly announced iOS 10)! So as you can see, the landscape changed.
Since I never learned to code, I always relied on the skills of others to make the apps work. With OS changes happening so quickly, things within the app started to break. Features we had included had been changed causing a cataclysmic amount of work that was piling up. Also, SignMyPad wasn’t special anymore. There have been 10-15 other PDF signature applications that have come along since SignMyPad was released. Because of that, the amount of sales SignMyPad was making was starting to drop. Remember, when you sell an app you only get paid on it once, unless you have in-app purchases or some sort of subscription service. The money coming in wasn’t enough to pay for the developers to keep the app going. That’s really all it came down to. Dollars and cents.
Does this mean the Appitalize On Your Idea concept doesn’t work? No it doesn’t mean that. It means you have to understand the landscape of the business you are in. If you decide to make apps, you better have the best damn app idea there is and be the ONLY one who has it. If you want to build a product overseas and sell it here in the US, it has to be something unique and special. Go on Indiegogo or Kickstarter and count how many of the same concepts you see there. Your product has to be special. Your product has to be innovative. Your product has to be a unique snow flake.
I feel that my decision to shut down Autriv was the right call. It’s so easy for an entrepreneur to keep sinking money into a losing battle because you feel a certain parental like feeling* for your baby enterprise. Closing it up feels like failure – but it’s not. Autriv survived for five years, thats WAY more than most businesses.
*If you are still feeling too connected to your business, check out Episode 3 of the Appitalize On Your Idea podcast with Dr. Roy Bachar.
I had a blast coming up with app ideas and everything that came along with Autriv, but sometimes you have to know when to pull the plug – both literally and figuratively.
R.I.P Autriv Software Development
Gone too soon