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Jason A. Duprat, Entrepreneur, Healthcare Practitioner and Host of the Healthcare Entrepreneur Academy podcast talks with Robert Armstrong, CEO and Co-Founder of Appstem, a mobile and web app design and development agency. Robert offers advice on creating a business plan, growing a tech startup and working in the app development arena.
- Robert's background in business marketing and sales taught him to keep an even temperament, remain humble and keep going in spite of a lot of rejection.
- After coming up with a business plan with his partner, he quit his job at Oracle and launched Appstem. Five or six weeks later, the startup closed its first deal.
- Robert had anxiety yet believed it was worth the risk and gamble to leave his full-time job to launch his startup.
- Appstem grew organically, hiring around contracts and eventually expanding to have an in-house, end-to-end team, including, UI/UX designers and creative directors.
- Robert manages sales and marketing, with a focus on growing Appstem. His partner is a software engineer in charge of product development.
- His advice for startups is to think about how you're going to let people know your solution exists. He also recommends remaining fluid in your product roadmap and talking to customers to find the ideal product-market fit.
- Think of your business plan as a guiding and evolving light. Focus on solving a problem and defining a go-to-market plan.
- When it comes to sourcing a potential development partner, make sure they have the full set of capabilities you're looking for. Work with tech stacks that are stable and have a strong community of backers.
- Offshore development can be cheaper, but you need to find a reputable firm you can trust. US-based teams have a better sense of design aesthetic and usability, and they offer full teams as well.
- Apps should have a strong foundation so developers can continuously build on them.
3 KEY POINTS:
- When you're launching a startup, it's important to have a business plan and keep reworking it.
- The cheaper and faster way to get a product into potential customers' hands is to solve a basic problem the largest number of users are experiencing. Focus on one platform and then refine and polish from there.
- Users prefer apps that are clean, sophisticated and easy to use. The interface design and experience have to be seamless in order to give a great first impression.
“There's always going to be some risk and anxiety in leaving a long-term and steady job… but I figured that I might as well give it a go.” – Robert Armstrong
“You need to have the tools and systems to optimize and enhance apps. It takes constant refinement.” – Robert Armstrong
Robert Armstrong on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/robertcarmstrong/
“The Four Steps to the Epiphany” by Steve Blank: https://www.amazon.com/Four-Steps-Epiphany-Steve-Blank/dp/0989200507
The Lean Startup: http://theleanstartup.com/
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