I have created an app for a target market, but it looks like they don't need it. Other markets might do. Is it time to move on?

I have created a scheduling app for musicians. After a lot of advertising and reaching out to musicians, it looks like this target market is not interested. I did get the random requests from other industries if that app and would be available for them. I know there's interest for such a thing in the construction industry and some others. Is it time to move on away from musicians?


It's hard to give a really cut and dried answer without knowing all the details, but here are some tips based on my experience:

First the bad news: from the way your question is worded, it sounds like you built the app without validating first. What I mean by that is that you didn't go out to the musician market BEFORE you built it to make sure they would buy it. And the only way to be absolutely sure that they would buy it (someone telling you, "Yeah, I'd totally buy that." doesn't count) is to pre-sell the app for real actual money. The key is to do this market validation before building anything.

Now for the good news: even though your target market isn't showing much interest, it sounds like others are, so here's what you do: make a list of the folks who are interested and the industries they're from. Now research those industries and find the particular pain point that your app solves for. THIS is how you market the app. It probably means getting in touch with some of the people who have shown interest and asking them questions along the lines of, "What's the worst part about..." or "What do you hate most about..." and then listen to what they tell you. Tailor your solution to solve these pain points and you'll be surprised how receptive the market is.

The critical takeaway here is validation. When it comes to app development, there really is no substitute for market validation. A good place to start (if you haven't already done so) is with a Business Model Canvas ( It'll really crystallize your thinking and give you a specific direction.

As for whether you should pivot to a new target industry, I can't think of a reason why not, especially if your app provides a unique solution for a different industry.

I'm happy to walk you through the validation process and/or the Business Model Canvas over the phone if you like. Hope this helps.

Answered 5 years ago

Great question! You know, this is more common than you think: pivoting. The most famous pivot in recent years has been Instagram, whom at first was a geolocation platform but noticed that people flowed more to its picture editing section and thus pivoted to what Instagram is now. They gained over 100k users in less than two years and right away sold for 1Billion $ to Facebook.

Not bad for an 18month old company.

Back to your success story: do it! In growth hacking we refer to this as launching on market fit.
You build and deploy, get feedback and then build a product with such a tight market fit that users can't help but actually use. You are only hurting your chances of you commit to something knowing the road is harder.

Take a look at Air BnB, who started as renting literally an air mattress, then soon realized that there was no scalable business in that... There was some but not really. The pivoted, then all the effort they could of spend growing a miserable business model was instead used to grow a product for a market that had an actual demand.

Go create your own success story! If you want creative guidance in the future give me a call.

Humberto Valle
Unthink Strategy

Answered 5 years ago

I have launched several app projects in the past and went through what you describe in your question: redefining the primary audience/customer base, a couple of times.

If you have already exhausted the tools and budget available to you to reach out to your first primary target, it may be time.

However since you mentioned "a lot of advertising and reaching out", it may be beneficial to better understand what has been done on what budget so there are learning opportunities for your next campaign.

The points to consider:
• What was your budget?
• Was it effectively used/sufficient to reach your targeted audience?
• What kind of advertising and reaching out did you do?
• Are there other ways that you did not try/were not aware of?
• What percentage of your targeted audience did you actually reach?

Reflecting on what was done will allow you to better craft your next marketing/advertising strategy for the industry you target next (i.e. construction industry). You would be building on the previous strategy as opposed to starting from scratch.

If you have any follow up questions, please feel free to reach out to me. Good luck!

Answered 5 years ago

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