Why did we fail in the first launch of our app?

Shuvam Kumar
4 min readNov 12, 2020

When we open the Google Play Store we are overwhelmed with the number of apps we see there, for literally every basic need there are hundreds of apps. Statistically, there are nearly 3 Million android apps on the Play Store as of now. At the beginning of this year, we(me and my team) decided to publish our own app on the play store. What once was an Instagram Page and a website to deliver Free Ebooks upon request was about to be launched as an App, we were all thrilled with the thought.

After months of planning, procrastination, and surviving a pandemic we somehow managed to publish our app on the Play Store. But we failed terribly, and there are a number of reasons for that which you should avoid if you’re looking forward to doing the same. Keep on reading 😁

  1. Multiple rejections from Google Play Store: While we were pretty sure our app is in compliance with the developer policies of uploading apps, we were wrong and there were huge mistakes on our part. Just because of a payment QR code in the app, and copyright issues we had to wait for more than a month just to get approval from Play Store. This badly affected the timing and overall enthusiasm. Pro tip: There are workarounds for everything, use Jugaad 😉
  2. Lack of remote coordination: We were used to working together sitting in a hostel room late at night, this pandemic came as a surprise and we were not ready for it like the rest of you all. It was difficult to manage remote communication while this whole development phase was going on, with a lot on the plate we were distracted from time to time and there were unnecessary delays. A team needs to be together at-least in the beginning.
  3. We were not aware of Firebase payment policy: In order to upload a large number of books and for readers to download it, we needed to upgrade from the free plan of the firebase. Unfortunately, it wasn’t easy. Google Firebase doesn’t accept Indian Credit Cards and there’s no prepaid credit option. Due to this, we had to shift our complete backend and it was a nightmare. It consumed a lot of time which jeopardized our timeline.
  4. No reference documentation in the beginning: It is known that an idea evolves as you start developing it, but you need to plan the basics in the beginning. Which all languages you’re going to use, how the flow will work and etc. Although we had all this in mind it wasn’t documented, make sure you write those flows and tech stack for reference in the future, things can get messy later on. Research on the technologies you’re going to use, their scalability, the economical factors of implementation, etc. After all, prevention is better than cure.
  5. You will only sell if you do the marketing well: While we were estimating 4 figure downloads in the beginning we hardly reached 1000 downloads and to be honest, it isn’t a very motivating figure. We overestimated our target and were not up to the mark in terms of Marketing. A strategy needs to be made in the beginning, a roadmap with milestones is more achievable.

So, these were the major factors where we failed with our “Million Download Idea” it is still a ‘Million Download Idea’ and we are working on it. The next version will come with a bang and hopefully, all the above mistakes will be avoided. The idea has grown a lot and the team has evolved as well. I hope you enjoyed reading this 😁. If you want to check out our app, it’s on the Play Store: “Ebooq: Millions of free books to read and share”.

Make sure you don’t repeat the same mistakes and till then keep reading, keep learning.❤️