Getting Ahead in the Race

The tortoise and the hare got it all wrong. The tortoise thought that you could win a race just by progressing at your usually slow pace. The hare thought that nobody could beat him. Well, in the real world, nothing goes like that. The ‘usual’ just won’t cut it. If you aren’t up to scratch, you can’t win – sorry tortoise. And if you are so overconfident that you lose your fear of being usurped by newcomers, then guess what? You will be overcome, right dear hare?

Competition is fierce – no mere running race and not even a marathon. This is a race that reaches above all ‘normal’ proportions. According to Global Mobile Statistics 2013, there are over 1.2 billion app users, and growing. It is estimated to reach 4.4 billion users by 2017. Estimates of the numbers of apps on Google Play and iTunes, the two largest app stores, are around 800K each. That means that there are over 1.6 billion apps out there to download! Get it? There are 1 billion smartphones, 1.2 billion app users, and 1.6 billion apps!

Now, as an app developer, this poses an interesting situation. The potential is huge, but then, so is the competition. No ordinary race now, is it? Even the tortoise and the hare would think so. In this space, everybody can run and everybody has the potential to win. So who gets ahead? The ones that get discovered. And who gets discovered? Those that market well and are able to make others notice them, or those that are so unique that they get noticed in the crowd naturally and are passed on by word of mouth, are written about, or even go viral. So, next time you are trying to get discovered, pity the poor tortoise and hare – they’re running an old race where there is only one winner and one loser. Today’s challenge is that there can be many winners, many runners, and, alas, many losers. The real race is to get noticed. And you can’t do that by laying down on the job, like Mr. Hare, or by simply plodding on, like Mr. Tortoise. Be creative, be different, be noticed. And get ahead.  Or you may end up out of the race all together, just like a passing fable.

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