A chat between Josiah Humphrey Co-Founder and co-CEO at Appster and Paul Kemp host of The App Guy Podcast

Paul Kemp: Welcome to another episode of The App Guy Podcast. I am your host, it's Paul Kemp. Today, this show is all about inspiration. We love success stories, we love to know that it is possible to create awesome businesses around apps and around the mobile space. Today I've got one of the best success stories I can remember talking about in a long time. I've got the co-founder and CEO of Appster. 

Let me just explain a little bit of his success story before introducing him... 

In 2011, and at a really young age of 19 years,  he started a startup with less than $3,000. Now, he has since grown the company Appster to nearly 400 employees and works with technology startups from all over the world. Astounding!

Let me introduce Josiah Humphrey to The App Guy Podcast.

Josiah Humphrey: Pleasure to be here, man. I'm excited to talk about the world of apps.

Paul Kemp: And we're excited to talk about you. Let's start from where you started from... Can you take us back to when you were a young 19-year-old guy and you had this $3,000 in your pocket? How on earth have you gone from that to nearly 400 employees? Tell us the story.

Josiah Humphrey: It's been quite a journey... We started in 2011, so it's been about nearly six years now. It was just myself and my co-founder, Mark McDonald. This is not the way I would recommend everyone start a business, but we had this idea that if we can go and get an office in the city, a really big, fancy, expensive office in the city, that will force us to do well and create a business. You know, not the typical advice that you would want to give someone, which is to bring on a lot of expenses before you have a good revenue, but at the time we were very naive and we thought it would be a cool thing to do. 

We actually managed to put on some suits, look a little professional, and we ended up signing a lease for an office. It's actually the tallest office building in the Southern hemisphere in Melbourne, Australia. We signed a lease there, and then all of a sudden it was like: 

"Okay, now we have to make rent." 

Then we were kind of going through the process -- we hadn't actually started Appster at that point yet. We were running a marketing agency first and helping clients with their marketing. We then also started an education company. This was ironic because I'd dropped out of school at 17 and I just thought it was funny that we'd started an education company to educate students on how to do well in exams, after being a dropout myself.

Then eventually, later the same year we also came up with the idea of starting Appster. We eventually ended up closing the education company down... We thought: 

"We want to work in an industry that's growing, and then even if we're stupid and we make a lot of mistakes, we'll probably just grow anyway. So we opted for the mobile industry" 

That was actually the whole idea behind getting into the mobile industry, and I think it was a great choice. I don't just speak for myself, you only have to look at the explosion of growth in the mobile industry and the smartphone industry, it's just been tremendous. So that's how we got started. It was very much a "burn the ships" moment, getting an office. It did really put us outside of our comfort zone. It was a shock to say to ourselves: 

"Okay, now this thing's real. Now we've got outgoing expenses..."

I do always try to challenge people. You have to, in some form, get outside of your comfort zone. If you have a family and you're putting food on the table, I'm not saying "Sell the house and put every single cent into your startup", but you do have to challenge yourself; you do have to get outside of your comfort zone. So that's how we got started.

Paul Kemp: I agree. So, you mentioned the explosion in mobile... When I started The App Guy Podcast I didn't think I would have enough guests to fill up a ten episode series, and here we are on episode 518. It's just been a constant flow of founders and CEOs over the years.

Josiah Humphrey: It's amazing.

Paul Kemp: Josiah, you talk about real startups... Do you feel like any of the entrepreneurs or wantrepreneurs reading this think they're running a startup, but really they're just kidding themselves?

Josiah Humphrey: Yes, well I think it depends on what you're building. There's a lot of (let's call them) appreneurs that are kind of just building a single type of app - maybe it's a game, or maybe it's got some utility value that maybe they're going to sell on the App Store for 0.99... At least at Appster, the kind of people we work with, the technology entrepreneurs, they see a certain type of opportunity in the market, maybe something that's not being done as well as it could, maybe they could bring a new solution to an industry, or in some sense maybe disrupt the status quo of that industry with technology. 

For me, there's a very big difference between just making a cool app and actually deciding to build something that might one day become a great company. It depends on what the concept is, but we've seen over the last few years the rise of on-demand (e.g. apps such as Uber), or certain types of marketplaces (e.g. apps like Airbnb). That's the space that I'm more familiar with - how do you build a sustainable, fast growth company as a technology entrepreneur? 

Paul Kemp: Yes! Let's explore this, because I think when people see the success of certain companies on the App Store, they feel they can imitate the success, but what you're talking about is building a real technology startup -  not just an app... Let's flesh out this idea. For example, how can we really monetize an app?

Josiah Humphrey: Well, I think there are various stages, right? We see a lot of people get into things too quickly, or they think that their idea is absolutely incredible and it's guaranteed to work. Actually, in a lot of those cases they really need to slow down and really challenge themselves, being brutally honest and asking the question: 

"Am I actually really solving a core problem? Is this a problem in the industry?" 

I used to be a fan of Gary Halbert who was a copywriter back in the day - nothing to do with the apps or the technology business, but he always used to use the notion of a starving crowd... Are there people that are absolutely screaming for a solution? Do they need something to be better? Can you look at an industry that you have experience in (or it's a personal problem you are having) and you think to yourself: 

"You know what? There are other people out there that have this problem as well" 

then you might be closer to finding your starving crowd, or (in other words) solving a core problem.

Then there is another issue on top of finding your starving crowd. So, it's great if you're solving a problem, but then is the problem something that you can make money from? And there are two ways that you can look at that. Obviously, you look at Snapchat - not yet profitable, but IPO’d recently; I think they had a top of 26 billion in terms of market cap. Not profitable, but still extremely valuable. Their evaluation comes from their user base, and Snapchat has obviously had some tremendous growth over the years.

Then there are other apps that actually have a business model. You look at SaaS (Software as a Service), say a company like Atlassian, that provides different software tools to software developers, and people pay $5/month for those services, and that might be like a SaaS model. So either you're building a user base that could have a lot of valuation and maybe you exit that company later or you take on investment and eventually get acquired, or something like that, some sort of liquidity event... Or you're building a company that can eventually sustain itself through cash flow. Sometimes that's a SaaS model, sometimes that might be a freemium model, you might be building a game where the app is free to download and then people pay for the service over time, they buy in-game currency or whatever it is.

But you need to figure out if you then have a core monetization model because there's certainly a lot of problems... For example, going to a new city and not knowing where the nearest public bathroom is, right? There's apps for that, but can they build a sustainable business that might be worth tens of millions of dollars, or a hundred million dollars one day? Probably not.

At Appster, we generally focus on people that are trying to disrupt an industry or build a solution that has some type of monetization model, and they have their sights set on building a great company. Maybe a company that could be worth millions or tens of millions of dollars one day. That's generally the ambition that a technology entrepreneur has when we work with them.

Paul Kemp:  I love the fact that you mentioned looking at core problems. We've had lots of episodes with founders over the years and many keep coming back to the theme: 

“solving a core problem”. 

Now, the other big theme from all my episodes on The App Guy Podcast is around getting feedback and validating your idea. How do you validate a business proposition or idea?

Josiah Humphrey: Validation is key. Definitely, before you bet the farm and you decide to spend whatever it is  (say tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of dollars in development). Especially if you're trying to build something world class - such as a world class platform. It is going to cost a lot of money. Hence, it makes sense as an entrepreneur to validate the idea before committing the extensive resources. 

A perfect example is actually Appster. Before we got started (and before we had nearly 400 employees and a few different offices around the world) it was just Mark and I. We had this idea: 

"Okay, we want to help startups and companies build apps, but we don't know if it's going to be a good idea, so how are we going to test it?" 

We've always taken this approach to business in general. Everything is an experiment. There's no guarantees in business, or in building a company or in having an idea. You have to experiment.

In fact, at Appster at the start we had no developers. We simply thought it was a cool idea. So, we hired an actor and we filmed a video explaining our intensive development process. It sounds funny going back to it now. As it happens, we filmed him  talking about how we develop apps etc. We also built a very professional website outlining our process. Then we spent maybe a hundred dollars on AdWords to drive some real traffic to the website and test it.

We ended up: 

  • getting leads
  • calling people
  • bringing on clients

Then it was a mad dash to hire some developers and start doing the work. But I would challenge people to do the same thing. For me at least, the number one reason that I see startups fail is that they believe their own grandeur so much... For example, an entrepreneur may say to him/herself 

"This is guaranteed, it's going to be a million-dollar or billion-dollar..."

If I had a dollar for every time someone told me they were going to build the next Facebook. You know, we probably hear around 2,000 ideas a month from all over the world. It's just crazy how many people have so much belief in what they're trying to do. On the otherhand, these same people fail to ask the basic questions 

"Have you validated the idea? What core problem are you trying to solve? Have you got real feedback from customers? Have you asked the questions on whether or not they're willing to actually spend money on this solution?" 

the amount of deer staring in the headlights from entrepreneurs is concerning. 

To this point, I think you have to be very smart about how you can do validation, and I don't think that it means having to actually go and build the product right away. There does come a time and place when you just have to build the product. You have to get it out there, you have to test what the market reaction is, but things you can do initially are 

  • building a prototype
  • getting a designer
  • talking to people that might become users.

You can ask the question: 

"Hey, this is the idea that I have. What do you think about it?" 

Walking them through the process, seeing if they have the a-ha moment and think 

"Wow, this thing's fantastic!" 

Then asking the question: 

"Would you pay money for this? What would you pay? What if this was a paid service." 

You have to be also very wary of asking friends and family, particularly if they're not in the industry that you're trying to serve because these people will be too polite. 

You want, as much as possible, people to be brutally honest about whether your idea is good or not. The last thing you want to do is waste time and money, spending the next three years of your life on an idea that's not even any good. 

Success is also looking for the right people. Let's give an example. Say you are building an Uber for haircuts, Actually speaking to people in your target demographic is essential. Such as, people who use a barber on a regular basis. Finding out who those people are and speaking with them directly. 

Then I would still even be cautious of the feedback you get there, especially when you're face to face with someone. Not everyone's going to say: 

"Well, that's a crappy idea." 

Not everyone is that blunt or, let's just say honest. So you could take it even a step further, and I think Facebook certainly has just some wonderful targeting capabilities these days.

For example, let's talk again about the Uber for haircuts business model. If I wanted to validate this idea, I would: 

  • set up a landing page
  • have some images of the app
  • say "Sign up for free to get early access to our Uber For Haircuts app!"
  • collect their e-mail address and phone number
  • then call up those people to validate

This way, the people giving feedback are not someone you've found on the street who are going to be friendly to you face to face. They are someone actually showing an interest from an ad that you've published. It doesn't cost too much on Facebook to run these sorts of ads and target the right kind of people. 

You could target people who are interested in hair products or people who have liked a very famous local barber shop in the area. You can be specific with your targeting on Facebook. This is why I absolutely love Facebook for validating ideas. 

Then ask your new audience questions such as 

"What do you think about the idea? Is this something that you would use?" 

Not only that but also say: 

"Hey, we're actually in the process of building this thing. Would you like to be on the beta list for this?" 

Through the journey of validating that idea and, in fact, every stage you can really lean on these people in a big way. That, I guess, is always my advice to people that are going through a journey of validating their idea whether it’s at the idea stage, the prototype stage or the MVP stage. You need to stay close to your customers and people who are using the app because they are really going to be your source of truth at the end of the day. 

Furthermore, you will be able to use analytics and measure retention, onboarding and all the different things that are so crucial to really seeing if your app can eventually get traction.

I probably sound like a broken record saying it, but you really have to take the approach of challenging your idea completely and being brutally honest about yourself as to whether this idea is going to be good or not. At the same time (it's a tricky thing), you have to balance this brutal honesty with having an absolute certainty and belief that you want to make an impact in a market and do something remarkable. Remember to ask: 

"Is this something that actually has legs? How do we validate this at every stage?" 

Those are some of the things, as an overview, that I would be thinking about if I had an idea I was trying to validate.

Paul Kemp: Josiah, what I love is the fact that we're on the same page. The reason I started this podcast was to get genuine stories of app success and cut through the hype. You mentioned 2,000 app ideas come to you every month...

Josiah Humphrey: Yes!

Paul Kemp: I'm pretty sure that the success stories submitted to publications, like techcrunch and mashable, are in the tens of thousands. They opt to ignore the vast majority of ideas and publish the very few one off overnight success stories Big tech publications make it seem easy to be an app millionaire.

Josiah Humphrey: Exactly.

Paul Kemp: Do you feel like there is almost too much misinformation surrounding how hard it is to build a successful app business?

Josiah Humphrey: Yes. I definitely think that it's glamorized. I feel like entrepreneurs, specifically technology entrepreneurs, are like what rock stars were in the '80s. I live in San Francisco, so this is very much glamorized around: 

"Oh, this person started this thing and in six months they were a multi-millionaire." 

You hear that story in the press all the time. It's funny, a lot of these people are my friends and peers. In fact, we worked with a bunch of different startups that have gone on to have multi-million-dollar valuations, be acquired and all this kind of stuff. You'll see, even in these cases, the amount of hustle, the amount of grind, the amount of work that goes into making an "overnight success". 

I'm certainly testimony to this mis-perception of overnight successes. 

It's not something like: 

"Oh, I have a really cool idea. I'm going to stick it up on the App Store and then I'm going to be a multi-millionaire." 

This never happens. I can't think of one case where I've seen this happen. 

It always takes: 

  • hard work to validate the idea at different stages
  • hard work to build what could be considered something that's just an amazing product
  • hard work to then figure out what those channels are going to be from a marketing perspective and what's really going to fuel the growth

All of these things take a lot of work. 

If you're thinking about getting into the App startup space, then you'd better be prepared to really put in the effort and understand that it's not necessarily going to come easy.

Look at our success stories at Appster. Who really knows what is actually going to be successful. Often times, it's not even the original idea that was successful, but rather something else found through a lot of trial. 

This is why I was talking so much about validation and testing so many different things and running a million different experiments. 

Through trial and error and improving over time, you eventually come out with a product. 

Often times, the first version of the product is not actually what ends up being successful. I can give a million examples of this. 

  • YouTube was a video dating site
  • Twitter was a service called Odeo - it was a podcasting service

Paul Kemp: Oh, really?

Josiah Humphrey: Yes, exactly. What's another famous one...?

Paul Kemp: Instagram?

Josiah Humphrey: Yes 

  • Instagram was a Foursquare knock-off
  • PayPal was a transactional software for BlackBerry
  • Flickr started off as an MMORPG (or maybe that was Slack)
  • I think Slack started off as a game.

Again, I can quote many more examples, but my point is if you're wanting to become another success story - it requires: 

  • a lot of grit
  • a lot of persistence

These dedicated entrepreneurs know that it’s not always the original idea that is going to make it. It's generally: 

  • a lot of iterations
  • a lot of improvements
  • it's talking to customers
  • it's getting feedback over a period of years

all these things combined gets determined entrepreneurs to success. I think it’s really important to question 

"Do I want to put in the work?" 

Because it's a lot of work, I can tell you that much.

Paul Kemp: Josiah, one of the other things that I get asked quite frequently is how to get funding. I know you've got some tips perhaps for those founders and CEOs that are at the start of their journey.

Josiah Humphrey: Yes, that's an awesome question. It's a question that we get asked all the time:

"I've got this really great idea, but I've got no money." 

I think first of all you have to think about the resources that you have. There's a few ways to go about this. In other words, there's different options. 

Option 1

When you've got an idea, you might want to find an engineer, maybe give them some equity, maybe a couple of engineers, and maybe that's your way to pay for the development, for building the product. 

In some cases like that, maybe you can't afford to pay a salary, so it's literally just all equity; you guys become partners and you're able to build a product. This is if you're a non-technical founder.

Option 2

Another way is maybe you work with freelancers, or maybe you off-shore it (depending on your budget). Sometimes this can be a really good way to build something. But also throwing a little caution to the wind (remember, it’s just my perspective). I have the full belief that if you're really serious about building something great, then it has to be world class. Working with freelancers is, typically, very hard to control regarding quality. 

Option 3

The other option is working with a company like us. We're more on the side of building something world class and running validation and designing product strategy and all the kind of stuff that we do. That comes with a large cost. It can cost $100,000 dollars (and sometimes a lot more than that). So, first of all, you have to think about: 

  • what are the resources you have to invest?
  • What are you willing to dedicate?
  • what do you think is the best path in order to make the product?

This is the first step. 

Then it's deciding on what your appetite is like for raising investment. You have to understand that if you're wanting to raise investment, then you're going to have to give up equity. In fact, equity (technically) is the only thing you have as a startup entrepreneur. When you have an idea, that's all that you have. 

You have an idea and you have equity, that's it. 

You have to be really careful giving away equity early on. You may find, very quickly, you could be diluting yourself out of the company. You could lose control of the company at later stages of funding (depending on what kind of terms you have with an investor).

Then you have to decide, are you able to maybe grind it out and get some version of an MVP out before you go and take on serious investment? If you have an MVP, then you're probably going to be able to save a bit more equity. Sometimes, you save significantly more equity, because you've got more of a product out. 

However, if you've just got an idea, then be prepared to give away equity. In fact, be prepared to give away a lot more equity than you would if you had an MVP released and you had traction with it.

Now, some investors are going to be taking a lot more equity. For example, working with angel investors, particularly if you only have an idea, is going to cost you more equity. 

In fact, investors are going to want to have already seen traction because of the way funding markets are right now. Investors will want to see that you've grown users, maybe that you have some traction in some form in terms of revenue as well. It's different in every case. For first-time founders that are raising their seed round (the first round of funding that you would get; after that comes series A, B, C and onward), we typically recommend founders try and raise from friends and family first (if they can), before professional investors and particularly VCs. 

Most VCs don't do an incredible amount of seed funding. Also, you're going to get much friendlier terms raising from friends and family, because generally they're not investing in the idea, their risk profile is much lower, and more than likely they're actually investing in you and in the relationship, the rapport that you have with them.

Working with angels investors (again, take this with a pinch of salt because it depends on who you find) can be very generous investors. They may simply believe in you and they believe in the idea rather than having to see traction. But generally, it’s going to be trickier in the way of negotiating good terms with just an idea.

So, I would say these are some things to think about when trying to raise funding. 

Now let's talk about the fundraising process. 

This is different for everyone. We have a workshop that we run where we coach founders on how to raise funding. 

It’s obviously different in every case. For example, a guy from last year who was 18 (at the time), raised about half a million dollars with the first call he made to an investor. 

This rarely happens. 

Most of the time it's meeting after meeting after meeting, and being rejected constantly. 

You have to build a very strong mindset and the fitness to be able to go out there and be rejected time and time again, particularly if you're working with professional angel investors versus friends and family.

I often hear from founders the same themes. For example, I’ll get a call like: 

"Josiah, I'm trying to raise funding and I'm really struggling... I'm having a hard time raising the funding" 

This is where I sort of know what's up. I'll say something like: 

"This sucks, man... How many investors have you reached out to?" 

The founder says:

"Well, I've spoken with two, three investors and all of them have said no." 

I reply: 

"Well, reality check, dude... Speak to a hundred, speak to two hundred, speak to three hundred before you complain about you can't raise funding." 

A perfect example of this is Airbnb. They have a 20 billion and they've just raised another 500 million or another billion in cash to expand (I think). As it happens, they were rejected by every investor in Silicon Valley. In fact, the investor that said: 

"Okay, we'll put up some cash" 

...didn't even like the initial idea; they were just like: 

"You know what? We love the team. We think you guys will somehow figure it out." 

You have to really question yourself. 

Are you willing to take on rejection hundreds of times? 

Sometimes. getting rejected hundreds of times is what it takes to get the funding. Not everyone's willing to put in the hard work.

Paul Kemp: Josiah, in the final few minutes we have you on this episode, the biggest thing I’m asked is how to launch your app and market your startup. In fact, this is relevant to me now because I'm currently helping launch an app where I have an ownership stake

Josiah Humphrey: Oh yes...

Paul Kemp: How can we cut through all the noise and market an app successfully?

Josiah Humphrey: Yes, that is sometimes honestly more critical, having the right distribution model for your product. Often times it's more critical than even the product itself. We work on a lot of products and do a lot of marketing. In some cases, we've done some really crazy stuff and got many, many downloads in just a weekend.

We see a lot of different things because we test a lot of channels. A lot of people come and work with Appster and they say: 

"What should our marketing strategy be? What channel...?" 

They all want tactics, they want a quick fix tactic:  

"What channel should we use? What sort of ad should we run on Facebook for a cost/install campaign?" 

But to me, it's like: 

"Okay, before you even think about that..." 

For me, the foundation of all marketing really is that your product is your marketing; that's really where it starts. 

First of all, you have to look at your product and say: 

"Is this something that I know would just create this incredible experience for whoever is using it?" 

And the way that I would challenge people on this concept is to go and look at the apps that you use every day. In a given week, the average person only uses about eight apps. Take a look at those eight apps that you use, and ask yourself the question  

  • is the app that I'm building as good as those top apps?
  • Is it world class?
  • Does it have an incredible user experience?
  • Do people walk away from it saying, "Wow, the app is amazing!” , “The app added a lot of utility/value in my life!"
  • and finally (and more important than everything else - the magic sauce) they users say something like "Okay, now I'm going to tell my friend about this app."

Can create an app that is going to give you organic word-of-mouth marketing. 

For example, take the app Uber. They probably have a bigger app marketing budget than any company in the world, yet their number one channel is word-of-mouth, organic referrals. Because someone uses it and and says: 

"Oh my gosh, this is much better than using a taxi." 

So, to me, this is the foundation of app marketing. Before you think about: 

"Oh, what cool marketing channel am I going to use?"

think about your product and making it world class.

Now, let's think about marketing channels. 

For everyone, it's going to be different in various cases. There is a lot of emphasis placed on: 

"Oh, let's just run a Facebook ad campaign and we'll be good." 

To me, Facebook is probably the best channel in mobile, particularly for the targeting capability. Even then, there's a lot of acquisition costs in there, especially if you're building a freemium app or an app that doesn't have a monetization model (yet). You have to be careful with your acquisition strategy and your cost/acquisition. 

Sometimes, it's actually about doing the things that don't scale. What I mean by this is:

  • getting your app out there
  • knocking on doors
  • really driving that organic growth

Now, the best way to do all this is to first focus on marketing. Especially if your app is location-based or if it's something where you're trying to build a brand. Typically, it's not smart to just launch an app globally right away, because you want to try to build brand equity very quickly in one place, where people can start talking about it and people can start using it. 

Let's say it's a two-sided marketplace and you need to find buyers and sellers. Again, taking the Uber for haircuts model as an example - you have to find barbers and you have to find people that want to get a haircut. Well, you'll have to find both of those people, and if you spread out too quickly  (let's say you go after the whole of America first), it's going to be harder for you to build both sides of that market. 

So you want to try and focus on one location at a time. 

Facebook is a perfect example of this strategy. They did this at Harvard, and then eventually moved out to other universities, but they focused on one place first. This is where I think people make big mistakes all the time, thinking: 

"Well, I'm going to take this global right away. Look how big my market is, I have a billion people that I can potentially reach." 

It's like: 

"No, dude... You need to focus on a very small subset of the market first, and make those people raving fans." 

Deliver a lot of value for those people, build a brand up there, get word of mouth happening.

Like I was saying, going back to doing the stuff that doesn't scale, knocking on doors. 

I think Tinder is a really great case study of this. It's not like they had crazy amounts of downloads overnight and everything just went bonkers for them. They had to work to get the initial traction. The one thing they did is they helped people reach what's called the a-ha moment. What Tinder did was go to universities. They would get people that throw a party to download Tinder. 

The smart thing was they were doing it at the same time, they were setting up both sides of the market. The a-ha moment in Tinder is when you get a match. 

"Okay, someone likes the way that I look!" 

But my point is that even an app that had the explosive growth Tinder had, guess what - once upon a time they had zero users and they had to build a street team and go out there and actually hustle to get their first downloads and focus on one location. 

So often times it's about doing the things that don't scale.

The other side of the coin (and some of the stuff that we help our clients do as well) is then you're looking at scaling out marketing campaigns and testing different channels and optimizing different channels. This can be a lot more complicated. You need to test a lot of channels, you need to test a lot of: 

  • creators
  • banner ads
  • ad copy
  • landing pages

Test all these different things. 

There's a lot of different channels: 

  • paid ads
  • producing content that's really useful for an audience
  • running events

There's all sorts of different things. Test those different channels and break down the investments that you're having to make, break down what the cost/acquisition is, and then if you can, you break down what your ROI is for each of those channels as well, and then you end up having a very clear picture of "What channels are working best for me?"

At the end of the day, marketing is not something that happens by luck these days. It's not like you just buy a billboard ad and then you have a hundred million downloads. It's very much about running scientific experiments and using the scientific method. In terms of scaling campaigns, that's probably the best advice that I can give - don't just throw money into a hole and not know where you're getting results from. I'm sure a lot of other people on this podcast have explained the process of how that's done, but it's critical that you don't just leave marketing to chance. You have to run experiments, you have to measure, you have to understand your metrics. That's probably the brief overview advice I would give around marketing.

Paul Kemp: Josiah, that is absolutely incredibly valuable. One of the big objectives of this podcast is to try and save people money, and one of the easiest ways to burn money is to hire a PR agency and expect things to be taken care of.

Josiah Humphrey: Oh, yes.

Paul Kemp: Josiah, it's been wonderful talking to you. This has been one of the most valuable chats I've had in a long time, and I really appreciate your time.

Josiah Humphrey: Awesome.

Paul Kemp: How best can people reach out and connect with you? What's the best way of getting in touch?

Josiah Humphrey: If it's for Appster, just appsterhq.com. For people that are going through the process, we have a lot of completely free resources. Under our resources tab, you can learn more about funding, about user acquisition, about how to build apps that are sticky. We have tons and tons of different whitepapers that I think will be super helpful for people that are going through the process. So that's the easiest way to get in touch with us and check out what we're all about.

To the listeners/readers that are out there, make sure you're willing to put in the work, and more than anything have the self-belief, because it can be a lonely road. Probably people that are listening/reading this - you're doing the right thing because you're getting out there and you're learning and you're thinking about: 

"How do I build something great?" 

Keep on this path of learning, and also try and develop the self-belief that you need to figure it out. Remember, it’s a journey your going on.

I think sometimes people are too impatient for success. They think, "It's supposed to happen in three months. Every other person is an overnight success", but this is actually not true. I think the thing to really think about - something that I certainly try to ask myself every day - is: 

"What seeds am I planting on a daily basis that are going to grow into trees?" 

Kind of a funny analogy, but: 

"What seeds am I planting that are going to grow into trees one, three, five, ten, twenty years from now?" 

If you think like that and understand that most success stories and most successful people are actually playing the long game and they've been doing it for years and years - I think Jeff Bezos is probably my favorite example of this. Understand that it's about the long-term. If you're willing to be consistent over three, five, ten years - that's when you'll truly see success.

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