Before you watch Planet of the Apps – DO NOT grab some popcorn. Grab pen and paper and start making some serious notes!
We are in a mobile economy. This means connectivity and on demand, satisfaction delivered on our mobile devices via apps. Apps range from the utterly ridiculous time-wasters up to the absolute-must-have-can’t-live-without-it variety. It’s no wonder that startups around the globe are focusing their attention on the tiny screen where our attention is focused most of the day as we touch and swipe our phone 2617 times a day.
There are so many apps but only the great apps succeed. That is because behind every great app is an even greater business. Apps are just a skin to the business and just like every business, it has processes, procedures, measurement matrix, and in most cases, there are investors who want their payday.
I just watched the new Apple Music show called Planet of the Apps which, like the morning coffee run, is now MANDATORY WATCHING for any company that is in the App & Startup Game.
What is the Planet of the Apps?
There are four Advisors which comprise of Jessica Alba, Gwyneth Paltrow, Gary Vaynerchuk, and will.i.am. If you don’t know who these empire builders are, you probably own a fidget spinner and think doing tricks with it makes you cool. Move On.
In every episode, nervous as heck developers/ entrepreneurs get 60 seconds to stand at the top of an escalator and literally deliver an “escalator pitch”. This is a quick overview of what their app does. There is a lot riding on this – this is an opportunity to get weeks of the Advisors time to mentor them (which in itself is like winning the lottery) before they pitch for millions of dollars for their business.
The Advisors then decide if they want to hear more or they heard enough. If they want to hear more, the pitch continues where the developers show their app in action and are then asked deep insightful questions about pretty much everything: Tell us about your tech, How does the user interact?, who owns the IP?, what’s your burn rate?, what’s your MAU (Monthly Active Users)?, what’s your growth rate?, how are you planning to scale? etc. etc. etc. etc.
Once the firing squad is done, the Advisors can choose to offer to Mentor the business. If more than one agrees to mentor the business, then the business can choose who they want to work with.
The show continues where the team pitches to the Venture Capital firm who, once again, takes aim at the team with rapid fire questions as they look for gems that they can invest in.
Why is this mandatory watching?
If you are a startup looking to raise capital, you would have stood in front of a room where you try to articulate your business and app without passing out or hyper-venting, all while asking yourself: “I wonder what they are thinking?”
THIS IS WHAT THEY ARE THINKING!
You now get to see and hear the type of questions and curve balls that you need to hit and deflect. This should be mandatory watching for every single one of your team members where you brainstorm answers to each question so that WHEN you are asked the same questions, you have every answer!
This was only the first episode and I look forward to following the series unfold and picking up nuggets of information. We can all agree that we learn something in this insane roller-coaster-ever-connected-ride we are all a part of.
This episode’s gold nugget came from none other than the unusually reserved Gary Vaynerchuk: “ALWAYS be afraid of the Google, the Apple, and everyone else as we navigate the growth of this business”
How Android users can watch the Planet of the Apps (for free).
Yes, it is an Apple Music production, but in the Google Play store, you can install Apple Music, sign up for the initial 3-month free trial (if you haven’t already used yours up) and then click on browse and find the Planet of the Apps show.