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WEB/DIGITAL Mobile beer app - strategy for reviving an app

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jeandearme

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May 2, 2011
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Three years ago I made a craft beer app (on Android) that was showing what was on specific taps in bars near you. Back then there was nothing like it and craft beers just exploded in Poland.

First iteration of it was really basic - it was literally white text on dark background. Despite this it made it to the front of polish version of reddit and had a lot of interest. At this point bars were still out of equation - I updated everything on my own initially, but was already preparing app for bars so they can update it themselves. It was done quite fast, but turned out that my assumptions ("bars don't use computers" and "mobile is more convenient") were wrong. I realized it and that's how I started web development career.

I had to have admin panel which took another two months back then to make, but it was all working and had features like autocomplete for faster beer searching or one-click tap change. But before I made it - someone else made very basic web app that have done the same thing as my mobile app and suddenly all those bars I was about to offer my solution said that they already have something like this. I asked them "Why do you use it if my app is much more technologically advanced?" and I heard "Because other bars are using it.". I got to know that my competitor had a lot of friends that owned bars so I lost at connections game (or commandment of Entry).

Now back to recent times. I got back to this because it's still a valuable piece of code. To this day it's still so much better tech-wise than competitor's. I installed it on a newest phone and works like a charm. Just to make some fixes here and there it would be just a couple of days and that's it - it can go live again.

So I'm thinking how to (eventually) squeeze money out of it - because:
  • it's a ready-to-go-live product (still looking fresh too!)
  • competitor (only one) haven't changed much since last time
  • craft beer market is still growing strong and huge already
  • traffic of the competitor site is ~70k/month (60k in winter and 100k in summer) - haven't really much increased from last time so we can assume that's the market size for this in Poland (in Europe there are so many more countries to go after!)
Just to give you some ideas of what app ALREADY can do:
  • show beer places on map
  • search for beer in nearby places
  • list of freshly updated taps nearby (so you are always up to date)
  • search for places nearby by distance or by city
  • lookup beer info
  • one-click navigation to the place
  • notifications about tap updates (you can subscribe to your favorite place)
  • also places can post custom announcements on their profiles (like "Happy Hours only today from 4PM to 7PM")
and there is a whole list of so much more if that's not enough!

Now, I'm thinking:
  1. First off: Is it worth it going for it again?
    For sure I would want to get in touch again with the bar that believed in the project the most (they actually used my app and implemented web kiosk version on their screen above taps) to get a feel and data from market as it is today. It's very easy to dive into code again, but being entrepreneur I don't want to waste time.

  2. If so - how to get bars to change competitor's app to mine?
    • Of course - the answer is: make an offer they can't refuse. But maybe after years of using competitor's app they realized it lacks many things that I can quickly incorporate.
    • Also, no one said I have to do this in my domestic market, but it still would be nice to make it work first here.

  3. How (much) can I earn on this?
    There are various models to consider:
    • shoutout for craft companies
    • shoutout for places
    • featured in search results
    • notification shoutouts
    • remotely buy a beer to someone (e.g. you want to buy your friend a beer, but you somewhere else so you pay it via app and friend just shows coupon/code and drinks)
If you have any ideas on how to improve this yet-to-be strategy I'm all ears. Still not sure how much it actually could make.
 

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Kid

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Mar 1, 2016
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I would suggest two things:

1. Go lean - try anything that won't cost you too much money or time.
2. Maybe try to get the users first - like website/webapp that would have better features then your competitior etc. - then you would have a leverage talking to bar owners.
 
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jeandearme

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
May 2, 2011
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41
Poland
2. Maybe try to get the users first - like website/webapp that would have better features then your competitior etc. - then you would have a leverage talking to bar owners.
This app by definition is a marketplace type of app. To have leverage that way I need to gather users first which will download app for the information about taps that bars ought to deliver. That's the challenge each marketplace app face unfortunately.
 

Martin.G

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Jan 31, 2019
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I wonder too how to monetize this kind of apps. I have a similar app, it's not a beer app, but it pursue the same kind of bussines mode. The user is not my cliente but If I have a lot user I could charge something to my really clients, that are companies.
 

BrianLateStart

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Jun 11, 2019
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Can you switch it around so that customer enters which beer they had and maybe give it a rating? Bypass the bar owners. Get enough customers and they will fill in the data probably better the the owners.

Work with the bar owners to give the customers a discount for rating a beer.
 
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LightningHelix

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Could you license the app (or parts of it) to google reviews or yelp?
 
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jeandearme

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
May 2, 2011
124
58
41
Poland
I wonder too how to monetize this kind of apps. I have a similar app, it's not a beer app, but it pursue the same kind of bussines mode. The user is not my cliente but If I have a lot user I could charge something to my really clients, that are companies.
It's typical with marketplace. I recently found this interesting articles made by Andressen Horowitz fund (so they probably know a thing or two about it): Marketplace 100 - Andreessen Horowitz

Can you switch it around so that customer enters which beer they had and maybe give it a rating? Bypass the bar owners. Get enough customers and they will fill in the data probably better the the owners.

Work with the bar owners to give the customers a discount for rating a beer.
I thought about it and actually it almost made it to the first version of the app, but worried a bit about quality of it. Maybe making it possible until owner takes over would make more sense so they feel the urge to do it on their own instead of leaving it to users mercy.

Rating beer is one thing - probably rating place would be even more interesting to them because beers change sooo fast (some last only for hours). Nice point!

Could you license the app (or parts of it) to google reviews or yelp?
Could you elaborate more on what you mean? Not sure what do you mean - sounds interesting though!
 
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