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Your top priority is creating an app that

Your top priority is creating an app that

I’ll also talk about how it doesn’t get any easier – in fact, now that you’re at the top, you’re a target

billion-dollar idea, how do you get all the basics into place? I’ll walk through defining and designing the app you’re going to build, finding a cofounder and core team and thinking about how to raise the funding you need to get to the next stage. STEP 2: THE TEN-MILLION-DOLLAR APP.

is going to wow people. This is when you focus manically on building the best product for the right audience – something called product–market fit. This is a tough stage, but, once you have created an app that people are happy to pay for, your business will take off. STEP 3: THE HUNDRED-MILLION-DOLLAR APP.

Now that you have product– market fit, it’s all about attracting users, and refining your business model to ensure you’re a proper, profitable business. It’s also time to get a proper company structure in place – including seasoned management – as your business grows. STEP 4: THE FIVE-HUNDRED-MILLION-DOLLAR APP. Armed with a great app and

a reliable way to make money, how do you grow your company quickly and profitably? How do you keep users coming back? And how do you attract users from the four corners of the globe? This stage is all about scaling your business. STEP 5: THE BILLION-DOLLAR APP. The Promised Land. I’ll talk about exits and

Well, according to one of Facebook’s financial filings, it invested more than $1 billion so far in server hardware alone

acquisitions. And retaining pole position is a different game entirely. I’ll also talk about how every single path to a billiondollar app is different.

Before I tell you something about myself, let’s just look at this monster number that we call a billion. One thing that I find difficult to get my head around is how big a billion really is. It is a modern number. Up until the turn of the last century it was left to the domain of astronomers. Until 1916 we didn’t even have any billionaires – John D. Rockefeller inaugurated the club on 29 September 1916.2 The world population hit 1 billion in 18043 – that clearly took a while. We hit 2 billion people in 1927, 3 billion in 1960 and the magical 7 billion in 2011. While it took 123 years to double from 1 to 2 billion, it took only 12 years to go from 6 to 7 billion.4 If you think about 1 billion minutes hop over to the web site – well that’s equal to 1,900 years. If we rewind 1 billion minutes we’d be at the height of the Roman Empire. If we think about 1 billion hours – that’s around 114,000 years. At that time we were living in the Stone Age. Our brains function in the billions: we have 100 billion neurons – or the key cells in the brain. And there are at least 100 trillion (i.e. 100 billion multiplied by 1,000) connections between all those cells – called synapses. But let’s have a look at something a little more relevant to our billion-dollar app. At the beginning of 2014 Facebook had 1.23 billion active monthly users,5 with an astounding 757 million logging in every day. Facebook needs between 180,000 and 200,000 servers (the computers that run their website and apps) to support all those users, according to one professional estimate.6 Think about what this costs to run. 7 But, if you think that number is big, wait for it. Google is spending a few billion dollars – every quarter – on supporting the computers it needs to run all its services.8 In total it has spent over $21 billion on its data centres.9 So success is definitely about understanding – and managing – numbers at a billion-dollar scale.

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