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The Most Successful Application Programs of 2016

Mobile apps are quickly becoming more important for companies than a website. They offer the ability for customers to instantly engage with a business from anywhere or any time, and it allows for businesses to stay connected with customers. However, it goes well beyond this mutually beneficial two-way street.


The Most Successful Application Programs of 2016

Apps can create brand new industries and shift demographics. They can also torpedo older, more established companies that were once considered unstoppable giants. All it takes is a novel idea and a marketing genius to get the word out. Sometimes these apps become so successful that they inspire similar apps, like the way Lyft followed Uber.

The process and cost to create an app is becoming simpler and cheaper, as technology advances. However, it can still be an expensive undertaking. Like a website, the more complex a company needs their app to be, the more expensive it gets. Prices ranges from a couple of thousand dollars for a simple business app to $100,000 plus for a major league app like Amazon’s.

1. Uber


Rideshare apps are revolutionizing and disrupting the taxi industry, and Uber is one of the first and continues to be a leader. Uber’s success also showcases the way technology can be used to outmaneuver an entrenched industry. How many of us have taken a cab ride where the driver was creepy, couldn’t drive, or the cab smelled like old vomit or worse? If you live in a big city, that’s pretty much all of us.

Uber bypassed the usual rules of competition where they would have had to buy a fleet of cars, hire and train drivers, and establish what would have just been another taxi company in customer’s mind. Instead they used an app to create something better, and did it in a way that left the competition flat footed.

2. Airbnb


Unlike the bulk of taxi services, the lodging industry really didn’t do anything wrong. Over the last twenty years, even midrange budget chains started offering perks like free breakfasts and in-room fridges and coffee makers. The rooms were generally nicer than they used to be, and the décor didn’t look like a holdover from the Carter Administration. That said, the one thing they couldn’t shake was the prepackaged and soulless vibe most hotel and motel rooms have.

Airbnb fixes this by introducing people who need a room for a night or two or a week to people with real homes or apartments they can rent out. For the price or less of a traditional hotel room, people could use the Airbnb app to find a unique and amazing place to crash. People who use this app find accommodations at the very least equal to any hotel. Finding what amounts to a luxury vacation home on Airbnb isn’t exactly uncommon either.

3. Lyft


While Uber may be getting all the headlines, both good and bad, Lyft is still hanging around taking its sizable share of the ride share pie.

It may be tempting to think of Lyft as the future Kmart to Uber’s Walmart, but there’s still a long way to go. Uber is at the forefront of all the major legal battles (Uber is fighting 70 legal battles to Lyft’s 7, as of July 2016) to keep ride share legal in many major cities, and they’ve had some major wins and some setbacks. The thing is, Lyft gets to sit on the sidelines eating popcorn while Uber undertakes all the courtroom drama. At the end of the day, Lyft may be able to stroll in and take the lead from an exhausted, but legally victorious, Uber.

4. Netflix


Netflix is an amazing company. Their app is everywhere, and even comes preinstalled on most TVs. It’s one thing to come up with one revolutionary idea that disrupts and destroys an industry giant (RIP Blockbuster and all other video rental stores), but to do it twice is astounding, and maybe even a third.

When Netflix first came on the scene and let people rent DVDs via the mail, it caught the movie rental industry off guard enough that it never recovered. All their attempts to compete with Netflix were too little and too late. If that wasn’t impressive enough, Netflix started their streaming service and created a whole generation of cable cutters who are leaving broadcast media in the dust.

Now, Netflix is in what could be a trifecta of innovative achievement. Their focus on original programming, much of which is available in 4K, is not only keeping them in the headlines, but has helped turn the word Netflix into a verb along the lines of make a Xerox of it or take a Polaroid. Traditional broadcasters are trying to copy Netflix, and again they may be too late. The most visible Hail Mary is CBS’s attempt to promote their new streaming service by making it the only place to see the newest Star Trek TV show in 2017.

5. Facebook


Facebook has impacted the world to such a degree that it might be left to future generations of historians to fully understand the extent. It’s tempting to try and dismiss it as a distraction where we get to hear about what people we went to high school with had for lunch, but it goes much deeper.

Facebook has become the primary way that the public at large disseminates their daily dose of information, and the app has brought it from the computer screen to whatever mobile device we have in our hands. It is the worldwide public forum, unlike anything that has ever been seen before. Facebooks has even shaped the stage of world politics.

Conclusion


Apps and technology are doing the same thing to established industries that became stagnant and comfortable that email did when it kneecapped the Post Office. Not only are industries being transformed, apps are allowing small upstart companies take on and beat industry leaders. When these small little app companies finally go public, it can mean a windfall for investors.

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