How Patience Mattered When Launching this App

February 25 2013

I’ve written about why content marketing is art. But it goes even deeper than this. Because art involves good design. And good design needs to have a good hook to make the audience curious and get users to stay.

You also need to iterate in the design cycle. You need to test, evaluate, and re-test to never let a prototype get stagnant. You have to hustle.

And you have to be ready. Because you can’t gain knowledge and iterate without being ready to receive the information.

So when a software engineer named Jimmy called to see if I would help him market his iPhone app, I wasn’t sure if I was ready. With over 150,000 apps in the marketplace, it’s challenging for even the best marketers to rise above the noise.

I told Jimmy to get back in touch when the app was closer to being finished. Because you can’t market a product that doesn’t exist. It seems simple, but it’s something that’s frequently overlooked in the hope of being “the next big thing.” I’ve been down that road before.



To avoid mediocrity and stagnation, you have to constantly iterate.

Jimmy built the first iteration of his app. And I started to bring his product to market. In our own separate ways, we started creating the necessary hooks. The multiple layers of passion, and consequent hustle behind this project allowed our vision to become aligned as we launched.

And I didn’t see any other way. Because Jimmy’s iPhone app, the Army Leader Book, is a work of art that connects meaningfully and deeply. He’s standing up, speaking out and iterating for the U.S. Army – with his own time, resources, and money. His platform allows sergeants to take better care of Soldiers. It’s built from a passion to help his military community. And he’s doing it in a way that brings beauty into the world through great design.

His users are hooked. In addition to phenomenal press, he continues to receive feedback and praise. And his app even ranked in the Top 100 in Productivity:


Personal experience, like good design, shapes knowledge. And when you’re open to receiving knowledge, you can be ready. Ready to let go of being realistic. Ready to find your own, unique, way to build greatness for others.

You have to be fearless, have faith, and stay positive.

You have to build the hook that highlights your hubris. And you have to hustle. Because it’s sometimes your only path out of mediocrity.

Please comment below. 

(and if you’re so inclined, please consider making a donation to this great cause).

4 responses to “How Patience Mattered When Launching this App”

  1. Andrea Jenelle says:

    Great read as always Jessica!

  2. […] have to be willing to fail for a long time.  And understand the importance of patience in the process. It’ll take you […]

  3. […] interviewing presidential candidates, to reporting during Hurricane Katrina, to marketing a mobile app for sergeants in the U.S. Army, I’ve always strived to make media that’s meaningful […]

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