We’ve all heard the rags to riches stories of tech’s most illustrious rock startups™, jettisoning those behind the corporate rise into celebrity status. Zuckerberg, Jobs and Branson are among the elite ranks of Cher, Madonna, Adele, Bono and few others who’ve attained success and fame to such a degree that they can be known by one singular name alone.

Okay, so we’re probably never gonna see Zuckerberg bare his behind on the red carpet in a Louis Vuitton dress, but then, few, if any, want to see that anyway. Yet, despite the lack of sequins, hair extensions, lacquer and lipstick, it’s hard to deny the notoriety some of these Rock Startups™ have earned alongside their hefty stacks of cash.

It all begs the question: How did they do it?

With the obvious answer being: With a lot of hard work.

Cher Wang

No one is waiting to discover your genius then shower you with cash and prizes. You’re gonna have to do it the old fashioned way and earn it.

Anyone with an ounce of common sense knows it takes a lot of “blood, sweat and tears” to become an overnight sensation. Though there’s no standardised path toward that pot o’ gold at the end of the rainbow, there’s a few truisms that most of these tech rock startups all have in common. In that vein, here’s a list of 5 things that most successful app startups have done to help them succeed.

Top 5 ways to become a rock startup:

  • Have a clear vision
  • – Facebook wanted to connect frat brothers with sorority sisters, and Zuckerberg had a clear vision on how to make that happen. What need does your idea remedy?

  • Identify problems and create solutions
  • – Garrett Camp saw the inefficiencies of taxis and came up with a better way to meet consumer’s needs. He could have just as easily given up, believing the taxi industry was rock solid, but he knew Uber offered a genuine innovation; does yours?

  • Pivot
  • – when things don’t go as planned, and they often won’t, have the intellectual dexterity to find new pathways to your solution. AirBnB founders Chesky and Gebbla created collector’s edition cereal boxes and sold them at the democratic and republican conventions in 2008 to fund their floundering startup. The story is that of legend among tech wannabes.

  • Have a plan; act on it
  • – lots of people claim to have a life changing brilliant idea in their head, and invariably, that’s usually where it stays. Daydreaming about being a legend in your own mind does little good for anyone, particularly yourself. Jack Ma didn’t sit on his keister imagining delusions of grandeur, and nor should you; get to work taking practical, pragmatic steps toward reaching your goals.

  • Never give up
  • As obvious as it sounds, tenacity is probably the single quality all these rock startups share in common; they never took “no” for an answer. Dropbox could have easily folded after turning down Job’s buyout offer, followed by Apple’s announcement of iCloud. But instead, Houston found a way to compete right alongside Apple and carve a new path for his fledgling brainchild.

Good ideas are born every day, often by more than one person at the same time. If you have a great idea for an app or website, act now and make sure someone else doesn’t beat you to the punch. If you have a great idea but aren’t quite sure how to manifest it into reality, we suggest you begin by dropping Dapper Apps a line, and perhaps we can help turn your dream into reality.

Not everyone can be a rock star; not everyone can be a rock startup. However if you’ve got the talent and the tenacity, consider us the best band manager in the world.

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