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How to Build a Billion Dollar App

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  1,034 ratings  ·  69 reviews

'A must read for anyone who wants to start a mobile app business' Riccardo Zacconi, founder and CEO King Digital (maker of Candy Crush Saga)

'A fascinating deep dive into the world of billion-dollar apps. Essential reading for anyone trying to build the next must-have app' Michael Acton Smith, Founder and CEO, Mind Candy

Paperback, 480 pages
Published March 3rd 2015 by Piatkus (first published January 1st 2014)
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Average rating 4.15  · 
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Karel Baloun
Aug 31, 2015 rated it it was ok
While rehashing some epics eloquently (square, instagram, whatsapp), and highlighting powerful quotations (McClure/AARRR, Jobs, Grove, Zuck), I don't see so much value created. Perhaps the early chapters inspire startup creation, but the growth and investment chapters could only help C-level execs or investors, and include enough errors or dated material to just reflect the authors level of access and experience.

Unfortunately, Hailo isn't a great lens through which to view the industry, and the
Alexander Fitzgerald
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most impressive books I have ever read.

Like anyone, I've kicked around ideas about apps with friends of mine. But 30 minutes into this book I realized I would never be the kind of person who wanted to bring an app to fruition.

If you want actionable advice on creating an app in excruciating detail, Mr. Berkowski discusses everything in this book, soup to nuts. From creating the thing in the basement to being valued at a billion dollars. The whole deal.

It's mind-numbing how much
Ryzal Yusoff
Jul 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
First and foremost, I must give George Berkowski a big applause. He has written such an organise guidance book for building a billion dollar app/startup. To fit everything, a step by step guidance, in one book about building a billion dollar app/startup, isn’t an easy thing to do. This book is sort of a cheat sheet for building an app/startup and really is a beginner-friendly. It does so by explaining every single important technology or business terms that might be unfamiliar to ”normal” people ...more
Jose Papo
Oct 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This excellent book does an excellent job in walking you through the practical steps to building an app-based business. It starts in the very early stage part of an app startup and then goes incrementally with tips and tools until the billion dollar stage. If you have a startup based on an app you need to read this book!
Rahul Agarwal
May 08, 2015 rated it liked it
too general and as said the devils are in the details has not been addressed.
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
You will learn how hard it's too come up with your app that's worth a billion dollar. It's such a difficult journey but people have made it to the end though, by persevering. Author himself was a part of making a billion dollar app. So, you can confidently listen to his insights and you will learn about the barriers involved in the entire making. You have to work with developers, lawyers and venture capitalists in the initial phases and it's something common people are not aware of. Author is di ...more
Boni Aditya
The Author has written his memoirs in Hailo and his experiences in building a billion dollar startup in the western hemisphere of the Globe and then spreading globally with the app to amass huge wealth during the process. Not only is this book very impressive, but it can be used as a rough guide for anybody willing to build a billion dollar company based on app.

This book is a must read for product managers - The book is set in stone about what to do and at what stage, carefully defined and sort
Simon R
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
An interesting insight by someone who's been on the ride to building a billion dollar app before. The book follows a logical approach to identifying the opportunity, formulating a team, prototyping the idea, building the MVP, testing, iterating, financing, growing, growing, and growing some more. These stages are broken up into the million dollar, ten million dollar, one hundred million dollar, five hundred million dollar, and finally billion dollar app.

Along the way are some golden little nugge
Oct 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
A solid how-to guide on building a scaleable mobile app business.

Without much knowledge in this area, I found this book to be a very practical, lay-man friendly read. The author goes through the stages of building an app from nothing to a billion dollar valuation. He gives useful insight into what is required from the team, the team leader, investors and the app itself at every stage. The book also provides, what I think is, some sage advice in building a business of any kind.

Although simple eno
Mar 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you George Berkowski for your comprehensive step-by-step inspirational guide and for diving deep into the world of billion dollar apps. I enjoyed the read very much and mostly liked the references provided which got me dive even deeper into the world of apps.
Gokul Taka
Oct 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great insight into app business!!
Saleh Almusallam
Aug 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
I liked the book, written in a very easy language that can be understood by anyone even without deep tech background. A great insight, I recommend it.
Aug 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is an outstanding read for soon-to-be entrepreneurs who are looking for concentrated wisdom in app-entrepreneurship. Very thought provoking and stimulating.
Pedro Gonçalves
Jan 31, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2021
Well, the title is everything but misleading...

The book did everything it set to do: explain how to build an app through all stages until the grand Billion-Dollar mark.

Admittedly, I was not expecting a so thorough look into what it takes to build a big company and how to scale it. I was more interested in what was the first half of the book, more related to mobile app building: what it takes, what are some things to take note, what to expect, how to proceed, etcetera.

I bought this book because
Jun 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book fully revolves around app building. Giving a lot of real time events. But to be frank this is not the thing that gives reader in depth Technical knowledge. which is the better coding language that kinda stuff. This book stage wise gives how to generally deal in various stages of app company developing.
It suggests best supporting software related services.
It provides who will be investing and supporting in Startup’s.
General Knowledge about Legal requirements (mainly USA).
Lists a few
Kylie Young
Jul 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
It teetered between a 3 and a 4 for me. It’s has everything you need to know about the planning faze of apps. Some failed apps thrown in as guidance of what not to do, although I kept thinking about their claim to success with Hailo, which perhaps since writing the book has become a distant memory. So with all the great pieces of advice, I kept reading with skepticism because their own app kinda failed too.
3 out of 5 stars and I consider buying a book. I gave it 4 because you really don’t need
Aaron Aoyume
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dated but still very insightful

Most or all the examples in this book are dated (which in itself tells a lot, since it was written as recently as 2014!) but the insights and very pragmatic recommendations for entrepreneurs and app developers are still very useful and interesting. It goes beyond superficial bragging and self-indulgence and deepens into key points at each phase for a tech startup. For most, it seemed to me a candid and honest discussion of Berkowski's own experience at Hailo, as we
Nov 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've ended up this book, that explains how to build a successful app, that they call, "a billion dollars app", the truth is to make a billion dollar app, it will require a bunch of talented special persons and skilled and as app developer I could say that this reading broad my mindset about marketing and goals, of the bat I always thought that everything swils around code and commands but definitively all is marketing and goal, real goals, I myself in the past bet for web apps but I was wrong. I ...more
Michael Gunnulfsen
Jul 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Surprisingly good read, despite the horrible title.
Great wrap-up of sort of best practice ways to build and bring consumer apps to market, from the very early stage to the rare unicorn species. Even though lots of this stuff is pretty common knowledge, there are many educational things here to be picked up here. A great reminder of what things you should be spending your time on and to eliminate the stuff that doesn’t move the needle.
Lawrence Harte
Oct 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you are developing a mobile or TV app, you should read this book. George covers the key steps he used to help develop the Hailo European taxi cab mobile app idea into a billion dollar app. You discover key things to try during app development and how to learn and adapt to use in your app. He includes lots of success examples and business benchmarks from Hailo and other successful apps. Great explanation on how to get funding and key types of consultants to use and avoid.
Sara Ahmed
Am only interested in the first part of this book which is how to build a "million" Dollar app.
It gives you a clear idea about the categorizations of the apps that will more likely succeed based on some real data. and tells the scenarios and stories of the current successful apps the dominate the market.
Its was a good read.

The rest of the book is overwhelming because it talks about some later stages of the app when the business grows more and more.
Fatimah Aljawi
Nov 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I like reading practical books so much, I would give an extra star for the reference the author made; the website. His book was mostly a workshop that people would spend thousands on to attend. I would recommend it as a book, not an audible as it is a must to have for any of the entrepreneurs. The website is Amazing and so much helpful.
Temidayo Makinwa
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a great book with detailed instructions on how to take an app idea to fruition. He conveniently staged the lifecycle of most apps providing several examples, tactics & advise as he goes along. There are a bunch of resources also available via the website. Great read. Will definitely refer to this again at some point!!
K.L. Burt
Jul 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a tough but good read. Lots of info that can be related to multiple forms of business but as the title suggest it geared toward created a billion dollar app company so if your not doing that this book may be a little much to digest.
Alberto Blanco Garcés
Regular book about startups focused on mobile apps. It gives good insights of the area thanks to the experience of the author, but it feels a little bit longer than it should according to the content it offers. Read it if you don't have many books in queue. ...more
Apr 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Some interesting stuff and useful tips but gets a bit boring and silly when talking about venture capital money and makes it sound like a roadmap when really it is just some key points to think about.
Jul 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For most of us mortals building a billion dollar app will be beyond our remit however there is excellent advice here at points on the journey. Plus there is composite information and techniques from other books and given Berkowski has walked the talk worth paying attention to.
Adrian Stratulat
Sep 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
A decent book to give a glimpse into the life and challenges of a tech founder in the mobile app space, but not detailed enough to provide real value to an actual tech founder in the mobile app space. Also kind of outdated - it was written in 2012 or so.
Hamid Hadi
Jan 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
If you’re looking for a way to understand tech startups from business perspective, this book is definitely worth reading. You’ll understand:
1. How giant tech companies managed to be in billion dollars club
2. How’s the journey for startups from seed funding to getting acquired.
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was an incredible book. It gave insight into the process that companies went through to be successful. As someone who creates apps myself, I was very interested in the contents of this book.
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