Why Standalone Apps Are Supposed To Fail


It’s scary to move a billion people’s furniture. That’s why Product Manager Michael Reckhow tells me Facebook built Paper. This fear has spawned the standalone app boom of 2014. Tech giants are experimenting with new user experiences outside the hallowed halls of their main apps that are too important to meddle with.

But while the press and public scrutinize the success of these different apps like Facebook Slingshot, Instagram Bolt, and Dropbox Carousel, they may be missing the point. Standalone apps are supposed to fail, at least most of the time.

They’re like a free play in football. The referee has thrown the flag but will let the action continue. The team will get a do-over if they want it. In the meantime, they can try something risky without the consequences, but reap the benefits if things go right.

Bolt Main Image standalone

The Risky Redesign

A common adage is…

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