The app we built has no traction data since it relies on users. We don't have any users because there is no money to market the app. If the app does not gain lots of users then it becomes no good. I cannot really specialize my app to target one market for fear of being branded into that market alone. Think of uber doing transportation only. Uber is now synonymous with transportation and would not sound right if Uber suddenly got into a completely different market.
I'm running out of ideas on how to turn the lack of traction data in my favor. All ideas are welcome.
Your fears although not completely unfounded, are certainly very close to being completely unfounded. The example of Uber can be countered with the example of Amazon, they were books only and were known for books only, look at them now, literally selling kitchen sinks.
You would also have the option of things like corporate restructuring, subsidiaries, etc, etc, however this is cart before the horse stuff when it comes to your situation.
Fear of being branded into solely that market, unwarranted, you are jumping the gun, worry about branding to the level you are, down-the-line. However if your fears are that paralysing, then own some words / terms that permit you a certain amount of freedom. Neither Volvo nor Toyota can own the word car, but they choose to own other words:
1. Volvo: safe cars
2. Toyota: recalled cars
Although specializing in the context you are using needs elaborating on, ie what do you mean, pick a niche, pick a core audience, modification of the app to fit, etc, etc, your current option in terms of specializing are:
1. Specialize and maybe get some traction
2. Don't specialize and more than likely go out of business
We don't have any users because there is no money to market the app. I have to admit I am surprised to read this line. I recommend you don't ever utter those words to any investor. And I can say that investors will have a big problem with the lack of specialization, for it lacks focus, and a plethora of things that result in doors being shut very quickly indeed.
The simple truth is you go knock on doors, real or virtual, and you do every un-scalable thing in the book. I am not saying be oblivious to potential future avenues, but you need to operate in the present. You go in narrow and deep, own that plot of land, then branch out. There are some exceptions to this, if there is no land but blue oceans, but I digress.
When the time comes, no investor is going to have a problem with sensible expansion, although very few investors expect you to go in taking on the Goliaths. David didn't go up to Goliath and challenge him to a wrestling match.
So, play to your strengths, small, nimble, responsive, personal care and attention, the buck stops with me, I answer to you, etc, etc.
If you can provide some more information about your app, I can provide some ideas beyond what has been said in this post.
Typically when I hear this scenario the problem is not sales or money as you think it is. The idea that all you need is more customers is misleading, or all that you need is more money to advertise and you'll get customers. Most of the time neither of these things is actually true. They're most often symptoms of much deeper problems: lack of planning and bad market fit.
You do not need to worry about your app being typecast and limiting your options. That's like being an egg farmer and worrying about whether you can open a restaurant in the future. In that, I agree with Ace.
It sounds like you're focused on the future instead of the present. Your problem today is that customers don't want your app. Are you selling the app based on its features or based on its benefits? What was your original plan to get user adoption and why isn't it working? Where did the money go that you originally budgeted for advertising? Why didn't it work?
What does traction data get you? Actually you have traction data, it's just not positive. So let me ask more precisely, what does positive traction data get you?
Build a business case of what you wanted to achieve in initial state - the customer problems you set out to solve . Current state - what you have built , adoption %
share these details and connect with me . product market fit will be issue in most cases . Connect with me , to evaluate issues you are facing. I can provide consultation