The biggest mistake one can make when approaching mobile apps is to assume that the same rules you used to design other apps like native desktop or web apps, will be successful in mobile apps. They won't. It's a dramatically different paradigm.
If you're not already convinced, think about this...
Mobile tech has been the fastest growing tech ever. Sure the advent of personal computers was big. Sure the Internet was huge. But none of them had the numbers that we're looking at here. Billions of devices. Over 100 billion app downloads. All in just a few years.
It's easy to get lost the first time you design a mobile app. To take a wrong path because "that always worked before". Just remember, this is radically different than anything we've ever done before. It requires you to think different. To throw out the old rules, and embrace new ones.
There's a lot to cover to do this subject the justice it deserves, and to cover all that you'll require to be successful. But since this is just an article and not the encyclopedia of books that you'd need, I'll focus on some principles to act as a guide. I'll be writing about both management and technical principles over a series of articles. The management principles are essential to be successful at building great mobile apps. The technical principles are some of the fundamental architectural differences in mobile apps that can be key to a great app.