Every known invention of mankind has started as a simple thought, an idea.
“What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” – Napoleon Hill
I have come to the conclusion that everyone has an idea for an app. When I share with others that I develop mobile applications the first response I usually receive is a new idea that is bound to revolutionize the world.
I honestly don’t know what to say when people share their idea. Some ideas are great, some have potential, and others are just plain horrible. Usually, the person sharing the idea hasn’t considered some basic questions.
1. What is your budget?
Designing, developing, marketing, and publishing an app can cost more than you might expect. It is hard to estimate the cost of development and it will depend on what your requirements are. To get a rough estimate for development costs you should visit howmuchtomakeanapp.com.
If you don’t have a large budget for your app idea you may want to consider other options. Hiring less experienced developers can cut costs but is also a risky move. The best option, in my opinion, is to learn on your own. If you are truly passionate about your idea then you will do everything in your power to see that it comes to fruition. There are quite a few developers who started in their basement and now are multimillionaires.
2. Do you have competition?
A major portion of ideas I have heard have dealt with apps that are already on the market. The person who has the idea usually wants to re-create the app with additional features that he/she thinks would blow away the competition. This doesn’t mean that your idea is bad. However, if your current competition has a large user-base, many employees, and is well established then your chances of success are slim.
3. Is your target market large enough?
Other ideas I have heard are geared toward a niche market. I would assume that your end goal is to make a profit. If your target market is too small, the cost of development will be too large to make it a wise decision. There are hundreds of thousands of apps on the various app markets and it is becoming more difficult to become recognized. If you project that 1,000 – 5,000 people will use your app, then you need to come up with a strategy to at least break even.
4. What is your marketing strategy?
It is becoming harder and harder to be found on Android and iOS. Without a good marketing strategy your time and money may go to waste. How will you market your app? Grassroots? Word of mouth? Paid advertising?
5. What is your business model? How will you make money?
“Many eager entrepreneurs and developers choose to create mobile apps because they believe they can make “easy money”. Although there is plenty of money to be made from mobile apps, it doesn’t come easy. You must have a solid strategy in place in order to create a profitable app. Your revenue strategy should be integral to the app design process, not an afterthought.” – Benji Hyam
You should research and choose one of the following monetization methods: Paid Apps (Direct Sale), Freemium and Free-to-Play, In-App Purchases and Advertising, and Subscriptions.
I have asked several developers what turns them away when people share their app ideas. The most common responses were how the person approached the developer about the idea.
Stay away from saying something like the following:
“I don’t want to share my idea because I’m afraid you might steal it.”
The developer will automatically think that listening to your idea is a waste of time.
“I’ll share my idea with you if you promise to give me x% of the profits.
This is a turn off. Please don’t think that just because you have a good idea entitles you to money.
FINAL ADVICE: DON’T DO IT!
Robin Williams was once asked by a reporter what he said to aspiring comedians who asked him if they should be a comedian.
Williams reportedly said, “I tell them no. Don’t do it.”
When asked why he would say such a thing he replied; “If they have the drive to make it; they’re not going to give a f*** about what I say. And if someone quits because I say that; then they weren’t going to make it anyway. I just saved that person from wasting their time.”
If you have the drive there is nothing stopping you from making your app idea a reality!