Your fantastic app – it’s beautiful – changes people’s lives, has a gazillion downloads and is going to make you a boatload! At least it is in your head… so just how do you convert what’s in your head into app reality?
OK, there’s already lots advice on that – but here’s our suggestions for what NOT TO DO …
DO NOT …
1 Think your idea is completely unique
C’mon, really? Totally unique? While it is possible, your idea will need some serious validation, and we don’t mean from your friends and family. With more than 1,000 apps added to Apple’s App Store each day, thorough market research can save you a lot of wasted time and money.
Search the app store for IOS and Android, check projects on Kickstarter or Product Hunt and get involved in local Meetups and attend Hackathons. But don’t be discouraged if you find similar ideas. Many successful startups build on existing ideas. You may also turn up potential funding partners or it may spark completely new and valid ideas.
And while you’re at it, take this time to really research your target audience. Look at stats, trends and data. Consider how to reach your market and what other types of apps will compete for their attention.
2 Relax and noodle your idea for a year
While a good wine improves with age, ideas generally do not. Someone is bound to turn on that same light bulb so get the lead out and get some hustle, my friend! If you’ve determined your idea is valid and market worthy, make the commitment of time and energy and get busy!
While you might be able to “build an app in 2 hours!”, building an app that has true business potential takes a huge commitment of time, energy and money. Be sure you are ready for the blood, sweat and tears that are a normal process of a startup. Hobbies don’t call for budgets and business plans and legal considerations. If that sentence alone sends you running for cover, consider doubling down on an actual hobby.
3 Start by hiring a developer
Don’t get us wrong here, we’d love you to hire us! But there are many steps to take before you pick up the phone unless you have money to burn. If this idea exists only in your head then it’s time to get it on paper or in a tool that can begin to break your idea down into discernible components. Identify the minimum feature set that you could start with and build from there. The better you have your idea fleshed out, the better a chance for a successful engagement with a developer.
4 Forget the monetization strategy
As fabulous and life-changing as your app may be, you won’t get anywhere with funders unless you’ve done your homework to identify exactly how your app will make money. This is another key area to do your research, and again, that should not be limited to the opinions of Aunt Martha or your best friend. Whether your strategy includes subscription fees, in-app ads, sponsorship or user data, be aware of changing trends and get serious about learning how to manage the financial side of things.
5 Fail to protect your idea
While there is no protection for an idea, once your idea is expressed in some physical form, such as in an app, it is considered intellectual property and is protected under trademark, copyright, and patent laws. Until that time, however, you can take steps to protect your idea through thoughtful and careful sharing and the use of non-disclosure agreements.
Unless you plan to write the code yourself, you’ll likely to engage the services of programmers or a development firm. Take time to learn the options for IP ownership and read up on standard app contract language before coming to the table to sign on the dotted line. Be aware that app development often involves the use of open source elements as well as original code and understand and comply with the license permissions for those open source elements as well.
Finally, one important DO – DO consider Big Kitty when you’re ready to bring your big idea to life!?