So how do you start entering the fastest growing industry in history? One thing is for sure, you can jump on the train and be part of it. It’s not complicated. Whether you have a blog, a website, a restaurant, a large corporation, a campaign, event, a band etc the DYI (Do-It-Yourself) platforms are there for your specific need. But the competition is fierce and your are not the only one entering the market.
To start off, creating an app is in a way like starting a small business and that’s what I would like you to think. When starting a business there are some key points you have to think about before you start. For some of you this road is already clear but for most of you there are some really important stuff to think about. Do your homework!
First off is the idea. What exactly are you going to do? Having a good idea is not the same as having a good “business idea”. It is only when you see that the idea you have is possible to earn enough money as it can be converted into a business idea. That is the foundation.
Think about the idea and ask yourself these evaluating questions:
Does the app solve a problem no one else has solved? Cause if an app solves a common problem that nobody have solved, than your app has a lot of potential. Maybe there are apps out there that has tried to solve it but not succeeded, what is your strength in that case?
Are there similar apps out there? If your answer is “yes”, think again before you continue. Is your app significantly better, does it have a twist, i.e what makes your app better? If you can’t think of an answer, well maybe you should not continue. I cant count the number of times I have had a revolutionary idea..but that’s before I looked at the market and discovered what out there. Remember, the competition is fierce.
Does the app make people laugh? Guess what, really funny and successful apps can fastly be spread, creating a buzz. Your app doesn’t have to be useful or fill a need to your target group. It can be just funny.
Will your app be in the category popular? Although the app solves an everyday problem that no one else solved, you should ask yourself if it’s in a category that interests smartphone users. Some categories have far fewer downloads than others, and thus harder to find for the surfer compared with the popular apps.
Is the app internationally recognized? It goes without saying that an app that is internationally recognized also have greater potential than one that only turns to your local market. There are more than 200 million iOS users out there and growing, think about how to attract a large proportion as possible. Don’t limit yourself. You should though keep in mind that if the app depend a lot of text content then it must be translated into several languages, which also means a larger cost into the project. But an app does not need to be extremely successful to be profitable if you turn to a larger audience. Is there a market for it throughout the world, it can generate a steady income which admittedly is a bit smaller than the big dragons, but still not to be despised.
One thing that almost everybody does is evaluating the app idea to friends and families. If you haven’t done that already that is a really good thing to do. Your closest people makes you think of solutions, problems, improvements that you haven’t accounted for..trust me. And hopefully they do it with honesty and ask you inconvenient questions. Try to convince them, explain why your app will succeed. If you can’t do that, think again.
Since we are focusing on the companies having the DIY platform on this site keep in mind that these platforms cant do everything, but they can do alot. Try to read the revews on this site, get an understanding on the different platforms out there so that you can fit your idea into their platform. If not, then move on to the developers and get ready to spend some extra money.
Next off in the Step-by-step process is The Market.
If you need more information about app ideas, here are some external links.
When going through the idea process you are at the same time investigating your market. In most cases AppStore or Android market, fierceful arenas where apps really fight for its existance. So how do you survice?
Get to know your market, play around, see what’s in the top list and what’s popular. Look at the really successful apps, the design, the layout etc, why are they working? And do the same with the not so good ones. In order to understand the market, you have to study it. This seems rather obvious, but you wouldn’t believe how many developers that don’t understand this concept. They don’t watch the market, follow the most successful apps, or try to figure out why those apps are successful.
My tips is that if you are not already..become an app addict. That means spending at least 2-4 weeks researching the market while downloading and playing with tons of apps. This training period is an investment in your expertise, which will become the lifeblood of your success. The more hours you rack up playing around and studying successful apps, the better you’ll be able to understand their common traits and what users desire. That’s combining business with pleasure.
Keeping pace with the market can be done in different ways. For AppStore the best way is to study Apple’s cheat sheet constantly. The App Store displays the top paid, top free, and top-grossing apps (the apps that make the most money, including free apps), almost in real-time. Apple provides the same lists in the individual app categories. These charts are golden because they tell us volumes about the market. The best part is this information is freely accessible to anyone, at any moment (unlike the market info for basically every other industry).
Review these charts frequently, and keep a notebook of potential trends you spot. Doing this repeatedly will educate you on successful app design, marketing, and various pricing models. The research you’re doing is simple, costs nothing, and it’s actually fun!
Here are some questions to ask while you’re researching successful apps in the market:
- Why is this app successful?
- What is its rank and has it been consistent?
- Why do people want this app? (Look at the reviews.)
- Has this app made the customer a raving fan?
- Does this app provoke an impulse buy?
- Does this app meet any of my needs?
- Did I become a raving fan after trying it?
- Will the customer use it again?
Also check how they are marketing to their customers? (Check out the screen shots, icon design, and descriptions.)
- What is the competitive advantage of this app?
- What does this app cost? Are there in-app purchases? Advertisements?
Most developers will build an app and expect tons of people to find and download it right away. That rarely happens. You have to figure out what people are interested in and the kinds of apps they’re downloading first, then you build your app based on that insight.
Once you’ve put in the necessary 2-4 weeks of research and feel you have a decent grasp on the market, it will be time to look back on the trends you discovered and explore some ideas for potential apps you can develop.
A key factor when developing your app is to understand how the target group works and build the app from that insight. Who will buy your app and who do you really want to sell to? Are you focused on the teenage market? Do you have a business app geared to a specific type of profession? Understanding your audience will help you develop a targeted marketing plan. Important questions to ask yourself could be:
- Who is my target audience?
- Does my target audience use iPhone?
- Will the app actually make any real difference to the lives of its users?
- Do the users actually need this app, or are there dozens of similar apps on the App Store?
- How much would people be willing to pay for my app?
One of the key things to remember is who you’re designing your app for. If you are part of the target audience, then it’s a lot easier to know what they’re looking for, but if you’re not, don’t worry, because your target audience is probably not that far away.
If you’re designing an app for gardeners, have a chat to your friends who enjoy gardening, and find out what makes their lives difficult. Then, when you’ve got your answers, sit down and think about how you could solve those difficulties using their own phones. Again, this is a time not to restrict your thinking, so even if you couldn’t imagine how your solution would work, there’s probably someone who does, so think big and edit out the craziest of your ideas after yet more sleep.