Founding Partner & Lead Idea Monkey at Traction (www.tractionco.com). 20+ years experience designing and developing branding, advertising, and digital experiences that go beyond the page, screen, and device.
First off- you are not the first to come up with a full-proof system for gaming tables. So do your research and make sure it is viable and unique. Second, if it is truly foolproof, build yourself a bank roll of legendary proportions--then prospects will come to find you. Basically the proof is in the pudding, as they say. Gaming experts and systems/methods are a dime a dozen--so unless you've got something truly unique, you are looking at a uphill battle.
In short--make great, relevant content and promote it to your target audience... easy right? Well, it depends on the content (obviously).
Honest question: why do you want millions of followers on facebook? It seems like an arbitrary goal--not a bad goal, but I need to understand what value it has to your business needs.
My first question is Why do you *think* your UI/UX needs updating? Now, I am not suggesting it doesn't, but wanting something and needing something are two separate things. So hopefully you are taking a holistic approach, looking at your user behavior patterns, and identifying possible issues to improve upon.
As far as finding the right people. I would recommend either looking at small agencies (a google search is a good place to start) or using LinkedIn to find individuals to talk/interview.
I can't speak to the details ice cream margins, but when it comes to your branding and identity I can help. Dessert foods can be a tricky area in today's more health-focused world. So as mentioned before you have to figure out and promote what makes you special. Not this will depend on where in the market you plan on focusing: artisanal, organic, traditional, speciality, etc.; what your brand experience (beyond your core ice cream product) will be; and what price range you plan on placing your product in. Traditional ice cream shops both large and small have suffered in the changing food landscape where people's appetites have shifted (just look at Baskin Robbins issues)--so while a solid brand strategy and execution is important, it is only as strong as the product experience it embodies. Feel free to drop me a line if you have any further questions...
Most companies don't disclose their launch strategies, for obvious reasons, so the following is opinion/conjecture based on my own experience:
Part of Secret's success was releasing a novel app that had some contextually relevant cultural value at the time of it's release--the idea of anonymity in the digital social space. Mix that with getting the app into the hands of target-relevant influencers, a powerful PR campaign and a little bit of luck that it got picked up by the tech media.
Though in the end, due to a quick growth on an idea that had not been really properly vetted and tested secret turned into something ugly:
I assume you mean a mobile web application (in-browser based), as opposed to a native apps? If that is the case you have to go no further then searching for deeply functional mobile and responsive sites like mobile.twitter.com .
As far as OS-agnostic mobile web applications for video conferencing—no better place to start then Skype.
Loving something and being passionate about it, doesn't always mean you are good at it. Fictional writing and professional commercial writing are two separate things. If you are a good writer, there are opportunities for freelance writing gigs (copywriting, technical writing, catalog work, long form, short form, blurb, sales, etc.). It is a competitive space, but a good online portfolio with writing samples and consistent perseverance can lead to more work. If you don't have any commercial experience or samples, proof-reading jobs are a good place start.
While I like Melissa, as others have mentioned there are international as well as phonetic issues with it. Many languages don't have 'L' sounds--which could lead to user issues. Also using a common proper name will have some issues as well... One of which you've already discovered domain names, the other may be the Melissa's of the world not being to pleased with their name being associated with a digital servant.. While their is a shortage of great available domains. For longevity, you may want to consider looking at your entire product experience and branding and align them into a more coherent system that can evolve as your business shifts and changes.
The simple answer is contracts and choosing your partner well.
The long answer is more complicated. Is there anything about your app idea that is ownable defendable? Would your partner have to develop or leverage existing IP or technology in order to bring your app to market? Is there any similar competitors already in the market?
The reality is that most app developers or firms are more interested in building apps than stealing other people's ideas. Their business is app development and deployment—not managing, marketing and running a business like yours. With that being said, there are dubious people out there doing sneaky things.
Find a developer or firm with a good reputation and track record. Engage with them professionally, put the appropriate contracts and paperwork in place, and move forward. If your idea can be patented do that. But keep in mind, that many firms may have to develop code or applications to make your app a reality and depending on your contracts, that work may end up being their IP—which is not an uncommon practice.
Hope that helps, feel free to reach out if you have any other questions.