Questions

How can I take an idea for a new app and turn it into a real product?

I have a lot of ideas for new apps, but no program experience. How can I get my apps developed?

9answers

Here are some options:

___Free Options___

1) Make apps without needing to spend a lot of time learning to code.
Look into "MIT App Inventor" (http://appinventor.mit.edu/explore/). It's a very _easy_ way to make pretty complex apps using drag and drop coding. You can find youtube tutorials that will show you how to make your first app within 5 minutes. I've used MIT App Inventor to make prototype apps for many of my ideas, saving me tens of thousands of dollars if I paid a dev to do it instead.

Learn to do "real" coding yourself.
The main investment will be your time. There are plenty of free resources for learning coding on the web. I'd suggest learning "React Native", it's a relatively new way to code apps, which allows you to make one app that will run on both Android and iOS.

2) Find a software engineer cofounder.
Go to Meetups, conferences, local hackerspaces / makerspaces. Hang out on relevant online forums (e.g. https://www.reddit.com/r/startups/ make sure to read their rules for posting before posting though). It won't be easy to find a tech cofounder, your idea will need to be amazing, and you yourself will need to be very passionate and capable in order to convince someone to partner up with you for sweat equity.

___Paid options___

1) Use developers with less established reputations / portfolios (lower cost, higher risk)
Be very wary of freelancers on sites like Upwork, Fiverr, etc. Here are some basic hiring rules:
In your hiring script, make sure to ask for all applicants to give their account name for github/bitbucket and Trello.
Don't hire agencies, only hire individuals.
To get hired, ask them to do a simple task via Trello and submit the code via github/bitbucket. This task should only take them maybe 1 hour. Check the quality of what the applicants and if they deliver it in a timely manner. Keep the 1 or 2 people that do a good job. If you don't do this vetting these "low cost" developers may end up costing a lot in the longer run.

2) Use developers with more established reputations / portfolios (higher cost, lower risk)
With this option your app will probably cost > $20k to develop, but it can be worth it if you have a single idea that you know you want to move forward with. I can introduce you to a very high quality developer in NY if you're at this stage.

Let me know if you'd like any additional help more tailored to your specific app ideas,

best,

Lee


Answered 3 years ago

1. Figure out which ideas you consider as best among "so many" and nail down on those.
2. Do a competitive analysis on if any similar apps are already there in the market or not. If there are some then thing if there is a space for another similar offering, and if yes then what you can offer differently than others.
In case there is nothing similar existing already, you've the advantage of being initiator but you need to be wise to position it better.
3. Decide your first target group of users, and geography. I understand you may think your app can be used worldwide and rightly so, but start focusing on a certain area and achieve traction and then go big.
4. Now, document your app idea in the most simplest ways possible, you can following this article to know how to write app specs - http://www.agicent.com/how-to-write-app-specs.
5. Put your specs to potential good app development companies (I don't suggest going with freelancer way if you've not worked with them in the past, also app development need a team and not a single guy so go for a company) that you can search in forums like these, or via google. Get a cost estimation, or use and handy tool like this to quickly estimate app development costs - http://www.agicent.com/app-development-cost-calculator

6. Compares the quotes, experience, quality, and overall offerings of the developers. Select the ones good on all parameters, and whom you can use for long term (another reason I suggest going with an app development company).

7. Hire the developer, and ask for a trial work first (we offer free trials always).

8. Start the development, see your app's progress every week until it goes to the store. create a good landing page also, do some good on page optimization of both app store page and landing page, try to get some press coverage and learn on this path.

Every suggest I've given here is a topic in itself and lot can be discussed on that, so I suggest you to start small, learn, partner with right people, and grow as you learn.

Following is a good post for first time App entrepreneurs like yourself https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/hiring-app-development-companies-read-first-sudeep-bhatnagar.

I own an app development company and we develop apps out of just idea for entrepreneurs like you only, so feel free to get in touch with me for any further discussion.


Answered 3 years ago

Bit of truth: Software development is costly and laborious. There are many ideas for apps out there, the most important part is implementation (rarely the idea itself).

That said:
- I would suggest you first decide on a budget, expect to go over what you initially plan on.
- Write down what the application should do in detail (if you can't do this, expect costs to be 3x what they should be).
- Begin hunting for developers on sites like upwork and freelancer.

It's a long process, but doable - you'll need determination and capital.


Answered 3 years ago

As another comment said, you have a lot of work ahead of you. Here are some questions:

1. Have you validated the idea(s)? In other words, does anyone want what you want to develop? If it is a game or entertainment related app, validation is much more difficult and that is not my area of expertise, but if it has utility, productivity, or business implications, then you can interview the people that would use the app. Before you do that, I would either hand draw or use one of the numerous mockup tools out there to create what you envision the product doing.

What problem are you solving?
What are the benefits to the users or company or both?

These are all core components to understand before you even go down the road of development.

2. What is the market viability for the product? If people want it and it solves a real problem, how many people will want it? Is it enough to v make the investment of your time and your money to make it work?

3. Do you have the money to build it and then to market it?

Learn to code or use other tools that will let you build with less coding knowledge. You still need to understand concepts though. I like LiveCode (https://livecode.org) and Bubble (https://bubble.is/home). You could also use these tools to mockup the interface to provide for interviews or to a developer to get a quote.

You need to get a quote if you can pay someone to do it and that requires a detailed description of the product, mockups of the screens and flow, and other technical details. There are a lot of dangers in using outsourced development shops, because they may give you a low ball quote and then hold you hostage through the development process. I can't list all of the things you have to be careful of, but happy to help you with that process if you are interested.

In my decades of working with entrepreneurs that are not technical, I would say that about 75% of the ones that have already hired a developer were screwed over in some way.

If you are looking for a developer to do it for you for equity in your company, then you need at the least an executive summary of what the app will do, what the potential market is, and how much you think you can make with some basic financial projections. You also need to be prepared to understand and implement the legal aspects of it. You need to convince a developer that investing their time will be worth it and that is not an easy task.

Finally, if you've come up with a powerful enough idea, find an investment group, incubator, or accelerator that would be willing to invest and that already has a reputable development company with whom they work.


Answered 3 years ago

I'm going to reiterate the sentiment expressed in the previous responses to this question.

Have you validated the idea? Have you spoken to people who could potentially used your product or service? If so, and you've decided it's a painful enough problem in a large enough market then you may be ready to invest in the time and effort in finding a developer.

My strong recommendation as a non technical founder 3x is that you should aim to bring someone onto the team and slice them an equity portion so that they're almost as invested as you are in solving this problem. I would then work with your developer to build out an MVP and begin to do user testing of your product. Throughout the process you should be speaking to potential customers, don't stop in the development phase. It's tempting to be excited about building something and place less emphasis on feedback but I highly recommend not doing that.

You want to have a technical member of your team to be able to act on user feedback actively without having to pay to change your features given that A) You won't nail it completely on the first go around and B)You're going to need to be adding features and testing constantly.

To find a developer I'd recommend looking on Angel List or Built in and finding people who are open to co-founding or side projects. You're going to need to present them something solid but it's doable.


Answered 3 years ago

1. Creating an application has never being a problem. The problem is creating a successful business that can scale. Before custom application development for their startups, which later became multimillion-dollar SaaS companies, these founders used MVP approach for SaaS. https://belitsoft.com/custom-application-development-services/successful-saas-startups-mvp-lean-paying-customers-first
2. You are not a developer, so you should hire developers. How Much Does A Custom Software Development Cost?
Do you have an idea of a web startup? Developers will start with User Stories gathering. Alongside, they will start to create the software requirement specification that will be based on User Stories but has all necessary details for the programmers. Simultaneously with it, they will start programming. https://belitsoft.com/custom-application-development-services/how-calculate-real-cost-building-your-web-mobile-startup
Any questions?


Answered 3 years ago

Start with a Web App for testing and use a code-free database site like www.bubble.is
We built www.mattervest.com on Bubble without code and started about a month ago. Happy to chat about the experience further and other options as well.


Answered 3 years ago

Are you wanting a "real product" or a business?

Idea < product < app business

Developing the "product" itself will come with financial costs. Hire a team (hopefully the right team). Pay their fees. And you'll end up with the product (with varying degrees of quality, compatibility, user experience, value all depending on how successfully you selected the team and how they executed on your idea).

Now what.

You have an app.

Neat.

You are in the mix with 2.2million apps in the world (january 2017, total apps in app stores) that someone can find, download, install.

Now what?

What's your marketing plan?

How will you increase downloads? Usage?

How will you later monetize?

And how much will all THAT cost you? In team, time, energy?


Answered 3 years ago

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