We all get inspired with ideas beyond our skillset. We come up with the perfect superhero movie while driving to work, or a new gadget that would be all the rage in the land of late night infomercials. And considering the amount of time all of us spend with our phones, you or someone you know has come up with a fabulous idea for a new app.
The superhero movie will most likely never happen unless you’re friends with Joss Whedon, and as far as the infomercial gadget goes, you’ll sober up eventually. But the app? That’s doable.
You probably already know that designing and building an app is easier than producing a blockbuster movie or engineering a physical product from scratch. An app is a software, and it involves a lot of coding. There have been numerous innovations over the last couple of years that have removed much of the heavy lifting – i.e. not every app has to be built from the ground up.
In the meantime of trying to jump through the fiery hoops of coding, here are some tips on taking the first steps to develop your app idea.
#1. Uncover the Scope and Purpose
Secondly, define what your app will do in exact terms. Back to the Amazon app, this app offers more than just shopping. It lists products, links accounts, searches inventory, adds to cart and so on. The things you want your app to do need to be just as clearly defined.
#2. Who Will Be the Developer?
If you’re confident enough to develop yourself, proceed to number 3.
#3. Choose Your Platform Wisely
Once you know what your app scope and purpose is, research platforms. Technology changes at the speed of light, so stay current on your research. Your app will need a platform that best fits your scope and purpose. Some companies make platforms where clients can build apps affordably in much the same way that Wix or Squarespace lets people create websites.
Take time to look at the companies that provide platforms or even will do the job for you entirely. Some platforms will provide a stronger commerce integration than others, while the next one might be the best option if you intend for your app to be primarily used on tablets.
#4. Be Fully Committed
#6. Leave Room for Marketing
Don’t overlook marketing. If a potential user isn’t aware your app even exists, it doesn’t matter how amazing it is. They won’t buy it if they don’t know about it. This is another area where outside expert advice can help. Remember that bad marketing can kill even the best ideas. Look what happened to Firefly. The right marketing expert could even help you find funding via Kickstarter or Indiegogo, should you need it.
#7. Take Away—Think Long Term
Another smart step to take is to talk to a lawyer. While copyright law in the US can be a convoluted mess, should the worst come to pass, and you find yourself in court, having a legal foundation to fall back on can make a big difference. Just remember these three basic copyright rules. Ideas cannot be copyrighted, no matter how awesome they are. Names can’t be copyrighted, but they might be trademarked. Rules also cannot be copyrighted, which is why we have so many unlicensed Monopoly knock-offs like Horse-opoly.
Apps are a large part of how we communicate, learn and entertain ourselves. Though there are around 2.2 million apps just on iOS, there are still gaps. If you find yourself sitting on an idea that’ll contribute to the world of applications, be sure to take the proactive steps necessary to bring your idea to people’s fingertips the right way.
This is a Guest Post written by Ryan Stewart.