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I HAVE AN IDEA FOR AN APP, BUT I DON'T KNOW WHERE TO START

By: Gregory Cave August 27, 2018

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How do you turn an idea into an app?

If you have an idea, but don't know where to start, start by turning your app into a business case. For the same price as a new car, you can build a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) to recruit investors. Even if the MVP has minimal functionality, it will bring a sense of urgency to the situation, encouraging further development. The MVP entices investors, funneling the idea into a tangible form. You build an app, by getting out of your own way and showcasing its potential.

There's one conversation that we keep having. It often goes like this:

conversation

I have no idea where to start, I have an app idea so where do I go from here, how do you develop an app, if I had an app idea how would I go about getting it done.

If you have an app idea, but no idea where to start, start by believing in your idea. Stop questioning the validity or the applicatory potential, and adopt the can-do-it, entrepreneurial tenacity required to get your idea off the ground.

We assume whatever idea you have is a great idea, we do not need convincing.

If your idea is very unique, as our visitor from Louisville, KY puts it, and bound to be very catchy, we advise you see it through by educating yourself on the primary ingredients of successful app development.

When you have an idea for an app, but are not sure how to move forward, here is what we suggest:

If you're here, you understand the importance of getting your proof of concept out there and the value of your idea. We assume if you're reaching out for development, you have all the basics sorted out—target market, budget, timeline—and understand how they intersect.

idea budget timeline

So rather than discussing the basics, let's delve deeper into the heart of app development: winning over the funding and positioning your development roadmap for success.

1. Harvest the power of an MVP.

We going to let you in on a secret. There has never ever in the history application development been an application that was released with all its final features. Never.

Even market leaders and tech powerhouses like Microsoft and Google release and edit apps incrementally, pivoting according to feedback.

Let go of the dream of bringing a perfect product to market immediately, and identify a few must-have features to really nail down.

We always advise you begin with a Minimal Viable Product or Platform (MVP) to pilot your proof of concept for investors.

An MVP is the younger brother to your finalized concept, it's a loosely designed product with just enough functionality to entice early adopters or convince a group of partners to funnel more money into your project.

We build a viable solution. We aggregate the feedback. We learn where the holes in the design are. If we simplify the methodology behind an MVP, we get to build, measure, learn.

The great part about MVPs—they work!

We recently had a client come to us to drive his project forward. He had a rough idea of what resources he would need and blurry vision of what the final outcome would look like. He did, however, know exactly what the final product would accomplish.

The application would pioneer cyber and biometric security, using facial recognition to combat identity theft, counterfeiting, and fraud. This combination required expertise in PHP, Labstack, API, and Android/iOS functionality, the expertise we were able to offer.

The client added a set of resources short-term to expedite an MVP. He then used the MVP to recruit clients in support of his proof of concept. After growing interest in the MVP, he was able to expand his development team, finalize the design, and transition his business proposition into a publically traded entity.

minimal viable product

With Chetu you can create a prototype for a very low cost. We'll say this-- we can prototype a mobile app for a cost that is less than the average cost of a brand new car.

An MVP spotlights your core features and lets your investors know there are bigger and better things to come.

2. Make a business case for a prototype.

It's common for app visionaries without the technical background to assume app development is an all or nothing situation; you have the idea and you build the application.

What they don't understand: all or nothing development is paired with a price tag no self-funded project could sustain.

Instead, take your idea and make it into a business.

What we mean—although your idea may have sentimental value and hypothetical value in a purely conceptual form, it has no tangible value yet because it's impossible to monetize something that only exists in your brain.

The idea doesn't have to be solidly defined either and a roadmap is unnecessary for the preliminary business case. Solidifying your idea comes with time. The only thing you need to move forward is the will to move forward.

For most clients, it's not the validity or quality of the idea that disrupts project progression. Often, their number-one downfall is their obsession with the idea and their perception of how that idea should translate into code.

A large portion of start-ups fail; we know that. But the most common reason people fail isn't that they used the wrong programming language, failed to map out the UX thoroughly, or lacked originality. The reason most app owners fail is that they never started.

Creating a business case for yourself requires a prototype—an MVP. This is the middle ground in the all-or-nothing mentality. An MVP is your business case, it gets potential investors to return your phone calls and ignites interest in your product.

Many prospects are dead-set on locating funding from the beginning, using just their idea to entice investors. They are very rarely successful in doing this. You will meet extreme resistance trying to locate funding for a project that has no face to it. No one is going to invest in nothing---that's like betting on a horse that isn't racing.

After all, what do you think is more effective with investors: a PowerPoint or a prototype? Don't pitch your idea without piquing interest with a prototype. A prototype is indicative of action, while a PowerPoint suggests inaction and inability to follow through. People do not invest in an idea, they invest in the person presenting the idea.

I have an app idea, but I don't know where to start

Look, you don't need to have all the microscopic details mapped out yet, but you need to get something out there. Get a prototype out there and start recruiting investors.

3. Get out of your own way.

We hate to tell you this, but it's probably you. Without knowing it, you are probably stalling production. Let go of your inhibitions, and commit to a prototype. We so easily commit to new cars, so why are we so resistant to commit to a mobile app MVP?

The most difficult part of app development is to get going initially, but after you get rolling, you'll keep rolling. By creating a prototype, you are creating something tangible that both your target market and your investors can see and feel—a manifestation of your vision.

Hiring a trusted app development partner to help you, will allow you to plan your market strategy and forget about the technicalities. The right partner will guide you and work tirelessly to breathe life into your idea.

In the current digital climate, there are three app development imperatives: adaptability, scalability, and viability. We tap into these qualities by allocating the time to properly curate ideas and develop incrementally, using a feedback-driven roadmap.

In actuality, it's very easy to get started. The question here is do you want to get started or do you want your app to remain an idea?

Disclaimer:

Chetu, Inc. does not affect the opinion of this article. Any mention of specific names for software, companies or individuals does not constitute an endorsement from either party unless otherwise specified. All case studies and blogs are written with the full cooperation, knowledge and participation of the individuals mentioned. This blog should not be construed as legal advice.

Chetu was incorporated in 2000 and is headquartered in Florida. We deliver World-Class Software Development Solutions serving entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 clients. Our services include process and systems design, package implementation, custom development, business intelligence and reporting, systems integration, as well as testing, maintenance and support. Chetu's expertise spans across the entire IT spectrum.

- See more at: www.chetu.com/blogs

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