How to check if an idea for an application is good and how much is it worth?
Zanim zaczniemy stawiać pierwsze kroki w świecie biznesu opartego na aplikacjach mobilnych, musimy wziąć pod uwagę wiele czynników. W tym wpisie chcemy pokazać jak minimalizować ryzyko, które może być związane z tworzeniem startupu bez odpowiedniej strategii i wiedzy o rynku, klientach i przeszkodach. Bowiem sam świetny pomysł na aplikację to zdecydowanie za mało.
30th June 2022
Creative people mostly have no trouble generating ideas for a startup. What separates creative people from successful entrepreneurs, however, is the ability to select the best ideas. The ones that have the best chance of success. It is worthwhile to approach the verification of whether a given idea for a new app is good methodically, so as to spend as little time and money as possible, while achieving clear results that will allow you to make a decision on the further development of the idea.
What is a mobile startup?
A startup is a special model of doing business. Its main premise is scalability - startups are founded to grow quickly and become significant entrepreneurs in the market. The success of a mobile startup is based on the creation of a mobile application. The importance of this type of application is growing every year, generating more and more revenue. So it's not surprising that new and old brands are considering creating their own apps. The average smartphone owner uses 30 different apps every month. If we offer the right product - we can become an essential part of our customers' lives.
How to choose a strategy for creating a mobile app?
An idea is not enough to launch a business and achieve success in app stores. The vast majority of startups fail in the early stages of business. Success stories make us think that creating this type of company is a piece of cake. We've all heard about unicorns, or startups that have reached the billion-dollar mark. The way to become a member of this exclusive club is not luck, but an idea backed by a good plan and verified by the market. Most of the startups that failed made one fundamental mistake - they moved straight to the application development stage. Without going through the proper process to determine whether the problem they want to solve really exists in the market. Not having a solid value proposition means failure. Instead, the aforementioned companies wanted to significantly reduce the time to launch an application, against which their decision makers decided to take shortcuts. They skipped, or greatly simplified, the validation process and immediately started building the application.
What should be verified in a startup idea?
The most important aspect of validating a startup idea is to see if our customers would even be interested in our application. One of the most important factors is also to assess whether the potential target market is large enough.
Below is a list of questions we should ask ourselves when vetting a startup idea.
Does the problem our app is meant to solve even exist?
An app idea is a kind of hypothesis about the existence of a problem or the identification of a certain lack in the market. So it's worth starting from the very basics and investigating whether the hypothesis we've set up is actually true. This can be done by talking to users or people who specialize in the particular industry in which our application will operate. First - what kind of problem do we want to solve with our app? Find out how your brand can make life more convenient and simply better. Will it provide entertainment, educate, inspire, help people during daily activities? Many tasks can be optimized, automated or simplified by providing an app with the right set of features. Next, think about what benefits you can offer your potential customers. What will they get in return for downloading your app? Here is another question - why should they choose you and not your competitors?
Does the product meet a need?
If the problem you've identified really exists, you need to check whether the app will live up to its claim. You need to consider, first of all, what is the chance that the product you are creating will meet users' expectations and solve their problem.
Is there a large enough target market for our application?
Assuming that the problem turned out to be real and our app will fulfill its purpose, we still need to sell it to a sufficient number of people. Then we will be able to say that we have achieved success. It is worth counting how many companies, people or institutions are affected by the identified problem. In order to understand your target audience better, try to describe some personas, i.e. ideas of your ideal customers. You need to understand for what purpose and reason they will want to use your product.
What value will users gain from your app?
In order to understand your target audience better, try to describe a few personas, or images of your ideal customers. You need to understand for what purpose and reason they will want to use your product. The most important goal is to see what is missing from the industry you are in. This way you will find out what brands in your niche don't offer - but you can.
Are customers willing to pay the right price?
Creating an app is expensive. In addition to the sheer cost of building it, there will be operational, marketing and sales costs. So you should consider - and preferably verify with your target audience - whether your app's solution to a problem will be worth the price to them.
Is your message clear?
While your idea is obvious, logical and sensible to you, it may not be understood in the same way by your users and target audience. Perhaps, when describing your application, you use words or concepts that are unfamiliar to your users. It may happen that for some reason they are not able to understand what the solution you proposed is really about. Remember - it's always the customer who is right, so if your message is unclear, instead of changing the customer, it's worth considering changing or adapting the message according to the customers expectations.
What is the value of an idea?
It's time for a hard reality. Even the best mobile app idea is worth as much... as the coffee you drink while telling a trusted friend about it during a break at work. By itself, it is not subject to any protection. No worries, the percentage of people in the world who could afford this type of project is small. The probability that you will just happen to splash your tongue at an investor, ready to steal someone's concept and put up tens of thousands of zlotys for a mobile app, is really slim. Before you approach a company developing this type of solution, tell stories, ask questions, get opinions from different people. This is the first thing you should do when a revolutionary idea comes to your mind. Practice talking about your application on your family and friends. What kind of character does it have? What problems does it solve? Who will use it? Once you've received the initial feedback, hit up potential customers. Research their needs and pain points. See if your product will definitely make their lives easier. You can use traditional or those more modern methods of analysis to do this.
Traditional methods of analyzing business ideas
SWOT analysis The name comes from the English acronyms: S - Strengths, W - Weaknesses, O - Opportunities and T - Threats. Strengths and Weaknesses refer to our idea, while Opportunities and Threats are related to the external environment, understood as the industry or market in which we operate. This is a very common method that we can freely use in the analysis of any venture. It is certainly not enough to be able to make a decision based on it, but it is a good basis for further consideration.
Business plan is an analysis of the profitability of a business idea. We are often asked to present a business plan when we are applying for funding, for example. In the case of startups, the business plan only analyzes the financial side of our venture, allows us to estimate costs and profit after deducting the necessary cash outlay. However, it in no way gives us an answer as to whether there is a demand for our product.
Market research As in the case of a business plan, market research can have its limited application in the case of startups, as it mostly does not answer the most important question: do users need my product? It is worth taking care, by the way, to formulate questions in surveys or interviews with users in such a way that they do not guide respondents to specific answers.
Business incubators It is worth using an incubator in particular if we are not sure if our idea is really good or if we will find a large enough target group that will be interested in it. In that case, we won't have to waste time or money setting up the business or running it.
Modern methods for quick and inexpensive verification of an app idea.
The best way to verify an idea is not to build a product at all, or even a mere prototype or so-called Minimum Viable Product. The goal, however, should be to replicate potential functionality or imitate the application so that the user believes it already exists. In the end, we want to see if the user would want to buy this product.
Ads are one of the fastest and best ways to test our idea. We create a profile of our product on social media. We briefly describe our application. With the help of sponsored posts, ads, we reach the predetermined target group we want to reach. At the end of the advertising campaign, we can compare the results of how the audience behaved: how many of those who saw our ad clicked on it (which will indicate some interest in our product).
Landing page involves the creation of a simple page that will be an "extension" of the way of verification by advertising. In this case, ads from, for example, Facebook take us to a website, where we see a further presentation of our solution and a "buy option" for our product. What we can do is create a "buy now" or "download app" button, after pressing which nothing will happen on the user's side, but we will get a notification that someone clicked on it. In this way, we go a step further than social media advertising. We don't just measure the interest and click-through rate of the ad, but also the purchase decision associated with the button click.
Pre-sales In addition to setting up a website or advertising campaign, we can also use the option of our own pre-sales. In this case, we set up a payment gateway on our website and make it possible to pre-order a product at a promotional price, for example.
Presentation at the customer's place is a very good method, especially in the case of software solutions, aimed at companies (B2B), for which the creation of said prototype or MVP can be very expensive. We make an appointment with a potential customer to talk about our product, prepare a presentation, and can even include visualizations or "screenshots of our product" in the presentation. During the meeting, we talk about our product as we imagine it. We analyze questions, doubts, level of interest. This type of meeting can be an invaluable workshop for our idea, especially important if the other party believes it is a viable product.
Measuring interest and trends One way to figure out whether our idea is important and fits in with trends is to see how often Internet users search for related phrases on the Internet.
Comparison with competitors One of the steps in validating an app idea is to identify the competition. Both very high competition and many similar solutions existing on the market, and a complete lack of competition will be bad information. Why? On the one hand, if the market is saturated with such solutions, there may be no room left for a small new company. On the other hand, the lack of any competition may mean that there is no demand for such a product, or the problem on which the idea is based does not exist, or it is impossible or unprofitable to create this product.
Facebook groups While the reach of Facebook profiles is poor, the reach of groups looks much better. We can join one of the groups where our target customers are and throw in a question, suggestion or topic of conversation related to our idea. By interacting with users, we'll see what their sentiments, questions, comments are.
ProductHunt is a site where all sorts of products and applications debut, and the community comments and votes on the ideas they like best. It's an ideal place for any digital product or service. In the case of ProductHunt, the main downside is that you have to have at least a minimally working product in this case.
A crowdfunding campaign involves raising funds from so-called "backers" to create an application.Currently, you can raise funds on major global crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo. In the case of crowdfunding, the product does not have to be fully finished to appear in the campaign. In most cases, the regulations of crowdfunding platforms indicate that the product only needs to have a prototype. Since the presentation of the prototype is mostly in the form of a video, this prototype can be really very simple, or even without most of the features - the important thing is that the final product is consistent with the information contained in the campaign itself.
What to avoid when testing an app idea?
Testing with family and friends There is quite a temptation to verify our idea with our loved ones. The snag is that our loved ones may not want to disappoint us negatively, making their perception biased and therefore unrepresentative of the general user base.
Proving by force that an idea is good. It may happen that we like an idea so much that we only look for "pro" arguments to confirm our hypothesis that it is really a phenomenal idea. What's more, we may dismiss any negative comments or signals. Often we can do this simply subconsciously. A prerequisite for a well-executed verification of an idea is an objective approach to the experiment.
Verifying an idea for too long. Verification of an idea should be as quick as possible, gathering as much information as possible in the shortest possible time. Startups are known for working quickly, which is their greatest advantage when competing with corporations. Remember, there is always someone who can think of a similar solution.
What about after experimenting and testing the idea?
The most important question an entrepreneur should ask himself is: "am I in or out?". The decision should be based on the data obtained from the tests, as well as sheer faith in the success of this product. Before making a final decision, first of all:
Collect and analyze data - it is best to collect as much objective and indisputable data as possible.
Draw conclusions and inferences - based on the data, expand hypotheses, form some conclusions and draw inferences. You should ask yourself the following questions: was I right that this is a big problem? Do my customers understand my message? Do my users need my solution? Are my users willing to pay for my solution?
Consult - as originators, we are often subjective and, through our own enthusiasm, fail to take a realistic look at our own ideas and their reception by users. It is best to consult the results of our analysis and research with an outsider/company who will be able to advise us and cast a cool eye on the results of our work.
Our agency of talented and experienced designers and developers will be perfect for this stage:)
So how do you start developing a mobile application?
Hiring or outsourcing developers - usually a software house or agency with experience and knowledge of startups. Companies like DevsPower know very well how to turn an app idea into a viable product. Many factors affect the price of building a mobile app. The type of app, number of features, technology, scalability and the expected launch date of the product. DevsPower is an experienced app building team. We share our thoughts on the cost of mobile software development based on our previous projects. To become part of the mobile app industry, you have to go a long way. If the functionalities you offer fascinate people and encourage them to use your app - you will succeed. To do this, you need to plan and strategize throughout the production process. Therefore, before you get down to creating your app, that is, getting in touch with the company making it, don't bypass the steps described above. A brief and an MVP strategy will help you think about the project, which we will talk about in our next blog post. Write to us if you already have a project idea in mind and need a reliable business partner to help you achieve your goal. We will meet with you and your team to learn more about your idea, project and goal. Our team will then create an action plan and proposal for your project.
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