I Have an Idea for an App. Where Do I Start?
- Updated on 9 Jan 2024
- 15 min
Coming up with an app idea is the easy part. Launching a startup and getting your app off the ground? That’s the real challenge.
If you’ve ever wondered, “I have an app idea – where do I even begin?” you’re not alone. The process can be overwhelming.
But it doesn’t have to be. With the right planning and preparation, you can set your app idea up for success.
In a nutshell, here are the key things you need to do once you have your lightbulb moment:
- Conduct market research and talk to potential customers
- Map out the core features and functionality
- Find a technical partner or learn to develop it yourself
- Launch an MVP and collect initial user feedback
- Iterate and improve with each development cycle
In this blog post, we’ll break down the steps to take your app from idea to reality.
Let’s get started!
Overview of App Development
First of all, let’s talk about money and its importance with the concept of having an app idea.
You can start without money, but you won’t be able to make a big jump without it.
The reason being, the development industry is built on investment.
The mobile app business can be extremely capital intensive.
It speaks the language of money.
So, we recommend that the moment you have a revelation, an idea, start gathering funds. Be it bootstrapping, loans, or selling equity, you need to get some investment before developing.
Things to Consider After You Have an Idea
Once you have app designed idea, and a way to acquire funds, here’s what you need to consider.
1. It’s a Long-Term Investment
Where does it all start? We have your answer.
However, it is not feasible to know where it ends. At what point do you need to stop injecting more money?
Plus, it is not like you have got an app idea, and the next morning you can start building.
No, it is a long-term investment not only monetarily, but also you need to take out time, make some extraordinary efforts, and maybe just maybe forget about having a routine for the initial months.
You need to hire developers (necessary, even if you are a developer yourself).
There are various pre-development steps required to go from I have one of the greatest ideas for an app to I have made an app, now let’s grow it.
2. It’s Expensive
Not to bring down your excitement levels, but you will need money to follow, i have an idea for an app now what’s next?
Apart from the design and development costs, there are feasibility studies, pre-development app marketing, branding costs, idea validation, and gathering proof of concept.
Yes, you can talk to your family, friends (even Facebook friends) to get validation and design ideas.
But, they aren’t the only people you expect to use your app, or are they?
Then you need some credible and mass validation techniques and it will cost some money.
Based on your findings, there are design costs, app market strategy, development, and then scaling and maintenance costs.
So, it is a costly affair.
However, you won’t regret investing. Because:
- You are building something better and future-oriented
- You will have the proof of concept before throwing all the chips in.
- Lastly, once the product gathers traction, you will end up with way more than you invest.
But building an app is not only about money or time. If you are passionate about it, you will certainly enjoy the process.
Moreover, since you have access to our guide on having an idea for an app, now you can save yourself from a lot of mistakes.
3. It’s Exciting and Fun
You must know about Elon Musk, yes?
Why do you think he is one of the most successful entrepreneurs on the Earth today?
Look at the things he is doing and has done:
- Colony on Mars
- Self-driving cars
- Reusable space rockets
Who does that?
Surely, not a person who does not enjoy the process.
All these concepts require millions of dollars in investment and determination.
Elon has both and that is why he is in this position today.
Just like any other entrepreneur, he had an idea and built a product out of it.
A part of his success comes from his mental stature and his spirit to enjoy the process.
The day Elon built Zip, he must have also thought that he had an app idea, but now what?
From Zip to settling people on Mars, nothing could have been done without money and an attitude to enjoy the process, come what may.
That is what you should imbibe to go from having an app idea, but don’t know how to code, to waking up and saying, “I think I need to grow my company” and take it to the next level.
So, the road you are going to take is really exciting and fun, but you have to take it as such.
Now that you have some introduction to the whole concept of having an app idea, let’s talk about taking the next step.
How to Develop a Successful App
Ok, there are two ways to move ahead with an app idea but don’t know how to code.
Either you can partner up with another person or move ahead by yourself.
Both the options require work to be done, but the second option is a bit more complex.
Here’s how it can go.
What is your ultimate goal?
Is it to earn money or build a successful product?
Well, as per user experience, it is a bit of both and the former is a result of the second.
Because no one will pay for a product that does not have some unique to offer.
This means that when you move ahead from an app idea to a vision, you think where to start. This is when you need to start thinking about two things:
- How to build a great product? (We will cover this later in the guide)
- Who can help me build it from scratch?
Option 1: Partner with an Experienced Founder
As for the second question, you need to find an experienced partner.
Because the path you are going to take is complex and full of vulnerabilities.
It is very easy to lose your route.
Having an experienced person by your side puts you in a better position from day one.
Because you are new to this field, an experienced entrepreneur will have better insights.
Plus, it will be easier to work and gain more productivity when two people are working on the same thing.
Here’s how a partner can fill the void:
- Compensate for the skills and experience that you lack.
- Be a part of your success and stress from day one.
- A partner can spot the blind spots and protect you from getting into a fix.
Option 2: Team Up with a CTO
The second thing that you can do is partner up with a CTO or Chief Technical Officer.
This is especially important if you have not the faintest idea about the technical part of the idea.
See, it is one thing that you have an app idea.
But it is a whole other thing to have an app idea but don’t know how to code.
Because even if you know how to code, we won’t recommend that you start coding yourself.
The day you feel like taking the leap and become a founder, start behaving like one.
Yes, guys like Elon and Zuckerberg may have built their products by coding it themselves.
But the business scenario when these products hit the market research today is different.
Today, you need to focus on the outside aspects of building an app and less on the coding part.
Having said that, you should have someone by your side who knows how to code when you don’t know anything about it.
A CTO is highly experienced in technical developments and requirements.
He is the person who can take your concept from an app idea and help you make it a reality.
Moreover, when you have a CTO on your team, you can save a lot in terms of the development and other auxiliary costs.
- Find the right developers
- Use efficient technologies
- Save on overall costs
- Set up the right network for the app
- Move ahead with a strong technical background and avoid common pitfalls.
Option 3: Try Working on Your Own
There is nothing wrong with taking the journey alone.
After solo traveling has its perks.
Don’t worry about anything.
We will help you understand the entire process and take you from “Just another app idea” to “a product”. Now let’s promote it.
So, follow the next steps carefully and try to understand the process.
Following your dreams alone is both interesting and a bit scary.
Because you have to take care of everything yourself.
It is not only about the idea.
An idea is free and today you will even find random tools to provide application ideas for a new startup.
But what matters is your execution of that idea.
Although you will have a team working to build your product, the mental pressure and that urge to succeed is on your shoulders alone.
So, be ready for an amazing and learning ride ahead.
Because of the journey that follows, “I have an app idea, now what” is about to unfold.
An App Idea Isn’t Enough, You Need a Proper Plan
Here you need to understand how to start a startup from scratch.
Reiterating the fact that you are not building a science project.
We are talking about putting a lot on the line.
Money, time, relationships, and whatnot.
There is a lot at stake here.
So, do not take it lightly and be on your best performance for the next couple of years.
Before we get started, here is something you might not have know before.
Elon Musk and his brother built a website Zip in the beginning which they then sold for $300 million.
Apart from this, they both had one computer and used to bath at the YMCA’s washrooms.
Yes! Not only this, when the website was up and running during day time and his brother would be busy managing it, Elon worked during the night.
Still, he managed to become one of the richest and most successful persons in the world.
That is the stage we want you to achieve and for that, you need to start right and stay focused.
So, here’s what you must do.
1. Think, Plan, and Build
The game starts with having an app idea, where do I start and it never ends.
So, get a paper and pencil and start building your product on paper.
Start researching your idea. Provide market strategy via the internet to find similar ideas, products, and performances.
You are looking for a unique value proposition for your users engaged.
If you have an idea, there must be a problem that you want to solve.
So, we want you to solve those problems and compare them with your idea.
Analyze the value you can provide to your customers with your application.
The motive of writing down the concept on paper is to identify the core of your service or product.
Let’s take a few examples.
Starting with Uber, once again.
Uber might be just a taxi. But it is a unique kind of ride-hailing where the customer’s interest is primary.
As long as there is a person behind the wheel, the person will get a taxi on-demand at competitive prices.
Another example? How about Dropbox?
If what follows, I have a great app idea, is something like a dropbox then you should understand what an existing service is providing beforehand.
Dropbox removes the need to use physical storage devices and store files on the cloud making them accessible on any device, and for download via the App store and Google Play.
This removes the device-based limitations.
Last, but not least. We can also include Canva on our list of unique ideas and their value proposition deliverables.
Canva lets users create designs and visual content plus media from editable templates.
This software has given users the freedom to create bespoke designs on the cloud and share them anytime, with anyone.
You can also easily request user feedback to understand what can be improved.
Truly the journey from I have an idea for an app but where do I start to the next level is quite interesting.
Have you noticed that until now, we have not talked about actual development or coding?
This is because creating a product might be the easiest thing to do.
But what matters the most is that you should be able to create the right product and not just anything based on your raw idea.
Any sort of idea, before it is realized and made into a product, requires to be polished.
This is where you need idea validation.
2. Validate Your Idea
Until now, you have found the uniqueness of your product.
Now, we want you to validate that idea and get the customer’s response for the same.
The best thing about starting a startup is that it has an unlimited potential to scale.
Look at Apple today.
All of it started from a garage and a dream (an idea).
Idea validation is the core of success that follows, I have an amazing app idea now what?
You get validation of your idea with several methods.
|Idea Validation Method
|Benefit and Scope
|Call a Friend
|On the reality show, “Who wants to become a Millionaire” the participant gets one phone call.
But, you can get as many as you want.
So, ring up all your friends sharing your idea and getting their honest feedback.
Because they are your friends, you will be able to secure some real answers.
However, the scope of this approach is limited.
Because you cannot expect only your friends to use the product.
Nor can you generalize their feedback for your entire target audience.
Yes, sharing your idea with them can get you some funding.
So, don’t skip it.
|Use Social Media Platforms like Reddit
|Almost every social media platform has forums or pages to talk about all sorts of things.
On Reddit, there are group names, r/Entrepreneur, r/BusinessIdeas, r/Startups.
These channels are dedicated to talking about ideas, business goals, growth, and the processes related to a business/company.
So, you can use these channels to get some feedback about your idea.
Having said that, social media platforms are not a credible source to get validation.
Because here you will come across almost every kind of person including the ones who will want to use your application.
But, it is not necessary that you will get a positive review from everybody.
|Another method is to create your landing page.
This will be a website landing page with all the information about your product.
So, everything that you have gathered till now and wants to provide after I have a great idea for an amazing app can be included in the application.
A great aspect of creating a landing page is measurement.
You can record and analyze the customer response based on the visits and actions taken on your landing page.
|The last option for idea validation under I have an idea for an app is creating paid ads.
This means that you design PPC, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, or any other platform-based ads.
These ads will cost you but also get a highly specific customer base.
This is because these ads are based on keywords.
So any person looking for a similar product and searches for it with the keywords that you have chosen will come across your product.
From here, you can get impressions, clicks, and other information.
In the last step, you need to Analyze the Feedback.
This is essential before we move on to another central part of I have an idea for an app but don’t know how to code.
We recommend that you use all the methods given above for validation.
You will be able to understand five things with this exercise;
- Specify your goals and objectives pertaining to the idea and concept.
- Get a clear understanding of who is your target audience.
- Conduct a competitive analysis.
- Create a USP.
- Get ideas about successful mobile app features.
If you already have an understanding of your features then this exercise will help you cement those objectives.
After getting all this information, it is time to build your product.
This is where we need to talk about the coding and who will or shall do it.
3. Build a Minimum Viable Product
Yes, we understand that your patience levels are almost up.
You must be thinking that when I already have an app idea, then why are we dabbling.
But there is a reason behind that.
While creating the MVP version of all the applications, you need to save on costs for future spending.
It has the requisite design, interface, intuitive working.
But the number of features is limited so as to avoid over-spending on the development costs.
The cost of MVP is less and it is what we will recommend because creating an MVP also means that you will save a lot of unnecessary expenditure.
So, here’s what you need to do when building an MVP.
Start by Defining the Features
Not all the features.
But add only the core features of the service you are looking to provide.
These are features without which you cannot provide any service to the consumers.
Features of successful mobile app that help get online education include;
- Video chat
- Search option
- Login and registration
- And so on.
But an advanced version of this application can include;
- Gamified learning
- Adaptive lessons
- Geospatial teacher’s search
See the difference?
Without the advanced features, your users will be able to get the core services from your application.
To add these core features, go through the idea validation part.
This will also help keep the cost of the MVP below the limit.
Not only this, you can take some interviews and get insights online to build a list of WOW features.
Until now in, “I have a great idea for an app now what” you have got everything ready to start coding.
Here, if you have an idea for successful mobile app but don’t know how to code, hire app developers or consultants.
But this will add to the total cost of app development.
How to Build an App after you have a mobile app idea?
To start running a company/business, having a thought like I have a great idea for an app is not enough.
You need to get things done.
So, if you have by chance skipped the above part, then make sure to read it once.
Because you should not start building an app without first completing the preliminary steps.
To build an app, you need developers.
There are two ways to do that.
- Hire Professionals
- Do it yourself
While hiring professionals is necessary when you do not know how to code.
But if you want to do it yourself then too, you will need a development team.
Let’s talk through the hiring professionals part first.
There are three types of hiring you can go ahead with.
|Type of Team
|Pros and Cons
|Contract to a Local Agency
|A local agency is highly qualified and one of the best options.
These guys will literally take you from I have an idea for an app where do I start to launch quickly.
But, a local agency will cost you too much.
And as a startup, saving money must be your preference.
|Freelancers are easy to find and they are cheap.
But, these guys are not reliable and provide lower quality products.
|Outsource to an Agency
|The last option is to hire an outside agency.
They will provide the same work for less while ensuring the highest form of quality.
But an outsourced agency can have a time difference which causes a hindrance in communication.
The second option is to do it yourself.
Here, we want you to create the prototypes first
Prototypes provide insights into how the product will feel and look while being used by people.
Once these prototypes look good, you can use no-code tools to replicate the prototype and create a running product.
Once again, building an application from scratch is no child’s play.
It requires a great amount of research and dedication.
Moreover, you will have to invest both your time and money to build a working application.
Ready to Develop a Successful App?
Bringing an app from idea to reality takes work. With the right guidance, it can be done.
Our team has decades of experience building and launching successful apps. We handle everything from product design to development to distribution, allowing you to focus on your big vision.
Let’s talk if you have a game-changing idea but are unsure how to execute it.
Whether you want to validate your concept, build an MVP, or scale a product post-launch, we have a proven process to set you up for success.
Stop dreaming – start building!