Is your app idea going to make you a millionaire?
There’s no denying it, apps have exploded. Since early 2017, mobile apps have accounted for nearly half of global internet traffic. Forecasts for the future are huge, with over 350 billion app downloads projected in 2021.
This all sounds great if you’re an app entrepreneur - a rapidly growing market, a user base ever more familiar with app consumption, a younger tech-savvy generation coming of age. However, there’s also a problem. A larger market means more competition, often leading to saturation. App makers prior to the boom would typically charge a purchase cost, but users are now so used to getting apps for free - due to the race to the bottom - that this model is no longer viable. It is very hard for app makers to make money, so finding innovative ways to monetise within the app is crucial.
This article contains tips that will help you answer the main question: Is your app idea going to make you a millionaire? Will you be sipping mai tai’s poolside at Evan Spiegel’s Brentwood mansion? Or will you be doing laps at the leisure centre?
This is absolutely crucial. Research should occupy the majority of your time before you even consider the next stages and will save you time in the future, regardless of your findings.
- How many users/customers might you have? This is extremely important to know, because the potential of your market will dictate other aspects of your app, such as pricing and marketing. What do the numbers show?
- What can you charge? As previously mentioned, apps are mostly free these days so how can you entice the user in with free features and what is your in-app monetising strategy? If your app is a car racing game, then keeping the basic game free and charging the user to unlock new courses/cars makes sense. Perhaps you have a dating app? Allowing the user a certain amount of interaction before they pay for an unlimited experience seems logical.
- Check the competition. No matter how innovative your idea, there is likely to be some sort of competition out there. Hopefully your app has a USP (unique selling point), but do your homework on similar offerings to see what they’re doing well and what they’re not doing so well. Don’t just check apps either. Websites or even magazines might be offering a great product/service to your would-be customer.
- User research. Another must-do. Get hold of potential users and gather their feedback and new ideas. This is your opportunity to get a true idea of how successful your app might be so be thorough and give as much detail as possible.
- How are you going to market it? Your app will not be easily found in the App Store amongst millions of others unless you direct people towards it. Consider marketing as important as the product itself, so be prepared to invest in this stage and have a clear strategy on how you’ll achieve results. Read how Gravitywell designed and delivered an online marketing campaign for Western Power’s power cut reporter apps. You can market your own campaign or you can outsource it, but keep in mind costings.
Describe what it does
If you can't describe what your app does then how do you expect a potential user to understand it, or get a potential investor interested in it?
- The "Elevator pitch". Can you describe/sell your app in a succinct and persuasive way? If not, then perhaps you need to go back to the drawing board. You’ll have to do this plenty of times - make sure you clarify the benefit to the end user and how it will change their lives.
- List of features. Think about what is truly essential for version 1, then get that down in bullet point form.
- Autonomous or Heteronomous. Does it need a CMS / admin? Does it require connections to another database? Who else does it rely on to work? Does it require someone entering lots of data for you? These are important questions to know.
Wireframe it yourself
Wireframes are a rough visual of the layout of your app. They don't have to be anything fancy, but a quick sketch of the various screen layouts could literally save you £10,000s and loads of time. Once you have wireframes it will be easier to spot problems with the idea or areas of hidden complexity, and also makes showing your idea to other people far more simple.
A kind of magic
Now, be honest. Will your app require some kind of “magic” or a technological breakthrough to work? If you need to reinvent the wheel, then it’s probably easier to rethink your app.
Assuming you don’t need to summon David Copperfield in digital form, then get in touch with the app development agency and show them your stuff!
At Gravitywell we help app entrepreneurs realise their potential. Learn about our app development process and discover more of our work.