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Is Your App Idea Good Enough?


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Congratulations! You just decided to make an app.

Maybe you are building an app to help your business grow, maybe you are doing it as a side project to earn some passive income or maybe upper management ordered you to do it for a marketing campaign.

Whatever your reasons are for making an app, you probably reached a point where, after a lot of thinking, you selected a few ideas and you are struggling to choose one of them for the next phase.

“Which idea should I choose and develop?”

This is a question that I get a lot…

“I have an idea for a puzzle game and another idea for a local news app, which one should I do first?”

My answer is: Don’t ASK JUST ME! Ask the PEOPLE!
Granted, people don’t exactly know what they want, but if you take a look at what they BUY you will be able to know what to SELL THEM.

I am going to show you a simple method for validating you app idea now. It is not rocket science but should come as a surprise to many people. By using this method you will be able to see if there are customers for your idea, if it already exists and if there’s room for improvement in that area. Yes, no more struggling with choices. After reading this method you will stop thinking and start ACTING!

So what is this method about?

Keep reading…

Are you ready to find out?

GOOGLE YOUR IDEA!

That’s right. Say it again! GOOGLE YOUR IDEA! (Or Bing it if you are a Microsoft guy).

As simple as that. Let’s give it a try…

Let’s say that for some reason I want to build an app that helps people locate the best restaurants in their city. How do I know if this is an app that people would like to use? Easy, I’ll just GOOGLE MY IDEA!

If I enter “App for locating the best restaurants in my city” in Google I’ll get some answers.

How do I know if this is an app that people would like to use? Easy, I’ll just GOOGLE MY IDEA!

Analyzing the results, we see that the top results are lists for apps that do what we are searching for.
Just by doing simple task which took us 10 seconds we see that there are already at least 10 apps (and possibly many more) that help people find a good restaurant nearby.

This is a pretty popular idea and one that has been developed over and over by small and big brands! One could even argue that everything has been done here. That there is no room for improvement. And they might be RIGHT!

Or not?

Let’s take a closer look. One of the apps that appear in every single list is Yelp. If we google “Yelp app review” we can find lots of sites reviewing the app. This is a mine gold if we are looking into developing a similar app. Just read the reviews, see what the people say about it and implement the features people love and enhance the ones they hate.

Without going so far, if you read the reviews left in the very same download page from iTunes, you can find a lot of helpful ideas for your own app. For example, in this case we can see that people are complaining about reviews from 3 years ago showing up. Can we make an app that is focused on providing people with fresh reviews, even live ones? Sure!

Now, let’s try looking for a crazier idea, something that we think will not be a common.

If I search something more “original” like “App for translating dogs”, we can see that there just 2 or 3 relevant links. One of them is an app from Google (April Fool’s Day Joke) and 2 other App Store links to apps that according to the BAD reviews don’t do what the customers expect. Of course they don’t do what they promise, it is impossible to translate dog’s “language” to English.

But what if it isn’t?

What if you app idea was exactly that one, to make a dog to English translator?

By googling that idea, we learned that there aren’t many apps for that and that those that exist don’t fulfill their promises.

Furthermore, if you take a look at the install stats from Google Play for these apps, they total more than 500.000 INSTALLS!

The next step for us, now that we know there is a great opportunity in this market is to see if we can actually develop such app… But I’ll leave that for another article.

Do you see how easy it is to validate an idea with this method? Give it a try and let us know what you find out!

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Image courtesy from: © Freds | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

About the Author : Pablo RuizPublished Author on Mobile Apps, writer of several tutorials and articles on entrepreneurship and mobile technology, Quora and LinkedIn power user and lover, I spend my time advising promising startups and companies. If you are looking for a Mobile Technology Advisor and Consultant who can help your tech startup grow, then feel free to reach out to me.View all posts by Pablo Ruiz

  1. Chepri Interactive
    Chepri InteractiveJanuary 15,13

    Great article, Pablo. A lot of the start-ups and smaller businesses we deal with create enterprise mobile apps to serve in-house needs as well. While an app idea might not always be a slam dunk with consumers, we’ve found that businesses can find a variety of uses and reasons for making a mobile app, either for administrative, organizational, and efficiency purposes within the business, or as a consumer product that better connects perspective customers with said business.

    This blog article/infographic describes a few of the metrics associated with a business’s web and mobile presence:

    http://chepri.com/making-it-or-breaking-it-your-small-businesss-web-and-mobile-presence-and-why-its-so-important-infographic/

    • Pablo Ruiz
      Pablo RuizJanuary 15,13

      Hi Jonathan, thanks for your input.
      I agree with you. A good differentiation would be those apps aimed to be a business itself (Like a normal person or a startup making their own app) and apps made by companies which could either be in-house apps (to facilitate some process,etc) or consumer apps which are released to the public aimed at engaging with them, offering new services, connecting them as you say.

      For each type of app ideas should come from different places. For example, if you were to build an in-house app to for administrative purposes and you were looking for ideas, you would get better ideas from looking inside the company and asking the people in it what they need, rather than googling for it.

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