Five questions you should ask yourself about your app idea
AuthorBad Dinosaur Team
When you first get an app idea and decide that you want to start working on it, you might feel that it’s solid and well thought out. This feeling of security normally evaporates as soon as someone starts excitedly asking you questions about it. That doesn’t mean that it’s a bad idea, though, simply that you need to think about how your idea will work in the real world.
Through interrogating your idea, first by yourself, then with trusted partners, you can anticipate as many issues as possible before ever starting to build it. If you don’t have a background in business or tech (or either), it can be hard to know which questions to ask and which are just pointless rumination. To help you ask the right ones, we’ve put together a list of good questions to ask yourself when you’re wondering whether your app idea is viable and how to proceed.
Who are your competitors?
It’s important to know your market, and it’s important to do some research on this question. You have to know who the specific people you will be competing with are and what they’re doing. Make sure to research them to the point where you can make qualified guesses at their strategy, market share, and strengths.
Who are your users?
Even if you’re part of the target group yourself you’ll have blind spots, so outside input is always valuable. If the person you talk to agrees with everything you’ve already thought, that’s great, because it’s a way to validate your idea. You also need to talk to someone with domain knowledge of the area that you’ll be working in, whether you have that yourself or not. A lot of things can be researched on the internet, but nothing beats talking to someone who works inside the industry you’re targeting.
Are you letting yourself be constrained by your ideas about technology?
At this stage, don’t worry about the technical side of things. A lot of times, our clients aren’t sure what’s possible, but they don’t need to know - that’s what we’ll help them figure out. Some things might already be there that you don’t know about, and even if it isn’t we might be able to find a way to make your idea a reality.
What is your business case?
It’s imperative that you have a business case, meaning, you need to know how you will make the business work and have a (tentative) plan for the future. If you have no solid business case, it will be very hard to know where to go next and to get any help. Most people we talk to figure out the business part as they go, which normally works quite well. But if you feel completely lost, don’t start googling frantically, go and talk to an expert, preferably someone who has done what you’re trying to do. The best business advice is from people who have made mistakes and want to talk about them. Don’t take advice from someone who has never tried, or someone who maintains that they’ve done everything perfectly.
Is your target market ready to pay for your solution?
If you’re making an app for dentists, you need to know what dentists are already using and how you could convince them to switch, including what their frustrations and favourite things about their current solution is. If you go talk to your target customer, you should also get a good idea of what (if anything) they’re ready to pay for what you’re offering.
If you can answer these five questions, you should be well on your way to narrowing down your idea to the point where you can start development. It can be both exciting and scary to start working on your idea and finding out whether it can really become something. But you’ll never know if you never try!