How to get an App idea?

Apps have changed our lives. It is very hard to imagine a world without apps like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp or any other app.

I check an app as soon as I wake up. And I’m not alone. Approximately 44% of the world’s population uses a smartphone and have a similar behaviour. That’s 3.7 Billion!

Why? Because apps are awesome. Apps have changed businesses, given us new employment opportunities, helped us to become mobile, helped us feel much better and so much more.

Apps touch us at the most important and core areas of our lives.

At Indiez, we have spoken to 600+ founders from 30+ nations. One thing that I always ask them is-

How did you get this idea?

I have heard some interesting answers to this question and these learnings can be really helpful if you are looking for an app idea.

They faced a problem and felt “I wish there was an app for that”

This is one of the most common answers. And to be honest we face problems all the time.

An easy way to share a song? Isn’t sharing files painful? Isn’t getting your laundry painful? Isn’t opening the door when someone rings the bell painful? I bet it is to most of us.

Once you look at your day you’ll realize that there are many problems that are yet to be solved. See which one you find the most painful. That’s your app idea.

They didn’t think about the business

And you shouldn’t too. A successful app doesn’t have to be a great business, at least in the initial days. Build an app to win people. If the users of your app love the experience your app gives, you can always find avenues to make money later.

Do you know that WhatsApp (probably the most used app on this planet) didn’t make money for a long time?

They adapted an existing app

You must be hating the experience of a particular app and wondering how did it become so successful. That’s your app idea. Can you improve the experience of an existing application?

But isn’t it wrong? No, it isn’t. You can always do something better.

Instagram blatantly copied the Snapchat stories feature. Hence you can shouldn’t worry about copying at all.

There are 1000+ apps for customer servicing but the founder of Bicycle.ai told me- ”I hate the experience of customer servicing and think I can do better” and launched a successful startup. They got into Y combinator.

Which apps do you use every day, do you have some ideas around improving the experience provided by that app? 😃

They used their creative brain and played around with ideas

A lot of interesting apps are the combination of two totally unconnected industries. Uber for groceries is Instacart. Get Around is Airbnb for cars. You’ll get a lot of ideas and that’s great. Keep doing this exercise and just like going to gym-you’ll improve everyday.

The beautiful thing of this is that you can do this all day and anywhere… Waiting in line, commuting to work or even sitting on the toilet.

Explore App Store and Play Store

If a particular space is crowded, it is good. Paul Graham said — “You can only avoid competition by avoiding good ideas.”

This is an incredible insight and will help you cut your fear of crowded space. You can look at the apps in a particular space and go through the app reviews. If the app reviews are bad you’ve got your chance to improve the experience. For example- there are a lot of travel booking applications, but only a few of them provide a good experience.

You can give a great experience by targeting a niche. For example- an app for five-star hotel bookings. Or an app only for business travel.

One of our clients mentioned that he learned this from “niche to win“. Following chart can give you a sense on what works and what not.

Brainstorm with friends

This is a fun approach to the problem. Rather than playing exploding kitten at your dinner party next time you can brainstorm some app ideas. A lot of founders I spoke with got their startup idea while they were at a party or in a dinner conversation. I’m sure some of your friends think differently and their ideas will give you a fresh perspective. They may have their own problems which they face everyday and can be solved by an app. The best part of this exercise? You’ll have a few very early users!

Look for inspiration

One of our client got his idea from Y combinator’s request to startups. I googled and found that there are a lot of places like this where you can find inspiration. I loved Reddit and Ideas Watch,

You’ll find interesting ideas like “Watching me, watching you”, “Cat finder” and many more.

You can go through those idea and see if you find something interesting.

What next?

When you have a lot of app ideas, a daunting challenge can be to choose which one to work on? This can help:

Which one is easiest to build?

Sometimes the best ideas are incredibly easy. You can always add tons of extra elements later. But try and keep the first version easy! This will help you test the idea fast and will be easy on your pocket.

Which one will take the least time to build?

Time to market is extremely important for a product. You have to get that product out, get feedback and iterate. Same product can take from a few months to an year to build. Don’t spend a lot of time before launching. Get it out!

For which app you’ll be able to acquire early users most easily?

Are you a restaurant owner? Then a food tech startup will be a great choice for you as you’ll b able to get first 50 year super fast. Most of the startups die because they are unable to acquire users. You’ll eliminate a lot of risk if you get your first 50–100 users super fast.

If you have an app idea, we can help you take it to the market.

Now go out there. Take that plunge, take that leap of faith.

If you want a problem to be solved, there’s no reason why you will not be able to find a solution.

Your passion and belief to build your idea is central to everything that you are doing. Learn from the data and move on.

Let’s build awesome. 🙌

At Indiez we work hard to curate and manage top 1% tech-talent from companies like Google, Facebook, Uber, Spotify, Booking.com and the likes.

Join 100+ amazing founders who built successful products with Indiez.

Know more about us here — Indiez.io

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