Business Therapy: So you have an app idea. Now what?

Post by Loaay

apps

Developing an app can be as complicated or as simple as you think it could be. But before you jump into sketching the user interface (UI) or panic about not knowing how to code (most people with app ideas in the Middle East don’t) here are a few questions for your braincells to process:

– Is it an independent main service such as Talabat or is it an add-on tool to an existing offline service such as Mercedes-Benz Kuwait?

– Will that target audience actually like to use an app for such service or would they prefer another approach?

– Is it something you will charge for? If so, is it compelling enough to charge fees for as the case in the gaming app iKout? If it’s free, how will you generate revenue?

– How much traffic do advertisers need to see before they jump in? Can you generate such a volume within a small market like Kuwait or do you need to think regionally or globally? How long will it take you to get to that volume? Can you survive all that time without income?

If you’re still on the path of app development, then I have two steps for you: research and prototype. For research, you need to first understand the potential users’ needs and wants, and current behavior with apps. Observe closely how they use and feel the app’s prototypes. Your research questions should be insightful and not “likes and dislikes” types. One of the best research methods is observation because you see what people do and say naturally in action. Prototyping can be a 3D mockup, graphically designed paper templates that your testers can manually link to each other (not an actual app), alpha and beta stages, and so on. Prototyping can vary and it’s a quick and affordable way to test the user experience (UX) and UI without spending a significant amount of time and money to develop the app. At a certain point, if the concept and design are validated enough to roll out then launch and keep researching and prototyping, it’s a never-ending cycle.

One of the hardest things in app development is if you can’t code. Teaming up with the right developers is a make-it-or-break-it factor. In general, avoid using outdated or complicated programming languages. It’s best to educate yourself about the types of questions to ask developers. Working with freelancers might be more affordable, but it has its flaws. If you feel up to the challenge of learning how to code by yourself in Kuwait you might want to visit Coded. This week’s tip: Stick to the core big idea and don’t be tempted to add all the bells and whistles from the get go. These are my thoughts. What are yours?

Important: I’m not associated with any of the apps/companies mentioned in this post nor I’m recommending them as a benchmark. They are added for reference purposes only.

Post by Loaay Ahmed, a strategic business therapist since 1995. He currently lives and works in London, UK, while earning his master’s in Service Design Innovation, and managing knightscapital in Kuwait. For Loaay’s advice on business or work matters, send a short email to loaay@knightscapital.com. Regrettably, only the questions chosen for publishing will be answered.


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7 comments, add your own...


  1. Neo says:

    Thank You.

    For me , this post came at the right time.

  2. Neo says:

    Very Informative

    For me , this post came at just the right time.

    Thank You.

  3. WI says:

    Any pointers on securing the idea from potential developers or software developing agencies.
    How to protect once idea from getting ripped by any developer or firm; that might built it, if the negotiation does end well etc.

    • Loaay says:

      If you’re dealing with a professional developing company with a good track record of app projects you’ll be fine. Besides, there’s no app idea that guarantees success. So the chances of the developers risking their reputation for a gamble are quite low. And let’s say they did; their coding knowledge is not equal to clarity of vision for the idea itself, which means most likely they won’t get it right as you’ve envisioned. And that’s good because you will learn how to make it better by avoiding their mistakes. And if you’re thinking it’s too late then because it’s already out there, I’ll say having other MP3 players in the market didn’t stop Apple from releasing the iPod. For more on the legal side of Intellectual Property protection, I recommend directing your question to a legal advisor.

  4. BG says:

    Check out orangejetpack.com

    These guys are great developers and worked with Mark many times.

  5. M says:

    Thank you Mr. Loaay for your article!


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