Week 2: Testing the waters

So, where did I leave you? Ah, researching and surveying the market to determine whether there’s a real need for your app.

It took me no more than five minutes to find similar apps in both the iTunes App Store and Google Play marketplace. So I’m sure you can imagine how disappointed I was because I really started to believe that out of the 6+ billion people in the world, I had come up with the idea first. After feeling sorry for myself I remembered that there were tons of alarm clock and calendar apps out there. So I figured that I didn’t need to give up on my idea, I just needed to figure out how to get around those other apps. I downloaded these other apps and found that most, if not all, didn’t do what I wanted them to do. They were NOT the same as mine at all. Woohoo!

This led me to the survey. I had thought about running a survey but was really slow in getting it off the ground. I tried to make the most perfect questions, but realised that I was taking too bl**dy long and this was holding me back. Thankfully someone kicked my butt and got me moving again. The result? 100 people completed my nine-question survey (which I wrote myself). Of the nine questions I was inspired by the response to the following two questions:

“How likely are you to use a mobile phone application to help you manage and remember important events?”

81% indicated that they were likely to use an app to help them connect with their family and friends. Whilst other questions in the survey helped me understand whether there was a need for my idea, I was excited because this question helped me realise that there is a want for my idea (and I no longer felt like a dumbass).

“Have you ever paid for a mobile phone application for your smart phone?”

Mobile phone apps have only been around for a few years and people are still getting their heads around how to buy them. So to have 76% indicate that they had paid for an app was reassuring because it told me that people would buy an app if they needed or wanted it.

It cost me nothing to run this survey, but based on the results I was about to make a decision on whether I should, or should not, pursue my idea.  And… I decided to go ahead with the idea! I’m pretty nervous about it because I’ve never done anything like this before but if 81% indicated there is a ‘want’ for my idea, I figured that there is a need for a good product to help fill this void. I am going to be the person that fills this need. Excited by this realisation, I started writing up ideas on my white board (okay, well it’s a mirror…but it works the same way).

Right, next question… who is actually going to create this app? Well, it isn’t going to be me- I can’t even program my TV remote control (who the heck knows what all of those buttons do anyway?).

I’ll let you know how I get on with step in next week’s post.

Is there a real need for your app?

Getting Started Tips:

  • Look at other apps and understand why your app will be different. More importantly, understand why your idea will work and compare them to the apps already out there and why they are not working. This will form your ‘Unique Selling Point’.
  • Document , document, document.  Get all of the ideas, thoughts and notes you have in your head on to paper or a white board. Seeing my ideas written down helped me focus on the next step, like running a survey versus thinking about running a survey (which is what I was really doing).
  • There’s no need to spend money creating a whiz-bang survey. Use a simple (and free) survey provider such as Survey Monkey, SurveyTool or Kwik Surveys.
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