Because it’s so difficult to come up with new ideas in the crowded app market, it can be tempting to just run with a concept simply because it seems original. However, if the idea doesn’t have value or a viable market, it doesn’t matter how original it is. If nobody is willing to download it, it’s a bad idea.
Actually, the phrase ‘bad idea’ might be a bit of a misnomer. In fact, you might have a brilliant idea. The problem is, it just might not make a very good app. So, while your initial thought might be good, the thought of dumping money, time, and resources into turning that thought into a mobile app that won’t create a return on your investment is a bad idea.
However, it’s best to not let things get that far. So, here are a few ways you can identify a bad idea before you waste too much time and money on it:
Does your app offer value to your market?
This is a big one. Some app ideas are novel, original, or just plain neat, but they offer no value to the target audience. They might seem interesting enough for your target demo to take a peek at, but will have no lasting appeal if they don’t save your customers time, money, headaches, or just make their lives easier or more fun.
Is one of the corporate giants doing something similar?
How many people have tried to ‘make the next Facebook’ and failed miserably? Heck, even Google+ has failed to come close to Facebook’s astounding popularity, and that’s backed by one of the biggest companies on the planet.
Too many people dream up a David and Goliath situation where they see themselves inventing an an app that takes on a corporate monster like Apple or Samsung and coming out the victor. Unfortunately, the chances of that actually happening are probably less than one in a trillion.
If your app is similar to one that’s owned by a huge corporation, it has to do something significantly better, or one of the core features has to be significantly groundbreaking. If it’s not, the sheer, brute force of a major corporation’s marketing will squash your app before you can say ‘startup.’
If you’re midway through developing your app, and a big company gets there first, it’s best to pivot in a different direction, rather than trying to take them head-on.
Has it been done a million times?
So many people want to create a chat app. Yes, they’re very easy to create, but there are also an incredible amount of them out there. Even if your idea is ‘chat app with a twist,’ it’s going to get lost amongst the thousands of other chat apps that are already available.
It’s best to stay away from app ideas that have already been done to death, even if you have a clever twist on an old formula. It’s better to think of something completely new, so you don’t have to fight through a sea of competitors.
Is your target audience big enough, and are they mobile friendly?
Finding a niche audience is great, but if they’re too niche, you won’t have enough people interested in downloading your app. Even if your main target is pretty obscure, consider adding a few features that can give your app some broad appeal, just so you can expand your target market.
Also consider the market you’re targeting. How likely are they to make use of mobile technology? For instance, you might think of a great app for kids, but kids typically don’t have the authority to purchase apps without their parent’s permission. So, rather than targeting the kids themselves, consider targeting the parents and selling them on the benefits that your app will provide to their children.
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