Putting your idea on paper

Dominick Wojtas

Maybe you finally found a solution to a widespread problem. Maybe you were inspired by something you saw on the street, or at work. Maybe you just had a moment of creativity in the shower. No matter what your idea is and how good it sounds in your head, it’s time to put it on paper.

So you have an idea for an app.

 

Maybe you finally found a solution to a widespread problem. Maybe you were inspired by something you saw on the street, or at work. Maybe you just had a moment of creativity in the shower. No matter what your idea is and how good it sounds in your head, it’s time to put it on paper. (Or use the Appreneur Academy template attached!)

 

The first step to becoming an appreneur is figuring out what your idea really is, which means taking it from “wouldn’t it be cool if…” to something more refined and developed. To start, ask yourself these questions:

 

  1. What problem does my app solve, and how?
  2. Why is my solution to this problem the best?
  3. Who is it for?

 

 

What problem does your app solve, and how does it solve it?

 

The first thing to do here is to define your problem. Easy. The problem is X…Y…Z. But do you really have a deep understanding of the problem? Why is it a problem? Why is it significant? Try to imagine different solutions to this problem and the challenges associated with each solution. This is a chance for you to outline the main features of your app, and you should try to do so within the scope of the problem your app solves. Once you put the problem into words, try to explain how your app solves it by writing down everything you want your app to do. Think of this as the “what” and “why” of your app.

 

Focus on the main features and force yourself to explain the purpose of each figure you want to include. Doing this provides you with a list of features that double as the main selling points of your app! Time for question 2.

 

Why is your solution the best one?

 

This question is related to the first one, and you have already laid the groundwork for explaining why your solution is the best, just by thinking about your problem and outlining your solution. What is wrong with the next best solutions that is not wrong with yours?

 

Often, a good monetization strategy is what separates good app solutions from great ones, and you should consider this an important part of the question. Will you be a freemium app, offer in-app purchases, display ads, be a paid app, or combine two or more of these options? Check out our article on [hyperlink monetization options] here for more information about how to choose a monetization strategy that works for your app.

 

Who is your app for?

 

Try using the following funnel to get a general idea of who makes up the market for your app.

 

Who is your app for?

 

An easy way to figure out who you should target before you have any customers is to start by identifying a big group and narrowing it down.

 

  1. Who deals with the problem that your app solves? These people are the start of your target market.
  2. Who deals with the problem your app solves and has a smartphone? Getting closer.
  3. Who deals with your problem, has a smartphone, and searches for solutions to their problems with their smartphone?
  4. That person is a potential customer and should be part of your high-level target market.

 

For example, if you have an iPhone app that solves the problem of boring commutes, you solve a problem for most people with commutes, but the segment of that group with the longest, most boring commutes will be your best bet. What sub-segment of that group has smartphones and will be tech-savvy enough to search for solutions in the app world? Urban commuters ages 28-50? That’s your target market. Now you can do some research to find out what type of phones they have and how they find the apps they use.

 

That will provide you some actionable intelligence and is a great next step discussed in more detail in our Market Research article. But for now, just focus on the people with the longest, most boring commutes, who might want apps to help them. You can get to the market research once you’ve finished outlining your idea!

 

Now that you have answered these questions, you have taken your first steps to becoming an appreneur. Your idea is taking the shape of an app and you can use that to help you perform market research and further hone your concept. In other words, you are ready to take the next step!