by Greg Fisher
Creating a mobile app and selling it through Google Play or iTunes is undoubtedly one of the best ways to make money online and has incredibly low barriers to entry with a disproportionately large potential pay-off.
The best thing about selling apps is that there is such a huge market for them, and such a fantastic infrastructure built around them. Your route to market is simple, you don’t need to worry about distribution, and there are no overheads. You hardly even need to market an app if you come up with something great – once it’s in the online stores users will find it on their own and then you’re going to start seeing results.
But in order to make a killing in the app market you need two things: a great idea, and the ability to make that idea a reality and actually build your app. This article will help you with both those points.
Coming Up With Your Idea
The idea is the most crucial element of your app that will dictate whether you sink or swim. As long as you come up with something unique and exciting that’s easy to explain and that people want – you will find that your app is a success.
Waiting for lightning to strike can be a lengthy process though, so to get those creative juices it helps to immerse yourself in the industry and in technology. One highly effective strategy for instance, is to spend some time looking around the app store at other apps for inspiration. Go and take a look at some of the top picks in your app store of choice and then ask yourself what it is they do, and how you could provide the same thing better or differently. Could you add more features? Or could you serve the same purpose in a more elegant way?
Further to this, try imagining what your dream computer or dream phone would be like. Would the homescreen be a computer game? Or would it have some kind of new drawing application that would allow you to be more creative?
Sometimes the things you want won’t be possible to accomplish – but that’s then when you think outside the box a little and come up with a compromise. Imagine the perfect app that everyone wants, then ask yourself what the closest thing you can create is. For instance, a high tech concept that would certainly be a 3D or holographic web browser, but unfortunately that’s nigh on impossible. Instead then, could you create a browser with a parallax effect like the iOS7 backgrounds? Think of the impossible, then roll it back one step and a potential solution will present itself.
Got an Idea for an App, Now What?
Now you have your idea, how do you go about creating it? Well by far the best option is to learn to program. This might be where I lose a lot of you, but if you can overcome any initial apprehension, you’ll find that this gives you by far the most flexibility and control while also being an incredibly powerful skill. Look into your options for the platform you want to develop for and then see what the easiest programming language is for beginners. For Android for instance, the programming environment ‘Basic4Android’ can make the whole process much simpler to pick up.
If you can build websites meanwhile, then you can use just one line of code to create a ‘webview’ in your app that contains your HTML and image files. Of course this will lack functionality, but if you just want to present information/videos then this is an easy way to go ahead. Finally, you can of course outsource the process – but make sure you trust the person you are working with and that you are a getting a good deal.
Greg Fisher is the founder and CEO of Berkeley Sourcing Group which provides turnkey manufacturing services designed for small businesses in a socially responsible and reliable way. He enjoys hiking and trekking in his leisure time.