You have probably heard that "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." The creation of a successful app also begins with a few steps, and these steps need to be carefully and intelligently taken. Every business that thrives or app that goes viral has to start from somewhere. The underlying idea could have come from anywhere but what matters most is how that idea is turned into reality.
There are some bad ideas that have turned into successful apps simply because of how they were managed from the beginning. Don't let your app project die a premature death. This article will detail the all-important steps in starting an app development project. A project that has all the necessary groundwork in place to help ensure the product is well received by its target audience.
Go beyond the business plan
There is no doubt in the merits of drafting a business plan. However, there is nothing stopping you from adopting a leaner method that achieves the objectives of a business plan without the rigorous work and extended time frame. Welcome to the Lean Canvas Method.
This method allows you to focus on the problems that your app intends to solve. Moreover, it gives you enough time to work on the main concepts of your idea without distracting you with a lot of secondary work. You need to stay focused on the task as much as possible without veering off the road.
Breaking down the Lean Canvas approach
The Lean Canvas approach allows you to correctly define the direction your app project will take. The next step is to break down the approach into two distinct but related segments. Market and product.
You need a market in order for your app to be a commercial success. It is crucial for you to validate your market during the early project stages in order to gauge its future success. There are methods you may use to do this.
- You can use Google's Keyword Planner Tool to have a feel of the search query related to your project. If there are many search queries related to your app, then you know that you are in the right direction.
- You can also use surveys to see if people are interested in your app. This will likely give you some insights that you may have overlooked.
- You can also check if there are other apps that you may be in competition with.
The next step is validating your product. Creating a product is one thing and creating a product that customers will actually pay for is another thing.
- You can validate your app by building a landing page. The sole purpose of the landing page is to get people to sign up for your newsletter or commit to pay if it in the future.
- You can also create an explainer video about your app.
- Lastly, you can start networking. This allows you to have a face-to-face talk with your potential customers.
Every app development project is unique and different. Each project has constraints and strong points. Fortunately, the process of app development has evolved over time and there is a now universal protocol you can follow in order to stand a higher chance of success.
In a nutshell, the process encapsulates design, development, coding, deployment and analysis. Following each of these steps correctly will at least guarantee you a correct and well-working product. This process is detailed in full in our e-book An Introduction to Developing an Online Startup.
The successful launch of your app translates into a new chapter of the feedback loop and iterative development. You must develop a flexible and trustworthy approach to interpreting the data that you may have collected from your app users. This data will help to scale, improve, and refine your product.