AskPat 217 Episode Transcript
Pat: What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 217 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always, I'm here to help you by answering your online business, blogging, entrepreneurship, podcasting startup questions, five days a week.
And we have another great question today from Britney. But before we get to that, I want to thank the amazing people over at MusicRadioCreative.com. The amazing people who put the intro to this podcast together. They also do outros and jingles and any sort of thing you need audio for your podcast. So if you're looking to get a podcast and have it stand out of the crowd, you got to go with Isabella and Mike over at MusicRadioCreative.com. Two of the friendliest people I know online actually. And if you go to MusicRadioCreative.com/AskPat, you'll hear a testimonial from me and other shows that you might have heard intros on that they have done and you've just got to check them out. So if you have a podcast, check them out at MusicRadioCreative.com/AskPat.
Awesome, now let's get to today's question from Britney.
Britney: Hi Pat. My name is Britney Bolero. I was referred to you by John Lee Dumas to ask you this question. I am 23 years old. I'm a college student, and I'm working on my business major. And well, let's be honest, I'm broke as a joke and I have an idea for an app. Where do I start? How do I get this app running? I'm not a programmer, I don't know any programmers. So how can I start inventing this app that I have an idea for?
Pat: Britney, thank you so much for your question. Thank you to John Lee Dumas who I know is listening to this. He says he listens to this every single day while he's on his paddle board surfing the bays of San Diego. So John, what's up? Thanks for listening. And thanks for referring people to AskPat.
So, Britney, you have an app idea. Awesome. I think a lot of people can relate to that. Also, you might not have the necessary funds to get one of these apps up and running and I think a lot of people can relate to that as well.
So, can you make an app if you have an idea but you don't have the money for it? Yes, absolutely. A lot of people are doing this and there's a lot of great ways to go around doing this. Now there are ways to raise money, and I'm going to talk about that first.
There are a couple different ways that I know people have successfully raised money to then use that money to hire a developer on a site like Elance or Odesk or perhaps another developer that they might know.
So they might go about it in terms of a crowdfunding campaign, using something like Kickstarter or Indiegogo.com to help raise funds for your app. And that's a really cool idea because what that can do is it can validate the idea of your app. So before you even spend money to build it you can get reaction from an audience and if they seem to love it and they seem to back it and they pledge money and you have the funds, it's obvious people want it and that even before it's built you'll already have some people who are going to get it as soon as it's up.
It can also save you the time and hassle of building an app that might not do really well because what'll happen is, and what a lot of people do including myself is I'll have a great idea for an app, I'll pay to get it built, and then I'll put it out there and nobody knows it exists and then I have to spend either more money to market it or just trash it and go on to the next idea. And that happens quite often.
I mean we hear about these success stories of apps that have done really well making some thousands of dollars per day. Hundreds of thousands of downloads. But we don't hear about the people who build apps. And there are apps updated and put onto the iTunes app store every single day that we never hear about because they don't do really well or they get lost in the crowd. Or they just haven't validated their idea. And I'm sure we all know or have come across apps on the app store that just seem really silly and why would anyone think that? Well it's hard when you come up with these ideas yourself. You might think they are the best idea in the world and so validating that idea through a crowdfunding campaign is a really smart thing to do beyond the initial research you should do anyway to make sure that this is a great idea. And I would recommend talking about this idea with as many people as you can, Britney.
Now, you might worry that somebody else might steal your idea, but really that's not usually going to happen. And it's all about the execution of that idea. And this is you doing the research. You're in the mode of potentially escalating it so even though you might be talking about this with somebody else and somebody else might be like “Wow, that's actually a really great idea.” The likelihood that they're going to copy you or do as good of a job as you are on it is very unlikely.
So talk about it with people because you're going to get that immediate feedback that you're going to need to hear to take it to that level that it's going to succeed or just get that validation that it's actually not a good idea at all. Or it might turn into something completely different. Talk to your target audience. Talk to people about it and you're going to be able to shape it in the way it needs to be shaped.
Another thing I would recommend you do even before you start hiring and potentially getting people out there to pay for it as well is, before anything, even before the Kickstarter campaign, I would wireframe the entire app out.
So that app idea that you have in your head, it sounds good as a couple sentences. As a paragraph that you have in your head about what that app does. What it's supposed to do. But map it out. Draw it out button by button, screen by screen. You don't have to be an artist to do that. Just draw a little rectangle that represents the screen of your phone and then say, “Okay it looks like this. This is page one the people land on when they open the app. Then what happens? What buttons go where? What does it look like?”
You need that. Because that, again, will validate your idea because I've done that before. I've had great ideas. I've put them on paper, and wow they don't look as good anymore. Or there's a lot of holes that need to be filled and then that gets me thinking and then I either dump that idea or I go “wow, this is actually a great idea and it's even better now because I've written it out, I've wireframed it.”
And then once you have that wireframe, that sort of storyboard of what this app does you can then, when you hire somebody finally, just hand that to them. And it doesn't matter if they're overseas of if they're local, they're going to understand that wireframe because that's what it does. You don't have to explain it. And I've gone through many iterations in the past with developers where I just tell them even bullet points on emails what I want an app to do. Even bullet points on each individual screen. And what button does what. Without drawing it out. And there's always misinterpretations. So do yourself a favor. Draw out, wireframe that app, even before this. And you might even find that maybe it isn't a good idea. Or maybe it is and that fuels the fire even more to put yourself out there and then find a developer or get money for it.
Now there are other ways to be able to give life to this application. In terms of raising money you might be able to get angel investors. You might be able to prepare some sort of presentation or slide deck and propose it to a potential investor. And that doesn't have to necessarily mean angel investors. There's all types of investors out there. We talked about crowdfunding, which is great. But maybe you have friends, family, relatives, colleagues, friends, other employees that can help you with the funding and then, not unlike Kickstarter and Indiegogo, you would give them a share of the company or something else as a result of them helping you fund the growth and the building of this application. And you can go that route as well.
Now you can also hook up with a developer. And I know a lot of people who have done this. You can find a programmer. One who potentially likes the idea, make them sign a non-disclosure agreement just to make sure that they know you are serious about this app. And pitch them the idea of the fact that they create it for you. That they will share some of the profits with you. And if they truly believe in it they're going to put their effort into it and you're going to have a developer who's onboard, who's a team member, and who's going to stick with it, which I think is important.
If you hire somebody on Elance, they might build a great app for you but then there are updates. There are changes. There are bug fixes. You're going to have to pay for those additionally as well. If you have somebody onboard come in as a developer who is a part of your team, who has a share and equity in that particular company that you form or that app that you build—a stake in it—they're going to be more likely to be there for ongoing support. For all those updates. For everything that Apple or Android does to mess with developers in terms of making sure we are all up to date on everything and what is eventually ending up in the hands of our consumer. And that's another way to do it. And that way you won't even have to really exchange any money up front before that app is built.
You might even be able to do a combination of the Kickstarter campaign or the investments and hiring a developer who can have some stake in the company as well and might be able to get further ahead in that regard as well.
So, Britney, I hope that gives you some ideas. Validate that app. But before that, validate it for yourself. Wireframe it out. Write it all out. Get the . . . what it's going to look like and feel like on paper so that when you do create that Kickstarter campaign or you do share it with investors or you do share this app with a potential developer, they're going to understand what it's all about and be able to support you in the way that they can.
Britney, thank you so much for your question. I really appreciate it. An AskPat t-shirt is heading your way very soon. You'll get an email from my assistant about that in the upcoming week or two.
For those of you listening, if you have a question you'd like potentially featured here on the show, all you have to do is head on over to AskPat.com and you can ask right there on that page. You can just use any microphone that you have handy and use the widget that's right there on AskPat.com.
I also want to thank again MusicRadioCreative.com. I'm actually working with them right now on a big project that's coming up for 2015 so that's a little teaser for you guys out there. And if you know who Chris Ducker is, well he and I are doing something together next year and we are using the services of Music Radio Creative. And not only do they do podcast jingles and things like that but they also help with podcast editing as well. So check them out. Go to MusicRadioCreative.com/AskPat. You can check them out there.
And. as always, I like to end with a quote, and today's quote comes from Ingvar Kamprad, which is a name I probably butchered and I apologize. However, you might know this person as the founder of Ikea. He says, “The most dangerous poison is the feeling of achievement. The anecdote is to, every evening, think of what can be done better tomorrow.”
Cheers, take care, and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat.
For your podcast production needs, including intros and jingles, try Music Radio Creative.