So you have a brilliant mobile app startup idea you can’t wait to build. But whether you actually should depends on whether you can validate your idea.
What do we mean by that? Basically, it’s whether your intended audience needs your app – and will pay to use it. If they won’t, your app won’t make it far. (Assuming you’re not creating an art piece or a passion project.)
Validating your mobile app startup idea helps you confirm that:
- you’re meeting a need
- in the right way
- for the right people
- and that they’ll pay for it.
Here’s what to do.
Know your market
Have an idea for pairing people who need rides with a driver? Or a site for finding and reviewing restaurants? Both great ideas, but there are major players who already have those niches sewn up. If your idea does things a bit differently, you’re in with a chance, but remember that you’re asking users to switch from a known quantity to an unknown.
Start your journey by doing your research and knowing what’s out there – and what’s not.
Survey your target audience
You may love your idea, but you need to confirm that others will as well. How many people in your target audience would use your app, and how much are they willing to pay for it? It’s also worth asking what kind of solutions they’re currently using. Your competitors aren’t just other mobile apps – good old pen and paper may be the preferred solution for your problem.
Pitch your target audience with your idea and see how they respond. You can do this in person, on Twitter or via Google surveys.
Figure out your financials
Now that you have a basic idea of what people are willing to pay for your product, it’s time to crunch some numbers. Estimate your development, support and marketing costs along with any overheads. How many users will you need to break even or make a profit, and what will you require them to pay? (Use competitor apps to help guide your pricing.)
Building a mobile app startup audience can take time. What’s your monetization approach in the meantime, and how will you sustain your business? If you have VC funding in mind, do some research into what’s getting funded.
Build your MVP
A minimum viable product (MVP) is the “test” version of your product. It provides you with feedback on your basic idea so that you can smartly direct your resources. It’s the next step up from your audience survey.
Get your MVP in front of people to see how they use your product. This will probably be where most of your learning will come in – you’ll see how people use (or don’t use) your product, and what you need to do to bring it to the market in its “full” form.
Have a mobile app startup idea but need some help validating it? Get in touch!