Do you have a great idea for an app but want to test it first to get some validation before pouring your funds into it? Mobile app development isn’t cheap, so maybe you just want to check that your idea is viable first?
In other words, you want to know if you’re on the right track. Correct?
“We wanted to fail fast and often”
– Steve Blank, The Startup Owners Manual
Here’s a framework we recommend to new mobile app developers to help them validate their app ideas and launch quickly before someone else does.
The framework is broken down into 3 parts:
- Part 1 – Customer Discovery
- Part 2 – Customer Validation
- Part 3 – Customer Creation & Building
PART 1 – CUSTOMER DISCOVERY
Pro-Tip #1: Don’t be afraid to speak to people about your idea
Asking people is probably the quickest, and easiest way to see if you’re onto a really good idea. Stick to what you know. Many people start with a hobby, or even a field of work they’ve been involved in for many years.
Go to networking events. Local entrepreneurs live and breath ideas, and will normally be happy to give you advice, and lessons learned along the way.
Remember, other peoples ideas are just a starting point. They aren’t everything.
As Henry Ford said; “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box.
Pro-Tip #2: Check the App Store
The app store is an obvious place to get an idea of apps that really spark people’s interest. Think about the juggernauts of apps — clash of clans, candy crush saga, snapchat, tinder. Learn lessons from the best.
Use sensor tower to find popular keyword that people are searching for. The easiest way to build a business in mobile app development is to find a ‘need’ and then fill it. Identifying what people are searching for is a great way to find an unfilled need in the market.
Or if there’s an app that you think has some potential shortfall, don’t be afraid to exploit those weakness and create something that’s better.
PART 2 – CUSTOMER VALIDATION
Pro-Tip #3: Create a landing page
A landing page is a way to test the viability of your idea.
How many leads/clicks are you capturing on your page?
If you’re getting some interest, you might be onto something!
Likewise, a Facebook page may be used, with ‘Likes’ being the metric to measure whether there is demand for your product/service.
Don’t give up on your landing page too soon. It may not be seductive enough.
Try offering something for free as an incentive in return for an email.
For example, a career coach would offer a free resume evaluation. What is your call to action? Does your message resonate with your audience?
Your aim is to build user engagement and even anticipation for pre-launch.
Pro-Tip #4: Ad Campaign
An ad campaign is a really quick way to test your assumptions, and it doesn’t have to cost you an arm or a leg.
You can direct people to the landing page you created earlier.
In my experience, it’s best to pick 3-5 keywords or phrases and use them on your ads/landing pages.
Just keep testing until you find something that sparks your intended audiences interest!
For more instruction on how to do this, check out this blog.
PART 3 – CUSTOMER CREATION & BUILDING
Pro-Tip #5: Learn from the masters
Once you’ve done your research and validated your idea, place an emphasis on customer development.
Don’t fall into the trap of being solely product focused.
According to Steve Blank, most startups fail from a lack of customers and not from product development failure.
Watch the video on Customer Development by Steve Blank. It will give you an in depth understanding for validating your app idea and launching quickly.
RECAP: 5 steps to validate mobile app development ideas and launch quickly?
- Don’t be afraid to speak to people about your idea – maybe don’t tell them the whole story…
- Check the App Store.
- Use a landing page to see if you can rustle up some interest.
- Test your idea with an ad campaign.
- Learn from the masters – dig deeper.
Not sure if your app idea is CRASH HOT or TOTAL RUBBISH? Download our Idea Validation Cheatsheet below to see if your idea is actually viable!
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