I have an idea for an App: 7 ways to know if it’s any good

The fire has been ignited.

From somewhere deep inside, an app idea has crept to the surface. Now you just can’t get it out of your head. Welcome to the wild world of app development! We’re all familiar with the apps that live on our mobile devices, but very few people truly understand the elaborate process of building an app.

It’s a good thing you’re reading this because the first step is to determine whether or not your idea is any good.

I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but most app ideas simply don’t cut the mustard. Five or six years ago, you could have come onto the scene and the chances of your idea being revolutionary were sky high.

Today, the market is continually flooded with exciting new apps, most of which will still not succeed. That’s why we’re here today.

You see, I want you to succeed. I want your app to be the next big thing, my whole team does. It is our business, after all.

So I’m about to give you the skinny on how to determine whether or not your app idea is truly great, and if it isn’t, how to improve your concept and dramatically boost your chances of success.

You’ll learn to:

  • Define a viable market
  • Analyze the competition
  • Refine your app idea
  • And so much more


It’s about to get really good.

#1 – How does your app idea improve people’s lives?

The most important thing to ask yourself during this stage is, “ How does my app idea improve people’s lives?”

If your app doesn’t create a positive impact in people’s lives, you can stop now. I don’t mean to be blunt, but if your app isn’t one that will be used regularly, it will be deleted and forgotten in a blink of an eye.

Your app needs to be one that makes the accomplishment of a task easier, whatever that task may be. If you can get people using your app on a regular basis and develop a loyal user base, you’re in the money.

It doesn’t matter how you plan to monetize; you need people to use your app first. Everything you do should be focused on creating a superb user experience that keeps people coming back time and time again.

#2 – Does a viable market exist?

“I have an idea for an app” is something we hear all the time.

However, most people don’t take the time to validate their idea before approaching a development team. It’s important that you do some legwork to vet your concept before you approach a developer, or you may find yourself wasting time revamping and renewing it, which can cost you a LOT of money.

Let’s take a look at a few ways to make sure a market exists for your app idea. If a market doesn’t exist, do you have the resources to promote your app enough to create one?

Remember that apps like Uber raised over 1.5 million dollars just to get their version 1 product off the ground, not to mention the promotion of a game changer that people had never before encountered.

#3 – Are there similar apps succeeding in the space?

One of the best ways to determine whether or not a market exists for your app idea is to take a look at what is currently on the market. Are there lots of apps doing what you want to be doing? If so, are they being downloaded in the thousands? Hundreds of thousands? Millions?

To be successful, you have to be able to find a market with potential. That means filling a gap where there is a need, or outdoing the competition.

If you discover a gap where nothing is really filling a need, go after it. If you need to improve on what’s already being done (which is more likely), ask yourself the questions listed below (#4 – #6).

#4 – Can you find weak points in competitive app ideas?

Most people come up with an idea for an app that, in some ways, already exists. There are very few truly original app ideas entering the market these days.

That doesn’t mean your app idea can’t be groundbreaking. You just need to repackage an outdated concept and deliver a new and improved version.

Look closely at the competition and spend some time using their apps. Detail all of the points of frustration and anything that you feel could be improved. Look at each of their reviews and identify themes in the complaints people are leaving.

Use those to better understand what people want in this particular type of app, but don’t stop there. Look at all of the positive feedback too. It’s important to determine what people love about the apps.

If you can create an app that includes all of the positive and none of the negative aspects of your competitors, you’ll be able to leverage your way into the most valuable real estate in our environment: a phone’s home page.

#5 – Can you find a way to improve on those weak points?

This all sounds pretty straightforward, right.

Well, hold on just a moment. Just because you can come up with the problems doesn’t mean you’ll be able to solve them. You may need to think long and hard about ways to improve on the concepts of your competitors.

If you can come up with an idea for an app that does better, great. If not, you should add these notes to your strategy document that you’ll use when you begin to discuss your app idea with a development team.

That way you don’t just call them and say, “I have an idea for an app, let’s get started.” Instead, you can send them everything you’ve compiled beforehand and give them a better understanding of the work you’ve put in to validate your concept and help them to see the bigger picture. (More on that in a moment.)

#6 – Can you best them in the COOL factor?

There are certain apps, especially the simpler ones, that are difficult to improve on (or at least to make a dramatic improvement).

That said, some of these simpler apps are pretty basic, straightforward, and kind of boring, if I do say so myself. What would it take to make them fun, trendy, catchy, and cool?

Maybe you could get away with the exact same functionality if you invested in an amazing user-friendly design and layout that was far more appealing. If your app idea is in a “less than sexy” category, maybe you can find a way to make it make it more mainstream.

If you’re an expert in social trends, this may be your edge.

#7 – Can you come up with an idea for an app that revolutionizes a task?

Most people who say, “I have an idea for an app,” really have an idea for a way to improve an existing app. However, if you have an app idea that completely revolutionizes the way someone gets something done, you may have a truly unique concept.

NOTE: In these rare cases, it’s important that you sign a non-disclosure agreement with anyone you’re considering working with for the development of your idea for an app.

The apps I’m talking about are those that truly change the way we accomplish a task. It sounds like a daunting proposition, but the truth is that a little creativity can go a long way. There are now apps that allow us to consume an entire book in 20 minutes, or be in constant communication with a psychotherapist without ever leaving our home.

My point is that technology is changing the way we take on our day-to-day lives and with each passing moment, another app startup is launching something groundbreaking. If at all possible, follow their lead.

And lastly…

Bonus – Can you dedicate yourself to refining and optimizing your app idea? Wrapping Up…

This question may sound a little condescending, but far too many people enter the space because they see launching an app startup as a get-rich-quick scheme. The truth is that it is a massive undertaking, just like any other startup business.

You’ll need to do a lot of work before you get anywhere near the development process. Thorough research will allow you to move forward with you development plans knowing that you’ve had the best chance for success.

So get to it, I want to see you succeed!

Looking for more ways to make sure you’re headed for success? Check out this recent app idea post.