by Dan Ostler Mar 16, 2017

Whether you are motivated by solving a problem or simply making money - the formula for building a successful app does not change. A solid approach based on research, information and hard work go in to every success.

At Lightning Kite we have been lucky enough to have been the developers of wildly successful applications like TaxBot and few failures for some incredible ideas. So we have learned a thing or two about what it really takes to go from a “Big Idea” to a profitable app.

There are six key ingredients you need to include in your plan:

Marketplace Value
Powerful Features
Simple User Experience
Strong Foundation
Promotion
Ability to pivot when users show you the way

Marketplace Value
The hardest thing for anyone with a great ideas is to concede that it may not be a great idea to other people. You may have found a solution for a problem you have, but what if the problem is you, and not other people? These are tough questions. We don’t mean to be naysayers or pessimists, but you deserve to know now if the idea has any real marketplace value.

Here is the deal. When you do your research you are going to discover one of two things. Your idea has value or it does not. If it does not have value, you know right out of the gates before you pour a ton of money, time, and sleepless nights into it. If it does have value, the hard data that tells you so will keep you going through those tough times and sleepless nights when you might be ready to call it quits.

Powerful Features
The idea is not alone. How your idea operates and interacts as technology is where the hard work starts. This is the planning phase of your project. This phase of the project requires attention to every detail. You need to know every screen the users will see, how it impacts them, what it does, why the features do what they do, how they do it and why it is important to the user. Not only that, but nowadays, these features need to have benefits so strong that users instantly understand why they exist.

Simple User Experience
If the app is complicated it will not get used. Unlike the early days of technology where people would invest a day into learning a program, users today expect to power up a device, load the program and have it intuitively operate or press a few buttons and know how it works. Users do now want to spend hours learning how to use an app.

The user experience will be defined in logic flow, design, process mapping.

Strong Foundation
Now that you have the entire project mapped out, designed, and every detail intricately defined, it’s time to build it.

Programming is a lot like building with tangible materials. There is high quality programming and low quality programming. The quality comes from two functions: the code itself, and those writing the code. It’s no different than building your home. You don’t want cheap materials or someone who does’t know how to build a home using best practices. For your app, you need a builder who understands the complexity of using many forms of programming, how they interact, which is best to use under a given circumstance, and use them in way that they all maintain their unique strengths, making up for the weaknesses of other programming languages. An engineer with an eye to the future and an explosion of interest in your fledgling app is also important. Ensuring you have a way forward when demand increases and you have to scale up.

Having a solid team of programmers who can work together, troubleshoot, brainstorm and synergize great ideas with each other is a critical aspect in the success of your idea.

Promotion
If all your money goes into development and you are broke at the end, with no way to tell the world, how will the world ever know it’s available? They won’t. You need to have a solid promotion plan that will get your new brain child in the digital hands of users world wide.

It’s ok if it takes a few years or more. Not every piece of technology is judged by how quick it goes viral is snatched up as unicorn by other unicorns.

They key here is you have a plan and a way to execute the plan - no matter how big or small.

Ability to Pivot
Let's face it, our ideas always seem great to us, the architect of the idea. But the diversity we have as individual human beings almost always reveals our users might want something more or different from our app. Seeking feedback and listening to core users and then reacting logically to their input is key. No one ever hits the mark without a little practice. Apps and ideas generally need a little refinement from time to time to. Expect it.

Conclusion
So, are you still onboard? We hope so. Most great ideas are worth pursuing. If you want to know for sure though, one place to get started is with our own great app. We’ve built a tool that you can use to determine whether or not you have yourself something worth pursuing. Click here to get started.