How to Validate Your App Idea Before You Start Developing

March 18, 2016 - 4 minutes read

how to validate an iPhone app idea

We get dozens of messages a day asking the same question: “will my app idea succeed?”

The answer is actually simpler to find than you might think, but there’s a catch: iPhone app development companies don’t know the answer. Sure, NYC mobile app developers can make an educated guess based on the successes and failures they’ve seen in the Apple App Store. We can even help you figure out if your business plan is scalable, or if the code required is technically feasible. But at the end of the day, The only way to validate your app idea is to ask your target users.

Luckily, getting in touch with your target audience is easier than you might think. Here are some tips you can follow to start validating your app idea for free:

1. Define the problem your app solves

Before your mobile app development team starts coding, make sure the problem your app solves can be summed up in one or two clear, simple sentences. Validating your app idea will require that you get on the phone with actual people — and those actual people won’t care about your app idea. They will, however, care about solving their problem. (And if an app developer can help them, all the better.)

2. Determine how to contact potential users

Where you find target users will vary depending on your service. Developing a FinTech app for bank employees? Get on LinkedIn and do a search. Targeting taxi drivers? Call a taxi company. Wherever you find them, you’ll need a list of at least 50–75 contacts.

3. Get them on the phone and ask questions

Depending on your crowd (particularly for tech companies/mobile app developers/startups), it’s often better to send an email first. Be honest about what you need, and above all don’t waste their time on small talk. Here’s a starting point:

Hi [name],

My company is doing research about [specific problem] in [target market]. Could we spend 10 minutes on the phone with you at [specific time and date] to ask some questions? We aren’t selling anything and would really value your opinion.

4. Figure out what’s wrong with the current solution

Once you’ve got them on the phone, try to tease out three things:

  1. Do they experience this problem regularly?
  2. What is the current solution, and what is painful about that solution?
  3. Is the problem important enough to pay for a solution?

5. Use the data to draft a feature set and business plan

After talking to a few dozen potential customers, you should have a pretty strong idea of whether or not anyone will pay for your app idea. Plus, you’ll have a wealth of data to share with your mobile app developers when you start building out the features and business plan. It doesn’t have to take long, once you have a road map.

And the best part? You didn’t pay a penny to get your answer. (Well, outside the coffee you drank powering through those phone calls.)

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