Finding a great app idea is hard, especially when there are so many apps out there.
In this article, I'll dive in on how I find my app ideas - so you can decide on which next app you are going to make! Let's get going 💡
First Things First 🥇
Before we dive into my methods of finding ideas, let's set two things straight.
Most ideas already exist
And that's fine. I like to think of it like music.
Many artists (most of them actually, myself included) write songs that are inspired, remind of or sound similar to others - and yet they are successful and sound great.
Every artist, like every developer, has their own unique style signature that makes others fall in love with his creations. That's why you shouldn't drop an idea just because someone else already made something similar.
Moreover, if you keep thinking of something that's never been created before - most likely you'll end up creating nothing at all!
No Idea Is Stupid
If you feel that your idea can benefit, but truly benefit - even one person; you are on to something.
Our mind constantly plays games with us. One minute you are on a high thinking you have the best idea ever, the next you find the reasons why it's not worth the time and decide to drop it.
Don't be me before I started taking actions, take actions.
How To Find Good Ideas 🤔
Here are my, by far - most used methods of finding out my next app ideas. I'm sure there are many more methods but this will get you started.
Method #1: You can't find the right app for your needs
If you find yourself doing an activity that requires a good application, but you just can't find any application that suits your needs, or does exactly what you want - you probably have a good case of creating your own!
That's a classic one for me. Let's take my app Ptakim (Charades Game) as an example.
I used to play the official game, but the big issue was that it is only in English - and as Israelis, we were unrelated/unfamiliar with many of the words that appeared. Every time we played it I thought to myself "Why isn't there a good version in Hebrew?" - so that's exactly what I did.
Today, a year after the first release - Ptakim has more than 1.5k monthly users.
Method #2: You hear unrelated people complain on the same thing
That's similar to the first point. If you hear people complain about specific problems that somehow have no solution - that's your cue!
You can probably leverage that and create a solution for them.
A good example is my Sudoku app. I simply heard people complain about how all Sudoku apps have tons of ads - and solved that issue for them! The app gained 100+ downloads in it's first 3 days in the store.
Method #3: Target a niche
Loyal customers can many times be found in niche groups that big companies simply don't care about. Create a good solution for their case - and they'll be your most loyal users!
An example would be my Martial Arts Timer. I use interval timers a lot when I train - but all of them either don't look great, have ads or not tailored to my needs. Now everyone in my gym use it 😅
Method #4: Experimenting
Sometimes you just want to experience with a new technology that you never tried before - do it! It doesn't matter if there are 100s of other apps that do exactly the same. Matter of fact, you don't even have to release it to the public.
I like to publish my projects to the app stores, but you can keep in mind that it might not be the case for you - and you can make an app just to archive it when you are done.
Things to remember ☝️
You probably thought of your next app while reading this post, so here are some things to remember when you get into it. There are many more of these - but I cannot cramp them all in one post.
Make sure that you put hard limits on how big your project is going to be.
For after-hours projects, I like to keep things as low maintenance as possible - without large code-bases or expensive databases. This approach will be beneficial down the road when you don't want to maintain some projects anymore.
For more startup-like projects, I'd invest more - but that's a topic for another time.
It doesn't have to be perfect
Your app doesn't have to be perfect from the get-go, at all.
You can release a very minimal solution just to see how users react to it and build from there. That's the whole point of versioning.
If users find your app useful, you'll be surprised how forgiving they are about small bugs and inconveniences.
One of the most important things to make sure when you release an app, is to have analytics from the get-go. Analytics are very easy to implement, and give you the knowledge about your users and their actions.
I usually use Firebase, but you can use any other service you like.
I suggest to send analytics on most of the actions that users can do, the more the merrier. From button clicks, special if-else clauses and all the way to how Manny ads they saw
This is the tricky part. Getting users is a hard work and is a topic for another blog post - but basically, if you target a specific enough niche or tackle a specific enough problem, users will come and tell their friends about your application.
You can of course go down the route of ads, but usually I find it not very helpful in such a small scale. And it's expensive.
Remember, there is no right or wrong way to create. In this article I presented my methods of figuring out ideas - but I'm sure there are countless others.
The most important thing is persistence, which leads to experience.
Persistence is key. Experience is king.
Thanks for reading!
You're more then welcome to reach out to me via email@example.com 🙂