Ivan Chong

02nd Feb 2018, 8:45 am in Digital Strategy

How to Come Up with Creative and Potentially Profitable Mobile App Ideas.

Coming up with ideas for a potentially profitable mobile app doesn’t require you to have any technical wizardry or a degree in computer sciences. All it requires is that you can think. You need to be able to work out who your target audience is, what they want and/or need, and how you can bring that to them using mobile technology. You need to come up with something that people are going to want to use and want to buy.  A great example of that is an app called Summly. This is a mobile app that takes a block of text and produces a summary of it; it was developed and created by a teenager and it has now been sold on Yahoo! for the princely sum of $30 million USD.

If you wanted to create a mobile app, you need to be able to do is pluck ideas out of nowhere and you need to tie that in with the current state of the mobile market, what you think people need and what apps are already on the market. The following are some of the top tips for helping you to come up with some truly creative ideas that could potentially be turned into profit:

1. Problem-Solving

The very best apps, the ones that really sell, are the ones that solve a problem and make things easier for people like Summly does. An idea would be something like a Notepad app, one that gives you the means to make lists, to remind you of important dates, events, etc. To be fair there are plenty of this type of app, but you get the idea.

Sit down and think about what would make your life easier, things you stumble over regularly and say, “I wish there was an app for that!” Now think about the type of app that could solve that problem. For example, you keep losing your keys or misplacing your wallet. A small device called Tile has been developed that attaches to whatever you keep losing and can be tracked using an app on your smartphone. Hey presto, you never lose it again.

Think of a way that a problem can be solved with an app and you are halfway there.

2. Jazz Up Something that is Boring

The first that springs to mind is diet and fitness, calorie counting. These have to be some of the most tedious things on earth to keep track of. Devices like Pebble or Gear Fit, wearable devices that connect to a smartphone app, make these things just that little bit more fun to do. Walking becomes an activity that has a real purpose and tracking progress is made so much easier.

That’s just one idea; apply that principle to all sort of boring things and somewhere along the line you will hit on something that can be made more fun with an app.

3. Simple Games = Simple Fun

Games are fun and, for many people, the simpler they are, the better because they are an easy way to pass a boring train journey or a wait at the doctor’s office. Most times, these simple games are cheap as well, making it more likely that people will pay for them.

The idea here is to come up with something fun, that people want to keep on playing. This is important; if your audience gets bored of the game, they won’t play it anymore and they won’t recommend it to anyone else. Remember reviews are cash to you – the better they are, the more likely you are to get more customers.

Think of a game that you can scale up in difficulty, the further a player goes or come up with ways that a player can be rewarded as they play, ways that will keep them wanting to play and keep on progressing. Make the game something exciting and sustainable.

4. Think of Ways to Save Time

One of the easiest ways to attract attention is to come up with an app that saves people time. Everyone wants to save time, make a mundane task faster and easier, so they have more time to themselves. Think back to two apps we already mentioned – Summly and Tile. The first saves you time in having to read loads of text by summarizing it for you and the second saves you time in having to hunt down your keys or wallet. The fact that both save time no doubt contributed to their success.

Start jotting down ideas, things that take up time in your day that you wish would be quicker and then start thinking about how an app could help.

5. Pep Up an App That Already Exists

It might seem a bit like cheating to take an idea from an existing app, but so long as you don’t actually copy it, there is nothing wrong with making improvements to a concept that already exists.

First, think about an idea for an app and then look through the iOS or Google app stores to see what’s there on that line.  There isn’t much sense in spending hours trying to think of an idea if it’s already there!

You could also think about an app that you use now, one that you think could be improved somehow. Think about how you could make it better, perhaps making the interface more user-friendly, adding in extra features, etc. Now you have an idea that you know works and you just made it better.

6. Know What is NOT a Great Idea

Sometimes, when it comes to a great app idea, it isn’t always about finding the right thing; sometimes, it’s about understanding the wrong things. For example, you need to ensure that your idea is realistic, and the scope fits in with how the technology the app is going on works. Think hard about what happens in the background, how the app works and what will be needed to create that.

Never set goals that are too high; go for a more down-to-earth approach, something original rather than something complicated and too far above your abilities.

Take your time, sit down, brainstorm, write down ideas and then take it from there.