So you think you have a unique idea for an app and want to find ways to bring it to market. Of course, there are a few apparent hurdles to jump first, but there could be some others that you may not be thinking about at all. As you develop your app idea, it should fill a need in the marketplace or improve on ones that are already working. That said, nobody could predict the popularity of an app like Zoom when it was first released, but that, of course, was during normal times.
And nothing about today is normal. To be sure, life has been disrupted in ways, but it’s not all negative unless you look at it in the wrong light. School, work, social, and other activities have all been moved online in some fashion and for some time. But these actions didn’t occur in a vacuum. Rather, they began to accelerate from foundations of remote tools and online activities once the pandemic occurred, but they were far from spontaneous.
The Unicorn That Is Zoom
Zoom, for example, was launched in 2011 and the software first became usable in 2013. Compare its usage in the initial stage with the ubiquitous use since 2020, and it’s flabbergasting how much the usage increased. The ease and convenience of the software across all platforms is what drove the popularity of the tool. It serves as a good reminder that some apps serve to be excellent solutions to common issues.
How To Attract Investors
While you’re in the early stages of your app development, considering ways to get an infusion of capital to grow, market, and produce your product is one of the more critical next steps.
- Have a developed idea. The most important thing for investors is having confidence in their investment opportunities. Having a defined product idea that you can pitch, show in detail, and prove to be workable goes a long way toward generating that sense of confidence.
- Find profitability “cracks” already in the market. Zoom was a product that already existed in the market with FaceTime and Microsoft Teams. What Zoom did was offer a tier-service product that had free service for small numbers less than 45 minutes and had a paid version for unlimited participants and time. The cross-platform ease was a feature that separated competitors and made it desirable.
- Be flexible. Testing and iterating based on data is a surefire way to make your app idea better received and thus more saleable.
For those that jumped on the early beta versions of Zoom and helped shore up capital along the way understood the potential of the app, perhaps not to the volume of usage that it recently has grown to become, but definitely could see the value it brought to users and to the market.
What About Other Industries?
That said, not every app is something that will bring value to the market in the mind of investors. An example of that may be adult entertainment apps or sportsbook apps for people that like to play professional games. The developers need to provide remote, accessible ways to play and make college football betting easier for people who enjoy those things.
For investors, the app doesn’t serve specific needs or fill holes in the market, making any return on the investment unclear. And what investors prefer is clear opportunities for an ROI to the capital they provide. Zoom is a good reminder that investors want an app to be developed that can be easy to use, accessible across multiple platforms, and fill a need in the market that other apps don’t provide.
As you flesh out your app idea, funding should be later in developing your idea. Investors of all stripes – such as professional venture capitalists, friends and family, bank loans (for business development), and more – will all want to see a clear plan to move the app from idea to development to profitability. Of course, each class of capital infusion for your app development will have different interests, stakes, and demands for their funding.
Working Toward Profitability
But to reiterate, they all have one clear demand in common: the need to see a path toward profitability for them to consider some financing for your project. Developing your app idea for sale is a complicated process that includes generating an idea, finding funding, iterating the concept through testing, and releasing it for sale. In other words, it takes a process that is more than just simply an idea to bring to market.
It’s a long haul, as proven by the remarkable story of Zoom. Of course, a pandemic requiring remote work, school, and gatherings didn’t hurt Zoom, but the trajectory of the tool was already skyrocketing. Ultimately, the way to market your app idea is to have a detailed plan for how you fill a need in the market and a strategy to monetize it. One of the ways to do this is to find funding to infuse needed money into your business, regardless of size.
Founder Dinis Guarda
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