You’ve had an idea. You’ve thought about it for a while. You looked at the other apps out there and what features they offer. You believe you have something different and that you can compete. All you need now is for someone to build your idea plus a few of the key features from your competitors…
Spot the problem?
Many potential clients that engage us with their idea for the first time express the grand scale of the vision they have for their app. Most introductions start with “similar to Uber/Facebook/Airbnb” which is great and while it is possible to build something like any of those platforms it obviously comes at a significant cost which is invariably out of reach for the entrepreneur or small business.
Consider the costs that these named platforms have spent on continuous development since their launches. The Facebook you see today is vastly different from the Facebook that launched. It is unrealistic to expect that you can reasonably build a product with comparative features in your first version when you have 0 users, R 0,00 in revenue and a product that is not yet tested in the real market.
We advise clients to focus on the core objective of your product and start there. Reduce risk by lowering cost and take your concept to market as soon as possible. Let real market feedback inform the shape of your product rather than the vision you have in you mind which is, potentially, very different from what the market actually wants. Of course, when clients insist on pursuing all the bells and whistles we quote accordingly but these very rarely get off the ground as the clients are left searching for hundreds of thousands or millions of Rand’s from investors who are naturally hesitant to throw money at a untested product, no matter how good the idea sounds or how persuasive the entrepreneur is.
Look at the first paragraph again, it was clear and good until you wanted to replicate some of your competitor features into your app. This is where it tends to get expensive. You see something like WhatsApp and assume that because it works beautifully and has been around for a while that to replicate it’s instant messaging features is easy enough to do, but you discount the cost of building it from the ground up. So, unless the core purpose of your app is to be an instant messaging platform, leave instant messaging between users out. This is always something that can be rolled out in subsequent versions of your app but instead of spending large portions of your money on this feature in the beginning rather spend that valuable resource on gaining users and getting traction and then using the revenue associated with that to fund the development of the instant messaging service within your app.
DreamWeave Digital has a specific positioning within the South African app development market, we focus on entrepreneurs, self funders and small to medium business. We love the potential in this market, we love the ideas, the creativity and the innovation. We know that in 99% of cases our clients are rolling the dice and taking a chance, we respect that and do absolutely everything we can to minimise risk and give our clients the best shot and realising the success that they envision. A big part of this is distilling concepts to their core functions and objectives and focusing on those.
We love the bells and whistles as much as you do, but not at the expense of getting in the game.
If you have an idea but are feeling unclear on what to take to market, or you feel like you are constantly losing ground to your competitors who continuously evolve then please, pick up the phone and give us a call.
For a little inspiration and to remind us that we all have to start somewhere, take a look at these:
Remember what Facebook used to look like?
Or that old helpful butler?
What about the world’s biggest bookstore?
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