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Mobile App Development

Create an app: get off to a flying start in 4 steps

Before you read on, stop! Creating an app may seem like a big hurdle now, but it’s not. If you compare making an app with climbing a mountain, reaching the top is far away. But if you start taking that first step, you will get there. Maybe you should rest on the way, have a drink or even spend the night; it goes in small steps. But … once you reach that top, you have such a beautiful view that you have already forgotten the outward journey!

So just like climbing a mountain, developing an app starts with small steps and intermediate milestones. With the steps below you will climb to a successful app.

1. Keep your motivation

It is important that you stay focused on your app. You will have to invest money and time and it will not always be easy. But in the end your app idea will be a success! The important thing is that you persevere. How do you keep your motivation high? Write for yourself why you started this app project. What do you want to achieve? What is your target? Who do you want to help? By reflecting on your ideals in the meantime, you will find motivation to continue, even if things go wrong. In addition, share your idea with friends and colleagues; they will help you improve your idea. Don’t be afraid that people will steal your idea, it hardly ever happens. 

2. Determine the market feasibility

Fun, such app idea but it has an after developing app developer will be well used. And how do you know if people are going to use your app? Right! Because the app is valuable to them! We know from research and practice that the most useful apps are becoming popular!

Whether your app will be a success can therefore only be determined in one way: by talking to your target group in advance. They are the only ones who can indicate whether they see value in your idea. 

You sometimes hear the comment “But people don’t know what they need or like.” And that’s right… if you do research the wrong way. For example, the question “would you use this app?” is answered yes by many people, regardless of the idea or the app. Therefore, ask your target group about their current behavior, what problems this causes and how much they have left to solve that problem. Because how do you make an app successful without knowing whether your app solves a problem for your user? A prototype is an ideal way to support this research. You don’t even need an app developer for that.

3. Make a prototype

An idea for an app only really comes to life when you have the app fixed and can touch it. Then people will see and experience what your app can do. You build a clickable prototype for about 10% of the price of an app. With this you test with the target group, make your friends enthusiastic and convince financiers and colleagues. You can find more about prototypes in this article about Making money with apps, which is the same whether you are going to make an iPhone or Android app.

4. Talk to an investor or your boss

Fact: building an app is expensive. The prices vary between $2,500 and above $100,000. On average, having a custom app made costs $19,000. 

Do you make an app that fits in well with the company where you work, or the industry you work in? Then go to your boss or any connections you have to provide financial support. 

If you make an app for yourself, a boss who invests is of course not an option. It is very wise to look around for successful companies, organizations or parties that can benefit from your app idea. Can you think of some parties that way? 

It is important to convince these parties of the value of your app idea. This is possible with a strong business case, for example. Or because the app matches their strategy. So get them in time and convince them with an app prototype.

Create a comprehensive roadmap for an app

With the above 4 steps you can get off to a flying start with your app idea. In addition, these are also globally 4 major steps in the app development process. Do you want a more extensive version of ‘The roadmap for apps’? 

I have made the step-by-step plan so that you can see exactly all the steps associated with making an app. Below you will have direct access to the step- by- step plan by entering your email address. You will immediately receive an email with access to the step-by-step plan.

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Mobile App Development

6 reasons why you don’t have to worry about your idea being stolen

I have heard it countless times: “I’m afraid my idea will be stolen!”. To relieve you of this concern, I will tell you 6 reasons why you don’t have to worry about your idea being stolen

1. Why you don’t have to worry about your idea being stolen

It makes a lot of sense that you’re afraid someone will run off with your idea. Of course you have a super good app idea; everyone wants to make money with that. It is quite normal to think this, but here I am going to put your mind at ease. People are not easily convinced of the success of someone else’s idea. An app development costs thousands of euros. Investing a capital in an idea that has not been worked out, or has not been invented by itself, does not occur.

If you continue with your idea, it is useful to look for financing. You will then have to write a good business plan and, for example, have a prototype to convince investors. An app idea without elaboration, prototype, technology or design is therefore negligible. Only when you put value into an idea yourself can it only be valuable. How to put value in your app? 

2. Why you shouldn’t be afraid that someone has the same idea

It is not entirely inconceivable that someone else has a similar app idea. You may have even seen an app in the store that comes close to your app idea.  If your app idea fulfills a need for a certain group, then you have more certainty that your idea is more successful than other ideas. And that applies not only to difference in target group, but also to difference in concept, user-friendliness, appearance, geography or technology. If other app creators had been discouraged by others, Tinder, WhatsApp, and Snapchat would never have been there. The makers would have seen other Dating or Messenger apps and had their idea cut. So don’t look around you too much but at yourself and your passion for your app idea! I also ended up buying Bolognese chips because I like them the best :).  

3. What cannot protect your app idea and why this is not a problem

A new chemical formula, a tangible product or a machine part can be protected. But an app idea is not unique enough. This not only applies to you, but also to the (nonexistent) thief. This is also not possible with your idea, until he puts time, creativity or work of his own into it. At that time, the same idea can become something completely different. Sorry, there is no real total protection. At the bottom of this article you can read how you can still protect your idea. 

4. Speed ​​is certainty

Okay, so there is no thick legal protection. Where can you take advantage? In your determination and speed with which you get started with your app. As you can read above, the value is in the implementation of your idea. So spend more time implementing your idea than negative attention to others. The further you develop your idea, conduct market research, create an identity and corporate identity or even make a prototype, the stronger your idea becomes. And this is value that you can protect!

5. What you can protect from your app idea

If you develop your idea further, you will arrive at concrete content that can be protected. Namely the house style and source code of your app. If you have developed the identity of your app, including certain colors, fonts and a logo, you can record this. The same applies to the code of your app. You will have to make certain agreements with the developer about this, often they are the owner of the code. This is useful for the developer because they can reuse part of the code (and therefore work faster on subsequent projects). However, you can record that the code may not be used for the apps of competitors. This is a clear example of putting value into your app and that is protectable. So go like a rocket and provide that extra value.

6. Sharing is caring

Sharing rewarded! You are a bit suspicious at the beginning of sharing your idea, which is understandable and I have heard it before. But what else have I heard from successful app entrepreneurs? The great confident feeling entrepreneurs have got after their idea was received with great enthusiasm! In every success story, there is a stage where the app idea is told to an investor, expert, friend or family member. Each time sharing has provided motivation, enthusiasm, insight, tips or even an investment. 

All options for app protection under each other

After reading this article, you know what you can and cannot protect from your app idea. You now also know how important it is to share and add value to your idea. Still, you might want an overview of exactly which legal options you have.

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Mobile App Development

Developing an app: 5 tips for a successful app

Developing an app is not easy. With these tips we give you tools to make app development successful. This prevents your idea from becoming a zombie app, like 83% of all apps, which has fewer than 1000 downloads.

1. Develop an app based on strategy

The most important tip I give is: start with the end in mind. Many apps are created because there is an app to come, with no clear purpose. Such an “app for the got” often delivers nothing more than a nice story during a drink. Nice to tell, but it will be a big blunder when people find out that nobody is using your app. And that while a good app based on your idea shows your success! For example if you make a lot of money with it, but especially if it is a popular app! That popularity does not come automatically. No, every existing successful app has a strategy! (Tip: The main strategy that these apps follow is that they solve a big problem for users!) So don’t start working with your app like a head over heels, but make a strategy beforehand. Can’t do that on your own? Let yourself be supported by an expert in creating your app.

“This user audience determines the ultimate success of your app.”

2. Conduct market research

With your app you want to reach as many people as possible. He must become popular. That does not start with from 0 to 1 million users in one day. You grow there! That’s why you start by reaching out to a certain group of people. This first user audience determines ultimate app success. 

It is therefore important to approach this target group during the app development process. Through surveys, interviews, already available market knowledge or other research methods you will find out what users find important. Use that to determine the strategy for your app.

The same applies when developing an app for employees: you must also involve them in app development, because the better they are able to use the app, the better your app will achieve its goal.

3. Make a recipe for your app

In a document you combine your idea and market research into an “app recipe”. It states which functions or elements your users want in your app. Before you start having your app made by an app developer, you make this concept.

You then know what you want and as soon as you start looking for an app maker, you show him this app concept. (You don’t have to worry about your idea being stolen for this reason). 

It is then much easier to compare the offers and proposals they provide. Big advantage: you get a competitive price! And, when the app development starts, you keep control over what is delivered, because you have recorded this well in advance.

“Many developers work with an agile approach where there are pre-planned interim delivery times.”

4. Develop app based on user input

The actual development is not just a technical process with tight project management. You also control during the process! This is because an app is very personal for a user and you want to take this into account.

Many modern developers work with a so-called agile approach where there are pre-planned interim delivery times. As interim client you can give input based on your own opinion, but do not forget the users in this phase.

For example, test in advance with a prototype of the app to find out the convenience for the user. But testing is also important at interim delivery times. You then test whether it succeeds in preventing the frustrations in app use. Or even make using your app extra fun! If interface elements are added that make it fun for users to use the app, an app will be used more often. That increases the chance of success of your app a lot. This optimization of the experience of your target group in the development of your app is also called User Experience or UX.

5. Find the best app developer

If you have the above ingredients for a successful app, then you need an app builder to program the app. So an app developer does steps 1, 2 and 3 for you. Some help you with step 4, but most only help with programming.

Good to know! Because if you skip these steps, the chances of success are very small… And most people do. Therefore, 83% of all apps are Zombie apps! They once started as a nice idea and now they are never downloaded or used again. These apps never got more than 1000 downloads at all. 

If you have previous steps in order, you can start finding an app developer with confidence. The two most important elements during app creation are the cost and quality. App development costs are an important consideration for your budget, but that can have a negative effect on quality. That is why it is important to find the right price-quality ratio. App makers with the right experience reuse their acquired knowledge and programming code to give your app a higher quality and lower price. A better price-quality ratio. 

Success check: how good is your app idea?

These 5 steps contribute to making an app successful. But do you want to know how successful your idea actually is? Which can? 

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Share The Pain, or how to make a digital team work

In this article I deal with a topic that is very close to my heart which is also one of the most counter-intuitive ones, especially in the digital field and in the management of platforms and digital products.

In fact, a concept that I often repeat is that technology is all in all easy, if we compare it to the real problem that is instead that of people.

Intended as: managing the technological aspects of a digital platform is the least problem compared to managing the people who make it work.

In spite of what many non-experts think, a digital product does not stand on its own and it is necessary to evolve and correct it continuously.

We are not yet to the point that there is an artificial intelligence that programs itself and manages the infrastructures that host the code, and in reality I do not think that in a few years we will ever see machines that do all these things alone because the digital technology is heavily based on an intellectual and creative process that is still far from being modeled in the form of artificial intelligence.

We must therefore take note once and for all that when we talk about digital, we also talk about people, with all the necessary problems: communication problems, personal problems, interaction between colleagues, team work and so on.

So what happens? That in your company you find yourself with a whole series of recurring problems, maybe you get stuck but you have a series of problems that are always present and countless technical aspects to manage in daily operations that take away time and energy hindering the development of the ‘company.

I mention a few:

  • Despite the large amount of time and money you have spent, the code of your digital products is full of errors and the systems are unreliable.
  • The new version put online breaks the parts that worked in the previous version or the same errors of months before reappear.
  • Production incidents often occur that cause traffic, revenue and reputation to be lost. And thanks to Murphy’s law, accidents often happen when there is no one else in the office to be able to solve them or the person who takes care of them is not there.
  • Or it is enough for one of your programmers or a key systems engineer to fall ill, which is a completely foreseeable eventuality, to cause serious damage: if nobody is able to decipher his unique system of work, you can find yourself facing the nightmare unprepared of technology. When it happens then you think “but where the hell did that script put it?”. In the meantime, the problem cannot be resolved.
  • Or those who deal with the development and maintenance of the technological aspects and the people who deal with the business do not understand each other, the result is that you waste a lot of time, argue and maybe the final product is not the one you want and is often full of unnecessary features.
  • And so on.

And as far as the method used to manage all these aspects can be advanced, there will always be frustration of the client in seeing a certain share of problems that remain.

The final solution is to outsource all the technology, but this does not detract from the fact that we are talking about something that is not perfect and will never be, some problem will always be there, rather the way in which these problems are addressed.

We therefore have to deal with the fact that for example bugs, that is software anomalies, are something that is part of the very nature of software development. There will always be.

Now that the role of people in technology is clear at least a little more, let’s see some useful concepts and methods to reduce a large part of these problems by focusing on human beings rather than computers, and therefore on the team in which these people work.

There are in particular some working principles and practices, some of which have been formalized several years ago in some methodologies, that is, methods to be used in one’s own working reality.

Here, too, we must realize, on the business side, that to make a digital product work, it is not enough to put together some programmers, of whom perhaps a manager cannot even understand the skills.

In other words, there are no single computer genes that are able to make everything work in a complex system such as a digital platform, a team is always necessary, often even very large.

It is therefore also necessary to properly organize the work by applying specific practices, which does not mean, however, putting activities together in a GANTT chart, thinking that it has magically solved all management problems.

Technology in computer science does not work like that at all, it is not like building a bridge with precise calculations, it is much more complex and it is also very dependent on people.

And it doesn’t even work to introduce a spot intervention with a coach or a motivator, the motivation does not introduce itself from the outside in that way: it lasts maybe a couple of days, then it becomes lower than before, as well as the typical improvement initiatives carried out in these cases they last a few weeks and are systematically dismantled.

I have seen too much of these implementations made with the best intentions, with great costs, failed miserably after a short time.

I will speak more about this on another occasion, for now it is important to know that one of these methodologies with which to organize and carry out the work in a much more productive way is called XP, that is extreme programming, which among the various practices proposes that called “Collective ownership”.

The name of the XP in turn seems rather extreme, but it is not something for software rebels, just as collective ownership does not mean code communism but something very serious.

The opposite of this concept, which is the traditional way of managing code, is to define a strong “property”: the application is divided into modules and each module has its own developer.

In this context, developers can only edit the code of the modules they own.

If someone needs to make a change to a module written by others, they must contact the programmer assigned to that module and ask him to make them.

There are also intermediate forms in which modules can be edited by other programmers, but there is always a manager for each module.

In collective code ownership the concept of individual ownership is completely abandoned. The key point is that the code is the responsibility of the whole team, and anyone within the team can edit it.

This concept should not be confused with absence of ownership, which would mean that no one is responsible for the code. The opposite is true: the whole team is responsible for it.

This works very well when tests (functional and unitary) are also provided, so as to make sure that changes made by a programmer who knows little about a certain area of ​​the code does not introduce new serious errors.

In conclusion, this is an important practice that must be adopted by every self-respecting digital team.

Now, it must be considered that these rules must also be applied more generally, not only in the code.

For example, since the technical aspects must be considered as common property of the whole team, not only must the concept that anyone must put their hand to improve or solve problems, but also the concept that when there are problems in production within a few minutes Before the lunch break, colleagues who are working on the resolution of the accident should not be left alone as soon as they take 1:00 in the clock.

Everyone must help, especially those who can somehow make their skills available.

Here, in particular, the separation between systems engineers and programmers typical of many teams, which instead must work as a single body, must be overcome.

From this point of view I like to extend the whole concept, starting from an engineering practice in the world of software such as collective ownership and coming up with a broader topic that must be part of the culture of a company, even at an entrepreneurial level.

I call it “Share the pain”, that is, sharing the effort, sharing the pain, even between separate teams and also in the relationship between customer and supplier, when IT is outsourced.

This is why in more technical terms we speak of collective ownership, that is, anyone can and must join hands with other colleagues.

The point is that a shared weight is automatically a lighter weight.

Knowing that you don’t have to face a daunting problem on your own makes you act more confidently and creatively.

The approach to work must make it easy to be able to ask for help, to rotate responsibilities among multiple people and to have company when an extraordinary effort is needed to obtain a result or solve a problem.

Even simple things matter: take away the trash, answer the phone and so on, anyone must help even with these often small and undesirable activities.

Then of course there are those who are specialized and perhaps have among their duties that of carrying out exactly those activities, but the point is to make it clear that there must be an attitude for which certain things should not be simply dismissed, maybe even in a polite way but in any case out of this spirit. At a minimum you have to support each other.

All the more reason this applies to making a digital product work.

To understand each other better, when something does not go as planned or there is a very short deadline, and this happens practically always, we should all strive together, each in the way it can contribute.

The work of each is not limited to completing their activities within the deadlines, but also includes supporting their companions in some way.

When a project is going well, we are all going well. When a project has a problem, we all have a problem.

We don’t let anyone have to endure big mange on their own. If anyone needs to work late on a project, let’s help.

In every project and in every company the job includes having to carry out frustrating, boring and other broken boxes that simply have to be done.

These are to be considered by everyone the work of each.

It also means taking time to do what isn’t necessarily your job, something that maybe another person should normally do but can’t for some reason.

And this by doing it without necessarily being asked. The work is done, although not by the person assigned to this task, and customers are not left on hold.

Sharing the effort therefore allows you to be more productive because it eliminates bureaucracy and reduces stress.

And it is essential to feel supported by colleagues, who cover you when there is some difficulty.

In this case, the spirit is like that of a group of soldiers who advance covering each other by enemy fire and act together to conquer a goal.

If you cannot trust your colleagues and you are not sure that they will cover you or help you when you are in difficulty, then there is no team.

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Digital Team Working: working in a team thanks to digital tools

The Digital Transformation is changing day by day, our way of being individuals and professionals. It is a change in which digital technologies play a leading role in enabling new forms of value.

Let’s take the world of the cloud as an example: this technology allows us, at various levels and for various reasons, to no longer be anchored to a specific device or place not only to be able to view personal files such as documents, photos or videos, but also to be able to do their job. The ability to easily share documents and information, to be able to work simultaneously on the same file, to be able to create dedicated discussion groups where communication exchanges take place in real time, are all options that were not available before the advent of digital: someone would say that collaborating on the same project in a pre-digital era it was a little more complicated than it is today.

What is Digital Team Working?

That’s why today it is possible to talk about Digital Team Working that is the ability to work productively, to stimulate engagement between colleagues and to take an active part in a team even remotely. This means being able to use the appropriate digital tools that facilitate and make remote collaboration possible and to do it in the most appropriate way to achieve the objectives set. Even the communication plays an important role in a situation like this and a skill such as virtual communication can only come in handy to support the development of a skill such as digital team working.

However simple it is to collaborate today, thanks to the use of special digital tools, this does not mean that it is immediate. What does it mean? That as with any other activity, collaboration also requires knowledge and mastery of specific behaviors, as well as specific tools, in order to truly bring about the desired results. After all, collaboration in the workplace has become one of the most current trends in corporate organization: to improve productivity, and increase competitiveness, companies all over the world – regardless of their size and sector – are adopting with more and more intensity team working dynamics in which the concept of business unity becomes increasingly rarefied in favor of collaboration between individuals from different business areas to meet market needs. It is precisely for this reason that companies today try to take on a less rigid hierarchical structure and instead adopt an internal team organization focused on specific objectives to be achieved from time to time.

What does it take to work in a group in a digital world?

In order to work in a group, it is necessary first of all to develop the ability to “work in a group”, that is, the ability to make oneself available to integrate one’s energies with those of others to achieve the objectives. It might seem almost trivial, but in reality it is something far more complex than it seems at first glance. This type of ability, in fact, is extremely subjective and falls more in the area of ​​relationships and emotions of the individual than in the cognitive one. Precisely for this reason the ability to work in a team is something that must be acquired with practice by putting in place appropriate behaviors.

Furthermore, one of the main characteristics of teamwork is to create groups to achieve specific objectives. This means that these are not often fixed working groups in which the same people always work in collaboration with each other, but that based on specific needs or specific projects, work teams are assembled to be able to achieve the result set in the best of the ways. Here, therefore, that having a “result orientation” is a capacity that is particularly useful in the world of work: by this we mean the ability to constantly target their own and others’ activities to achieve the objectives set, providing a level of performance consistent with the nature and importance of the same.  

The characteristics of Digital Team Working

Given the growing importance that team working is taking on at company level, the skill associated with this model of organization of work activities is considered extremely important and today represents one of those skills to be developed to be competitive in the world of work as professionals. According to the framework provided by the “Web Literacy & 21st Century Skills” model developed by Mozilla, when we talk about digital team working we mean:

 Participation in the selection and use of digital tools that improve the productivity of the group and demonstrating an understanding of how digital technologies influence one’s own work and that of others.

 More in detail, according to Mozilla, this digital soft skill can be divided into 5 sub-skills which together contribute to the development and mastery of the main skill:

  1. Choose a digital tool to collaborate with others;
  2. Co-create digital resources and content together with your colleagues;
  3. Configure notifications to stay up to date with the work done by other group members;
  4. Working towards a shared goal using synchronous (which communicate in real time) and asynchronous (in which information exchange does not take place in real time);
  5. Develop and communicate a series of shared expectations and results.

The tools of the digital team worker

If all this is valid in a collaborative context in which team members share the same space, it is probably even more so when a “widespread” team collaborates, that is, a group of people located not simply in offices different but potentially also in different continents. It is precisely in these situations that the contribution of the digital revolution is felt more strongly: thanks to digital tools for sharing and collaboration it is possible to cross any frontier and create the best possible work team, without setting the limit that the components must be located within the same corporate headquarters. 

From G Suite to Slack, through Dropbox, iCloud, Wrike, Asana: there are numerous tools that, according to different professional needs, can be used to enable a practice, and the related skill, such as that of the digital team working.

Nowadays collaborating within digital environments, or thanks to the use of digital tools, is increasingly relevant. In addition, certainly, to a certain innate predisposition, that of collaboration is a soft skill, now increasingly digital, which in the world of work cannot be ignored and which must therefore be constantly cultivated. On the one hand, thanks to digital transformation, even the workplace can become ubiquitous, in the sense that for some professions (especially managerial ones) it is possible to carry out one’s work wherever you are, on the other hand also for those continues to work in a “traditional” way. It is possible to experience the benefits of a more collaboration-oriented work system thanks to technologies and tools that facilitate its use.