Developing an App

If someone has an idea for an App but lacks the money and skills to develop it what would be the best option in pursuing it?

A. try to find a partner who can write the app.
b. try to find a partner who has the money to develop an app.

How do you protect your idea while you shop for a partner? I have heard many stories of partners starting off together and then falling out, if this happens how is the partner compensated when and if the app is completed?

You can hire a company that develops apps to develop the app. With the right paperwork, they won’t steal your idea. Heck even with the wrong paperwork or no paperwork at all, they probably won’t.

You need to come up with the capital to pay them. No partnerships needed.

My number is 555-5555. Feel free to fax your idea, in intricate detail. I’ll get back to you asap!

Hehe, no really, probably going with an app development company might be the way to go. If it’s simple enough, you might even get started and hire out a programmer/freelancer to develop some complex aspect of the back end and/or a designer to polish up the GUI.

It’s darn easy no a days to get something up and running even with very little coding skills.

I started looking at app developers and feel a lot more encouraged. The actual art work concerns me some.

Thats encouraging to hear.

You have to contribute something to the endeavor and having an idea doesn’t count as a contribution because having ideas is so easy. Developing an App seems like such a creative process, but really it’s just creating a product to sell.

Imagine you got two guys together and said, “Bob, you’re an expert carpenter; Joe, you’ve got hundreds of thousands of dollars to invest. Let’s buy a bunch of lumber and build a house. When we sell it we can split the profit equally!” If they asked what you were contributing to the effort do you think they’d be satisfied if you said you were the one who came up with the idea to do it?

I’m sure whatever it is, your App idea is a little bit more substantial contribution to the partnership than the idea to build and sell a house, but proportionate to the work and money required, probably not by much.

On the other hand, maybe you’re contributing something else to the project. I was seriously considering developing an App with someone who had an idea to build an App for psychotherapists. I thought, for one thing, that being a therapist himself he could probably contribute a lot of value to building a really good App that therapists would actually like. Much more importantly though, I liked the idea of being able to market the App as developed by a trained psychologist with a phd and everything. That was something I could never bring to the table myself.

I am reminded of the cliche of someone approaching a published author and saying “Hey, I have a great idea for a story. I’ll give you my idea, you write the story, and we’ll split the profit!”

To further compound the cliche, the idea in question sometimes turns out to be an already-overused gimmick, like “…and then he wakes up and discovers it was all a dream!”

I’m not saying this applies to HoneyBadgerDC’s situation. A good idea can be worth something—that’s the idea behind patents. Though, if I were in his shoes, I’d start by trying to make sure someone else hadn’t already gotten and implemented the same idea.

Ah, you’ve been reading the Craigslist job ads again.

I love those. “[I can’t write, draw, code, manufacture, produce, sell or market but] I have a great idea and am looking for someone to handle the details. Great for interns and new grads, BIG profit sharing! Must be a local nonsmoker who has accepted Jesus as his personal savior. (Yes, his; no hers need apply.) Call only between 10 am and 4 pm so my parents don’t answer, except on Thursdays no calls 2-3 because you’ll wake up my baby-momma’s child. I don’t have time to respond to everyone so only my first choices will hear back.”

That’s true, but actually obtaining a patent takes years and costs tens of thousands of dollars. So even that requires a big investment beyond having an idea.

Just to be clear to HoneyBadgerDC, it’s not like the lawyer who prosecutes the patent claim or the software developer who writes the code are inherently any more deserving of the credit than the “inventor” is. It’s just you have to actually do something with the idea - put up the money or contribute something else essential.

Fuzzy, I realize this. The part I would be contributing would by far be the most labor and time intensive aspect of the project. I would just need someone to put this into the form of an app or program. I have actually decided instead of protecting the idea I am just going to put it out there and see if through social media it takes off whether I remain involved in it or not.

“…It turns out they were on Earth THE WHOLE TIME!”

As others have already said it so much depends on what sort of development is needed to produce your app, how much and what you’re bringing to the table and really, the people you know.

I can tell you this much: It’s going to be much more difficult and labor/time intensive than you think. Even if you’re already thinking this, it’s going to be more than that. And if you want it to be profitable, even more so.

That’s great. I won’t belabor the point then. I am a little curious how you could know the other aspects are far more intensive since I don’t get the impression you know how to develop software.

Also be careful focusing on the amount of time and labor required. For example - a project might require 2500 hours of data entry time and 500 hours of software development time. Data entry is clearly way more time intensive but costs $10-11 an hour vs $100-$150 / hour for development time. That’s $25,000 worth of data entry time vs $50,000-$75,000 development time.

I have allready decided the concept is beyond my resources to realize. I do however feel the project is doable and worthwhile. Every aspect of the project could better be accomplished by someone other than myself. All the research I have done indicates I am not alone in my thinking, the only difference is I feel it is doable.

It is difficult to lay the concept out in a clear and concise manner without someones eyes glazing over 1/4 the way through it. Thats my first and biggest challenge, I simply lack the ability to present an idea in an attractive, interesting and informative format. 

 If your eyes have not allready glazed over I will layout the concept. 

Simply build a language for metaphors, and analogies that was based on colors, symbols, proportions, quantities and postions on a page.

 The language would be based on about 300 words and could be expressed in any number of scapes. The words themselves would need to be organized into a tree of sorts that would deonote the type of symbols that might be used. For instance some words might be backgrounds or earth or water, others might be things or animals or plants. 

 If a program were written that would allow someone to pick a scape of some kind and then build a self portrait or a portrait of anything in thier life like jobs, careers creative pursuits etc. Using symbols that could be applied under a specific scape. If one was viewing your scape and didn't understand the meaning of a symbol they could simply right click it for an explanation, increasing their vocabulary at the same time. 

I believe that we are wired to comprehend symbols and metaphors and anologies, society has just outgrown the ability of cave art to convey things that apply in our lives. The existence of social media makes development of projects like this feasable.