Brainstorming Techniques For Apps Developer

I’ve often wondered how developers with a huge repertoire of applications constantly come up with new ideas. As it turns out, they have a few tricks up their sleeve.

Although you may find that an idea just “comes to you” at the time you least expect it, brainstorming and proactively considering new ideas can be a worthwhile task. Perhaps begin by listing the challenges, problems and annoyances you face on a daily basis, then consider how they could be solved with a suitable iPhone app.


Here are a few examples:

[red_arrow_list width="100%"]

  • I always struggle to calculate a suitable tip to leave at a restaurant. I wish there was an easier way to do this automatically.
  • Price comparison websites are great, but they aren’t much use when I’m out at the store. It would be great to have a way to check prices online using my iPhone.
  •  Logging into a number of different services to check all my website statistics takes ages. It would be good to have one central place where all this information is automatically downloaded.

[/red_arrow_list]

These ideas are not just odd concepts chosen at random. Each is a real problem faced by many people, and various iPhone apps are now available to help solve them (Tipulator1, RedLaser2, and Ego3 respectively). This is the type of thought process many developers go through.

I asked Bjango: As a company with several different applications, how do you come up with new ideas?

1 http://www.sophiestication.com/tipulator/.
2 http://redlaser.com/.
3 http://ego-app.com/.

[features_box_blue width="75%" + border="2px"]Most of our ideas are born from necessity—the result of a lightbulb moment while trying to do something the hard way. It’s the simple notion that if there’s something we need ourselves, hopefully others will too.

We keep a long list of possible app ideas. It’s important to have a big list to work from, so you don’t end up working on a dud idea, as even a small app can take a month to develop. It’s critical the best ideas are the only apps you produce.[/features_box_blue]

Glasshouse Apps have three successful applications in the App Store, including Barista and Cellar for the iPhone, and The Early Edition for the iPad. The former offers advice on how to craft the perfect coffee, and the latter gives you a virtual “wine cellar” in the palm of your hand.

I asked the developer how they chose which of their ideas to take forward for development, and which to drop after the brainstorming stage:

[features_box_blue width="75%" + border="2px"]I try to start by thinking of ideas that inspire me personally. If I’m not inspired by an idea, and I’m only pursuing it because I think it might sell well, it’s going to be harder to stay motivated down the track.

Once I’ve established a few initial ideas that I think have merit, it’s time to do some research and make sure there’s a market for it. You might be passionate about the wing span of a mosquito, but if no one else is, then you’re fighting an uphill battle!

Even if you think you have a brilliant idea and a solid market, success certainly isn’t guaranteed. There are notable examples of developers ticking all the boxes and then falling dramatically short of their own expectations.[/features_box_blue]

It’s also important to remember that you don’t necessarily need to focus on solving a problem faced by every iPhone user. Concentrating all your energy on a specific niche and offering a valuable service for a select few people can be equally successful.

Don’t assume that the first idea you take forward to development will be your main success as an App Store entrepreneur. It takes time to understand what works and what doesn’t, so be prepared to experiment with a few different projects before you stumble upon one that really takes off.

Leave a Reply