Each and every one of us has had some great ideas here and there. We believe that’s true because we know for a fact humans are full of ideas - some of which are bad, some of which are good. Yeah, maybe we doubt our own genius from time to time, but don’t you think great inventors didn’t? Come to think about it how many great inventions sounded a bit too bold?
So let’s say you have one of those great ideas for a mobile app, something truly extraordinary. Something that could change or shape the world even? Some great examples are Spotify, Airbnb, Uber and even Tinder. You have one? Great! But what do you do with it? Just having it is not enough, now you need to put down some serious work and make it happen. The wheel didn’t invent itself, it was first… an idea. And that goes for every innovative software product as well. Without any further ado, today we’ll be talking about how to bring your software product to reality!
We all agree that having a great idea isn’t always enough, especially when it comes to software, right? Well, software development also requires more than just great code to make it work. The process must take into account your overall business. When you strive for success you need to imply a holistic approach to the overall strategy and problem your product is trying to solve.
We know you probably have a lot of questions in mind. How do I…
- get started?
- get the pieces to fit together?
- turn the idea into an actual product?
- find a development partner?
- monetize my product?
- take my product to market?
Let’s start answering them one by one, shall we?
The discovery stage of your software development
This stage is all about finding out all the answers to your what, how, why, and when. It involves tons of research, analysis and planning. You and your team will create a road map for the development process, and understand your business, the purpose of your product and your end users. When we say “tons of research”, we mean it. Buckle up and get to work, we’re just starting! Once you are done with it, while you’re still at this stage, you will also need to align your team with a shared understanding of the Software Requirement Specifics (SRS). An SRS is a document that describes what the software is supposed to do and how it will be expected to perform. It also describes the functionality the product needs to fulfil.
- Start small. Create an MVP - a simple product or app with a great interface (UI/UX).
- Set a realistic timeline.
- Set realistic milestones.
- Don’t rush things, make sure you make time for the creative process.
- Stay open and creative.
- Get to know the market and your competition.
- Pinpoint your detailed target audience.
Make a plan, set the schedules, create a detailed budget, and make sure you have a great team. Communicate, communicate, communicate! Do it on a regular basis with anyone who is involved. And then visualize your project. Spend some time on wireframing and/or storyboarding. Map out every button, screen, function, and any other piece left of the whole puzzle.
From an idea to a usable software product
This is the time to get into developing your actual usable product. All great software was crafted by practising the fundamental concept of continuous iteration, and thus the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) happened. In order to make a great product you first need to test out what works and what doesn't. Our advice is not to do this by investing everything you got. You need to gain feedback as cheaply, quickly, and efficiently as possible. After you’ve done this you can adapt your idea and continue with the major steps towards finishing your final product. This approach saves you time and money and allows you to test if your potential users would actually use your product. On a more basic level, it means that you will be launching your software with the intention of monitoring user feedback and implementing updates later.
Develop your software product
Get to know some agile traditions and ways of work and build the product according to the BluePrint in short cycles. Your product development strategy should be straight-forward. You should aim for an evolutionary, efficient and effective process.
Continuous integration and continuous delivery approach
In other words, use rapid prototyping and adaptive planning to get user feedback along the development process. This ensures market demand for your product at the launch phase.
Your whole team needs to participate in weekly reviews and everyone should take an active role in the development process.
Use online tools for project management, source control and bug tracking so you can track the real-time progress of your development process.
Your software development team is key
A great team should have at least three software developers (including a technical lead). There should be at least one specialized front-end developer as well as one back-end developer. If your software development process is more complicated and heavy, it may require more people. You could make a team of five people, but if it comes to this and the schedule gets tight, you generally would want to consider a second team instead or get some external help. An experienced software development company or a strategic project partner will bring you the best chance of success and prosperity.
Some of the benefits are:
- Expert technical advice and consultation.
- A dedicated team focused on your project.
- An immediate increase in the technology's in-depth knowledge.
How do you monetize your software product?
If you tend to fall onto the more creative side, you should start thinking about what happens when your project becomes commercial. Can you actually monetize it? How do you do this without decreasing value to the customer, or better yet, how do you create added value? Start by checking and double-checking that the UI/UX is user-friendly. Make sure the benefits of your product or service outweigh its cost. Build a long-term profitability strategy rather than a short-term revenue drive. You know little drops of water make the mighty ocean! Hire a good marketing team. You will need the same creativity you used to build the product to market it. Think about monthly subscriptions, bundles, brand sponsorships, in-app purchases, etc.
Take your software product to the market
First, you need to make a plan and think about how to get it into the hands of those who would want to use it. Get their feedback, adjust your product, and perfect it over time. Consider starting off with prototype groups, and then moving into distribution via mobile app stores or software as a service (SaaS). Prototype groups are groups of users that provide immediate feedback during the testing of your product. The goal of using a prototype group is to open an honest conversation about all aspects of your product.
Let’s wrap it up! If you believe you have an excellent idea for software product development or a mobile application - make it a reality. We believe you can turn your idea into an existing, usable product! And who knows… maybe it will change the world.