For better or worse, apps are now an integral part of our lives and will remain so for the foreseeable future. After all, nearly 60 percent of American adults own smartphones, and more than 40 percent of them own tablets. We can reasonably expect that both of these numbers will increase as technology evolves and prices come down even further.
There are over 1 million apps in both the Google Play Store and the App Store, so it follows that there is certainly a lot of opportunity to make money playing the app game.
But just how do you conceive and execute the next million-dollar app?
Make Sure Your App Fills Time
When Angry Birds came out, smartphones and tablets were relatively new devices. People weren’t necessarily all that familiar with how to use them, but they were drawn to them nonetheless.
Enter Angry Birds, the ultimate time killer. A simple concept, the game was so addicting that seemingly everyone who had an iPhone was playing it. Easy to play, the game also had different levels of difficulty. The true addicts—yes, I’m talking to you—weren’t satisfied until they collected three stars in every level and found all the golden eggs.
Unfortunately, it’s safe to say that your app is probably not going to be the next Angry Birds. But by making something that’s intuitive, fast and fun, you’ve got three characteristics of a million-dollar app right there.
Make Sure Your App Fills a Need
Nobody wants an app that tells them when you, the creator of the app, needs to do laundry, for example. When conceiving a million-dollar app idea, the most important thing to do is to focus on something that really provides a very tangible utility to your users.
For example, recent research indicates that the average U.S. household has more than $15,000 of debt. That’s in addition to average mortgages of $154,000 and student loan debt of $33,000. Taken together, that’s over $200,000 that the average American family finds itself in the hole.
Debt, obviously, is a very pressing issue for many American families. So why not craft an app that will help them figure out areas where they might be eligible for debt relief?
These days, people don’t have all that much time. If you could figure out a way to help them consolidate their debt in order to reduce interest rates or even eliminate some of the payments they need to make, that would be a surefire way to an app gaining some traction.
Flesh-Out Half-Baked Ideas
Virtually all of the world’s greatest inventions have been at least partially influenced by previous inventions. Think about it: Would we have smartphones today if it weren’t for Alexander Graham Bell?
With this in mind, you might want to consider perusing various app stores to find ideas that might inspire you. Maybe one programmer’s app seems like a good idea, but it’s an idea that is half-baked. Who knows? After studying such apps, you could very well conceive of a simple way to make the app that much better.
So explore what inspires you and see if you can think of ways to improve upon that creation. Remember, the fact that someone else had the idea and built an app around it shows that there is at least a modicum of interest there. You might be able to turn that slight interest into a viral app.
Above all else, it’s important to remember that it’s not easy to create a million-dollar app. But you can still create a very successful one. Patience is a virtue, and your success might not come overnight. It also might not come on your first, second or even third attempt. But stick to it. If it’s your calling and you believe in yourself, one day you will succeed. And all of that work will be worth it.