I was going through Google Reader and found this gem. Hopefully someone finds some use for it. Click the source for the full article/guide. It's to large to post. Enjoy Source: http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blo...app-empire-can-you-create-the-next-instagram/ Chad Mureta runs his seven-figure app business from his iPhone. (Photo: Jorge Quinteros). I first met Chad Mureta in Napa Valley in 2011. Two years prior, he had been in a horrible car accident. He'd lost control of his truck in at attempt to avoid a deer, hit a median, and flipped four times, nearly destroying his dominant arm in the wreckage. While in the hospital for a lengthy recovery, a friend gave him an article about the app market. Shortly thereafter, Chad began designing and developing apps. His results? After finishing rehab, Chad was able to leave his real estate company, where he'd been working 70 hours a week, to run his app business from his iPhone... in less than 5 hours per week. "Apps" are the new, new thing, thanks to major successes like Draw Something (bought by Zynga for $210 million) and Instagram (bought by Facebook for $1 billion), among others. But for all the hype and promise, few people actually know how to create something that gets traction. In this post, Chad will discuss his step-by-step formula for rapid app development and sales optimization. It covers real-world case studies and the details you usually don't see: early prototype sketches, screenshots, how to code if you don't know how to code, and much more. Last but not least, don't miss the competition at the end. If you've ever thought "I should make an app that...," this one is for you... Excerpt from guide Step 1: Get a Feel for the Market As with any business, your success will be directly related to your understanding of the marketplace. The App Store is the marketplace of the app business, so in order to understand the market, we have to study the App Store. This seems rather obvious, but you wouldn't believe how many developers I meet that don't understand this concept. They don't watch the market, follow the most successful apps, or try to figure out why those apps are successful. In order to become a great app supplier, you must first become an app addict. That means spending at least 2-4 weeks researching the market while downloading and playing with tons of apps (give yourself an app budget of $100 to start). This training period is an investment in your expertise, which will become the lifeblood of your success. The more hours you rack up playing around and studying successful apps, the better you'll be able to understand their common traits and what users desire. So, how do you keep pace with the market? The best way is to study Apple's cheat sheet constantly. The App Store displays the top paid, top free, and top-grossing apps (the apps that make the most money, including free apps), almost in real-time. Apple provides the same lists in the individual app categories. These charts are golden because they tell us volumes about the market. The best part is this information is freely accessible to anyone, at any moment (unlike the market info for basically every other industry). Review these charts frequently, and keep a notebook of potential trends you spot. Doing this repeatedly will educate you on successful app design, marketing, and various pricing models. The research you're doing is simple, costs nothing, and it's actually fun! Here are some questions to ask while you're researching successful apps in the market: Why is this app successful? What is its rank and has it been consistent? Why do people want this app? (Look at the reviews.) Has this app made the customer a raving fan? Does this app provoke an impulse buy? Does this app meet any of my needs? Did I become a raving fan after trying it? Will the customer use it again? How are they marketing to their customers? (Check out the screen shots, icon design, and descriptions.) What is the competitive advantage of this app? What does this app cost? Are there in-app purchases? Advertisements? Most developers will build an app and expect tons of people to find and download it right away. That rarely happens. You have to figure out what people are interested in and the kinds of apps they're downloading first, then you build your app based on that insight. Once you've put in the necessary 2-4 weeks of research and feel you have a decent grasp on the market, it will be time to look back on the trends you discovered and explore some ideas for potential apps you can develop.