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How can I fund the costly development for my mobile app idea?

Discussion in 'Making Money' started by Stansy, Jun 29, 2016.

  1. Stansy

    Stansy Junior Member

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    I have an idea for a new social networking app and from researching and reading posts all around the internet I've come to the conclusion that this will cost upwards of $100k to develop to launch. Somewhere up with Tindr or a Snapchat in terms of complexity and functionality. Lots of features, lots of APIs, lots of code.

    It's an idea and a function that I am extremely passionate about but I do not know how I would go about getting the funding to do it. As you would expect, I entirely believe that this app could quickly gain a large userbase and generate significant revenue on a daily basis (simply because what the app helps people do and the social nature of what it can do)

    I've thought about several different options:

    1. Kickstarter/Crowdfunding:
    Kickstarter was the first glimmer of hope I had. It's the type of app that would get great support on a crowdfunding site because of it's power to connect people, however in researching US patent laws I've determined my mobile application would not be eligible for patent protection. I'm afraid that if I crowdfund it and the campaign starts getting noticed some big player could swoop in and develop and launch it themselves.

    2. Waiting 2-3 years until I have the funds to cover the development:
    Sadly this is my most likely course of action. We all know that the mobile app game is extremely fast paced. 2-3 years from now is an eternity, and there's no guarantee that I'll even manage to get the money in that time. Without sounding braggadocios or pretentious, this app idea will be built by someone else if I don't do it. I feel that if I don't start acting now then someone will get this idea sooner than later. It's somewhat of the next logical progression for a future social network platform. Plus 2-3 years from now the mobile app marketplace could be entirely different. The entire landscape could change.

    3. Selling the idea:
    The thought has crossed my mind that if I sit down and create a complete and indepth white paper/blueprint with everything fully detailed I may be able to sell it. But for what? Probably not even a fraction of what it would be worth after launch. My research into selling app ideas hasn't turned up with much information. In my head though I'm thinking best case scenario someone comes along who understands the scope and grand vision of my application and buys it for $1k or something miniscule.

    My questions:
    has anyone funded an expensive app development?
    How did you go about it? Did you self-fund?
    Is there a market for mobile application ideas?
    Are there any known devs out there that develop for a fraction of the cost in exchange for a large percentage of the future earnings?
     
  2. vsching

    vsching Power Member

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    Just google it, I remember there is such platform.
    I have been developing mobile apps for clients for several years now, not to disappoint you, but the truth is the app market is very very saturated. And if this is the first time you are into developing mobile software,especially social network. You will most likely fail, no matter how great your idea is.

    Great app won't work without a great marketing strategy, the truth is most of the founders of the highly profile social apps have connections of some sort with media and other high-profile technology leaders. And getting the app out is the first step, you will need money to maintain the server etc, and by social network, unless you have a way to monetize initially and people willing to pay for it. You will have cost in maintaining the app, and even if user base grows exponentially , most probably you will have to pay a lot for server cost which is a lot.

    If you really to decide to go for it, yes , there is quite a few platform for this. A quick google search has the following result
    http://www.crowdcrux.com/crowdfunding-platform-site-for-apps/
     
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  3. Duke of Wellington

    Duke of Wellington Newbie

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    I may not have much experience in the Black Hat World, but I do know about the startup world.
    [​IMG]

    Chances are that you're not the first one to come up with the idea that you have. You may not even be the first one to actually go through with your idea. But the truth is that first mover's advantage (being the first one to carry out your idea) doesn't mean as much as you think it may. Believe it or not, Mark Zuckerberg was not the first person to create a Facebook-like social network. Multiple people had done it before him. So how did he beat them, even though they had the first mover's advantage? His execution of his idea was exceptional.

    So where am I going with this? Your idea doesn't mean much. You can't be successful in the startup world if you don't have good execution, no matter how great your idea or first mover's advantage is. Once you create your app somebody could easily steal your idea, execute it 10x better than you, and make your first mover's advantage meaningless. In fact, if you meet with investors to pitch your idea and ask them to sign an NDA, most of them will laugh in your face and refuse to sign it. Why? Because they don't want to work with someone who values bare ideas so highly in a business, since that shows that they're just naive and don't realize how important actually carrying out their idea is.

    My advice: I don't know much about the mobile app development market, so I don't know if it's dead or if it's likely to change in 2-3 years so I'll ignore that for now. Kickstarter would be a good way to validate your idea - see if there's as much demand for your product as you perceive. If it doesn't receive funding, then it'll be difficult to market it to people. If it is funded, then you don't have to use your personal funds on your product and you know there's a market for it. Given all this, I would recommend that you spend time studying up on entrepreneurship, reading and learning as much as you can. Blindly moving forward and executing your idea will just make you yet another failed social media app with a meager 100 users. After you've studied up, then you start a Kickstarter campaign. Maybe even find a cofoudner if you don't feel confident in your leadership/marketing skills.

    If you're still worried about people stealing your idea, then Eric Ries (author of the bestselling book The Lean Startup, hailed as one of the most essential books in the startup world) realized that bigger companies "swooping in" and stealing people's ideas was a common fear among the entrepreneurs that he trained. To combat this, he challenged them to MAKE a big company take their idea. Email Google, Microsoft, Facebook, any company, tell them your idea, and then they'll execute it. No companies listened to these tiny entrepreneurs. Why not? Why didn't they steal the ideas of these entrepreneurs? Because these companies have more important corporate matters to deal with than to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars pushing a small high risk idea.
     
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  4. Stansy

    Stansy Junior Member

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    Thank you, hadn't even thought of searching for an app crowdfunding site. Didn't want my thread to read like a self-praise rant, blame that on my eagerness to do something with my life :)

    I appreciate the time and effort put into your reply. Everything you've said is on point. I've read The Lean Startup years ago and after reading my thread I was appalled at how protective I seem about my app. The thought of "if I don't do it I'll be watching someone else make a name for themselves with it soon" keeps creeping into my head but a brilliant idea with piss poor execution isn't much :( Now that my eyes are wide open and I'm actively following this space maybe some time and much needed due diligence will get me closer to where I want to go.
     
  5. frizenking

    frizenking Regular Member

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    You can easily get investors if your idea is nice and you have at least something more than just an idea
    You can google and find the proper sites