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How to Create an App Idea

I have a mobile app idea that has been banging into my head for a while but I don’t know where to start. 

Don’t panic, because that is why we are here. 

Our comprehensive guide will help you turn how to create an app idea (regardless of whether it is for Android or iOS app) into a fully-fledged, successful application that will be ready to use by your users at any time.

So, sit tight and grab a cup of coffee, as it will take a while.

Tech founders who had the greatest app ideas but not the greatest tech expertise!

It might sound weird to you, but did you know that Steve Jobs, the co-founder of the giant tech company Apple, lacked coding skills and didn’t code in his entire career?

All the technical work was handled by his co-partner and Apple’s co-founder, Steve Wozniak.

However, Jobs had original and mind-bogglingly innovative mobile app ideas whose sole purpose was to make people’s everyday lives simpler and better.

Then there is Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn, who has properly worked in the department of product management but has no core skills for developing an app.

Some of the other renowned names who have successfully founded and are running multi-billion-dollar companies are Sean Rad (founder and chairman of Tinder), Tim Chen (founder of NerdWallet), and many more.

The bottom line is that if you have an out-of-the-box idea like they had, we can mentor you in the journey of “how to create an app idea”, and will give you the entire roadmap from the conceptual stage to designing, and building a prototype, testing, and finally making it live on the market.

But before we take the next step, let’s take a glance at the statistics of the mobile app industry.

Steps on how to create an app idea

Developing and validating the app idea is the first and foremost foundation of any successful mobile application. Years after years, there has been a consistent flow of thoughts on this old-school question coming from different industry experts. One of the well-known business models is Stanford’s NABC (Need, Approach, Benefit, Competition).

By collecting the first-hand experience of the leading software professionals, we have listed below the tried and tested fruitful tips for you:

Step No. 1: Brainstorm your mobile app ideas

Brainstorm your mobile app ideas

Brainstorming is a very ancient yet powerful technique to bring all the possible solutions to a problem together. Many app startups use this method to develop strong app ideas. 

This brainstorming session can involve a bunch of people or a single individual. The concept is to welcome all the thoughts that are coming to you or others organically, no matter how brilliant, silly, or wrong they sound. 

But how can you implement it? 

For starters, you can take inspiration from anything that you feel connected to or that someone else can connect to in terms of the everyday challenges you face. It could be an accurate fitness tracker, a productivity boost app, or a 15-minute fast delivery grocery convenience. As we said, it could be anything.

You must comprehend the challenges that individuals go through on a daily basis, or you may have experienced them yourself or someone in your community may. And make these pain points a central topic for the brainstorming session.

The next thing you can do is to jot down the loopholes in the existing popular apps and come up with an app-based solution that will help the people you are concerned about.

Practicing brainstorming not only saves your time from overthinking the notion of building a perfect app but also boosts the creativity in you and your team members. 

A little piece of advice: Just carry your notepad with you everywhere, be it a coffee shop, bookshop, mall, or office. Because, as they say, the best idea knocks on your door when you least expect it. 

We are sure that at the end of it, you will find yourself with a pile of options on how to create an app idea.

Step No. 2: Understand why most of the app ideas fail

Understand why most of the app ideas fail

While 33% of startups’ failures are the result of the unforeseen COVID-19 pandemic that had a wider impact on the nation’s economy, the factors that make up the rest (69%) are bad app ideas, a lack of financial investors, and poor cash flow. 

One of the Silicon Valley venture capitalists said that one of the key aspects of validating an app idea is whether it’s able to meet the users’ or customers’s demands. It is kind of a North Star metric.

If you are building something that brings nothing new to people, then why would they invest their time and resources in it? If there is no market demand, then what is the point of developing and selling it?

Now the question arises: How would you ensure that your mobile app idea is the one that many potential investors are looking for?


For every question, there is an answer. But here, the solution lies in the following questions that will help you in developing and launching a mobile app that meets market demands and customer needs. The following are:

  • What are the gaps in the market that your idea can fill?
  • Are you addressing an existing need or creating a new one (mobile phones are the best example of this)?
  • Who is your targeted audience, or should we technically say the early adopters?
  • Will the value proposition of your app be able to please customers?
  • How much money will they be ready to spend on your app? 

Once you have the answers to all the aforementioned questions and have in-depth market insights, you are one step closer to knowing how to create an app idea and also ready to take the next phase, which is identifying your competitive edge.

Are you planning to build a healthcare application? Then read this blog post on the ultimate business guide for building healthcare apps.

Step No. 3: Know your competitive advantage

Know your competitive advantage

Once you have a thorough understanding of market demands, the next step is to do a competitive landscape analysis and identify your core strengths. 

For instance, if your app idea is entering a market that already has a pool of strong contenders, then you need to give your targeted users a strong reason why they should choose your app over them.

Ask yourself: 

  • What is your competitive advantage? 
  • How can you beat the leading players in the mobile application industry? 

Let us give you an example. 

Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram, and WeChat are among the top 5 messaging apps used by people worldwide. Even though they share the same app idea (a messaging app), the concept, interface, features, and numbers have always been different, yet all of them have managed to maintain a position for themselves in the market. 

As of 2023, Facebook Messenger has 931 million MAU globally, accounting for 28% of all worldwide users, whereas WhatsApp has 2 billion MAU, Telegram has 700 million MAU and is projected to cross 1 billion in 2024, and WeChat has 1.671 billion MAU

So, the bottom line is that there is a space for everyone in the app industry; however, your idea must cater to market demands and also carry some USP. 

Remember, you are here to play and win. You have had your competitors in this business for so many months, years, or maybe decades. Not only must you fill the gap, but you must also cover more ground. Build a robust strategy that will help you accomplish all these things, ultimately beat them in the game, and make your app a success.

Moreover, if you are wondering how to create an app idea that is powerful and can make you win over your opponents, you can work on either of these areas, such as

  • lower costs, 
  • power-packed functionalities, 
  • targeting a broader audience,
  • better user interface, 

and thus gaining a competitive edge over them.

Step No. 4: Create a Unique Value Proposition (USP)

Create a Unique Value Proposition (USP)

Give your users a unique value proposition (USP). Make it loud and clear to them how your app is the best player in the market in its niche. Sell the perception of what unique benefits they are going to enjoy with your mobile app that no other can provide. Do the best you can.

Remember, you are here to play and win. You have had your competitors in this business for so many months, years, or maybe decades. Not only must you fill the gap, but you must also cover more ground. Build a robust strategy that will help you accomplish all these things, ultimately beat them in the game, and make your app a success.

Moreover, if you are wondering how to create an app idea that is powerful and can make you win over your opponents, you can work on either of these areas, such as

  • lower costs, 
  • power-packed functionalities, 
  • targeting a broader audience,
  • better user interface, 

and thus gaining a competitive edge over them.

Step No. 5: Validate your idea

Validate your idea

Once you have a rough estimation of the problems presented in the market, know your target audience, and know the USP of your app, it’s time to validate your idea. This will give you a clearer picture of what kind of real-world problems your app is capable of solving.

To do that, always start with conducting surveys, holding poll sessions, organizing public events, and gathering feedback from your audience. See if they are able to resonate with your app. Analyze whether your idea is helping your potential customers meet their goals. Monitor their interaction with your app prototype. 

And see if their collective opinions validate your app idea or not. If the response is positive, then you are good to go for your next step.

Step No. 6: Think big, but start small

Think big, but start small

“Just do it”, is an inspiring line by the Nike brand, but often we implement this motto at the wrong time and the wrong place in the entrepreneurial journey. 

We understand you have a lofty goal, want everything perfect in one place, and want to make an ever-lasting impression on your customers. But in our experience and our eyes, taking the methodological baby steps would take you there and guide you on how to create an app idea seed into a fruitful application. 

History is the witness to this ideology that all big businesses’ success arose out of ideas they had in their minds, whose aim was to make people’s lives easy. They all started in a single room somewhere in their lives. 

One of the very famous examples is Amazon. What started as a primary online source of selling books from a small garage in 1994 is now the leading billion-dollar e-commerce retailer company across the whole United States and has also imprinted its impressions all over the world. 

So, don’t overdo it and start with a basic app idea. Gradually adding more features to it according to the changing demands of users and the market. It will save you a lot of time from overthinking and has also proven to be a very cost-effective strategy, as you would only be putting your money in the right place.

Step No. 7: Defend your app idea

Defend your app idea

Some people say that an idea is not as important as execution. We don’t agree with that. If you are entering the market with an entirely new concept that has a strong potential to turn into a successful application, then you need to protect your idea from being stolen. 

So ask yourself, Is my idea defendable? 

In the software industry, it is easy to patent your intellectual property but hard to defend it. Anyone can snatch your idea, make some 10-20% changes to it, and it will be marked as a different application as per the law. If you were an electrical engineer, this would no longer be the case, but since we are talking about mobile app ideas, it’s disheartening to say there is no choice. 

See the example of Zomato and Swiggy, the two leading giants in the food delivery app sector. Both share the same concept, offer almost the same functionalities, and were launched within six years of each other. According to the 2022 financial report from Business Standard, Zomato is leading Swiggy with 55% of the market share indicating the crucial role of user-friendly interfaces and efficient menu maker app in capturing and retaining customer attention. 

So while you are sitting on your couch thinking of taking the next step of turning your idea into a full-fledged app, someone out there might already have built it and delivered it to your audience.

So, think about it, how to create an app idea, that is defendable.

Step No. 8: Choose an app development path

Choose an app development path

Once you have your app idea finalized, it’s time to choose your development team. There are three ways to accomplish that; outsourcing, hiring an in-house team, and using app builders. Each of these mobile app development processes carries its own set of cost-cutting and quality trading. So, weigh all the pros and cons and choose wisely. Here is a brief of them:


You can always outsource a mobile app development company or a team of developers from a pool of diversified talent all across the world. The plus point is that some nations are known for producing top-notch developers who charge nominal

However, it also comes with a few disadvantages. One of them is confidentiality, which can be compromised if the hired developer or company leaks your original app idea into the market. Another one is a lack of communication, which could directly impact the mode of the app creation process.

Hiring an in-house team

To turn your app idea vision into a successful application and have full control over it, you can start building your app development team. This will introduce them to your culture and your thought process and will help them bring out the best in your product. 

However, the downside is that it is pricier and can cost you a lot of money and time to hire and retain skilled employees.

Using app builders

Last but not least, if you want to build an app without having any prior technical knowledge and at cheaper prices, you can go for drag-and-drop app builders. However, this approach is not reliable and does not come with any coding expertise or marketing support, which in the long run can make it difficult to retain app users.

If you have decided to go this way, then check out these best low-code and no-code app builders of 2024.

Step No. 9: Turn your app idea into a prototype

Turn your app idea into a prototype

There are many steps in the process of “how to create an app idea,” and an app prototype is one of them. Once you have a finalized app idea and know the features you want to integrate into it, it’s time to shape that concept into a design. 

But why is mobile app prototyping so important? The reason is simple. 

App prototyping helps you design your app idea swiftly and easily so that it closely resembles the functioning of your app when it is fully developed. If any possible changes or errors need to be resolved, you can get them done very easily from the prototype. This will give you a sneak peek at your app’s performance, efficiency, and optimization (if needed). 

Moreover, it serves as a significant step for grabbing the attention of future investors in your app without spending a lot of money on your project. 

Overall, when developing an app idea, design is one of the most crucial steps of the entire process. It is not just about creating a nice-looking app; it also serves as business validation with the checked metrics of easy accessibility, smooth navigation, and friendly UI. So, it should be done very carefully.

Step No. 10: Understand different funding options

Understand different funding options

Turning an app idea into a fully developed mobile application requires a significant amount of money. Even the app with the bare minimum features can cost you nearly $10,000, excluding other expenses such as staff salaries, operational costs, and maintenance costs. And the cost will rise with the addition of more features and advanced technology.

Therefore, it is crucial for you, as a tech startup, to know all the possible funding options. Based on your vision and needs, you can choose either of the following choices that fit best:


It means funding your app idea with your own money. This is the safest option to choose if your savings can afford it since you won’t owe money to anyone in case your app does not work out. Your network is the second-best option to choose, which includes your family members and friends. 

Private Investors

They are the local businesses that can help you fund your app idea, but only if it falls into their niche category and they don’t have an app of their own. For instance, if you are developing an app for hotel reservations, you can sell your idea to local hotel owners. 

App Funding Competitions

If you are very confident about your app idea, then you can participate in one of the various yearly app funding contests organized by industry leaders and renowned investors and win the funding. 

Angel Investors

Angel investors are mostly businesses or individual identities who help startups in the earliest stages of app development and, in exchange, demand a fair share of profit in your business.

Venture Capital Investors

Contrary to angel investors, venture capitalists invest in your business when your app idea is already in the development phase. 


Crowdfunding attracts a large number of potential investors on their platforms, like IndieGoGo or Kickstarter, and raises significant funds for your app idea. 

Bank Loans

The last funding option for your app idea is bank loans, which are not an obvious choice for startups. The reason is pretty simple: banks don’t care whether your app idea works or not. They want their money back at the specified time and date. 

Now, based on your set budget and preferred method of funding, you can choose one of the aforementioned choices for your project: how to create an app idea.

Step No. 11: Create a marketing roadmap

Create a marketing roadmap

Once you have the prototype of your app idea ready and have investors for your business, it is time to show the world that you have something great for them. 

But how would you do it? How would you market your app to get more users? How would you entice them to sign up for your app or the services you are offering? 

The answer is through a well-planned marketing roadmap. We understand that, as a startup company, you run on a very tight budget, but it is crucial to save some funds to increase your digital presence. 

Here is how you can make the most of your investment in marketing strategies:

Think about the app branding

Before you launch your app in the Google Play Store or App Store or take it out to social media, it is very critical to think about the branding of your app, an important marketing strategy in the process of “how to create an app idea”.

A strong app’s branding demands a thoughtfully crafted logo. What does your brand’s vision reflect culturally and personally? So, work on all these pillars, develop an out-of-the-box brand style, and keep it consistent across all your communication platforms so that your users remember it clearly.

Promote your MVP on social media and check the response

As a startup, it’s a very common misconception that your app idea needs to be perfect before it reaches out to people. But we should not overlook the fact that all the successful mobile apps have gone through countless optimizations and have evolved into very powerful apps. 

So, take your MVP (minimum viable product) to widely used social platforms like Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, and wait for the feedback. Additionally, you can offer a free version of your app to some users to try (more like beta-testing). It’s a very good marketing tactic to increase your conversion rate. 

Read more to learn more about how to increase your brand’s visibility on platforms like Instagram.

Learn about ASO

While launching your app idea, it is important to be aware of all the App Store Optimisation (ASO) methods. As a startup, you don’t have the leverage of an established brand. Following this approach will help you pour some organic app downloads into your funnel with no extra money spent. So, this is how you can achieve it:

  • Research the relevant keywords in your niche app.
  • Write captivating descriptions with crisp subheadings and the integration of researched keywords.
  • Create loud and clear screenshots.
  • Perform A/B testing periodically.
  • Monitor keywords from time to time.

Know different app monetization methods

Based on your app idea and the prototype, there are a couple of monetization options that you can take advantage of:

  • Offer freemium subscriptions to the users

It will boost the conversion rates of your app. Spotify is one of the leading examples of it. According to a Harvard Business Research report, most of the businesses managed to convert their freemium models into 2-5% of paying customers, while Spotify managed to exceed this number by 24%.

  • Provide premium subscriptions to generate stable revenue

Premium models, for instance, have premium features with an ad-free experience that require users to sign up for their services at a fixed cost. This implies that your app revenue is directly related to the number of app downloads. However, the only demerit is that users sometimes find themselves contemplating the value of an app before its use and might take a different turn.

  • In-app purchases

The in-app purchase model is another excellent monetization method that is gaining massive momentum, particularly in the gaming zone. Regardless of your app idea niche, using this monetization strategy, you can analyze user behavior and provide features to them at the time when they need them the most at some charge.

  • Sponsorship ads

Sponsorship ads are the next great yet overlooked concept for monetizing your app idea. However, this model works best for apps that have a larger user base and a consistent and high user engagement metric.

Step No. 12: Is your app idea and business scalable?

Is your app idea and business scalable?

Scalability is one of the crucial aspects to consider when it comes to the question “how to create an app idea”. 

If you have a broader vision, which we believe you do, there will be a day when your app will be crossing demographics and hitting a large number of users, and your business will then require additional resources to configure and maintain the app.

For instance, all your software protocols, hardware configurations, and app security essentials must be met according to the increased number of requests per minute. For that, you will need additional storage and flexible working hours from developers and web providers.

Furthermore, with the growing team or the strength of the employees, your company might need to relocate from a single room to a rented, spacious office.

All these will directly impact your company’s cost structure.

So, ask yourself or your co-founders: Is your business ready to meet the consequences that come with scalability?

Final Words

So next time you say, I have an app idea, and you wonder how to create an app idea and develop it into a fully-grown real-time application, the aforementioned steps will help you get there.

But before that, do your research properly. Don’t just go with the flow. Share it with your closest friends in the same niche, and ask for their suggestions and honest feedback.

While developing an app idea, perception, and execution are all that matter. How you can turn an idea into a reality takes a lot of brainstorming and a long graph of countless ups and downs. Work on different strategies and see what works best for you.

Moreover, funding is yet another crucial factor to think about. So, while you are on your way to building a prototype, parallel figure out the ways to fund your app idea.

We hope you found this blog informative and helped you find the step-by-step process of validating your app idea. Read further to learn about the complete guide to the mobile app development process in 2024.

So what are you waiting for? Start working on your dream project and hit the numbers.

All the best for your entrepreneurial journey!

The bio for Naveen is coming soon.
I’ve had the great pleasure of hiring JoomDev for several projects over 8 years. The team brought our ideas to life and created the customized application that we only imagined in our minds. We appreciate JoomDev “can do” attitude and co-operation to complete any task until being fully satisfied. Hire JoomDev, you’d be crazy not to!
Alex Shvarts

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