You have an idea for a mobile application that you think has some value and you think there’s a market – what do you do next?

There are a few things you can do.

  1. You can call a mobile application development company and tell them your idea and they’ll tell you how long it will take to build and what it will cost to build what you have spec’d out for them. These are called “requirements” and often appears in the form of a “Requirements Document” in more formal corporate settings – if you’re a solo founder who wants to build a mobile app: write up a Requirements Document and you’ll be ahead of the game and save yourself some time. Probably some money too since it would have to be written by whoever you hire to build it.
  2. You can teach yourself how to code and write the software yourself. Yes, really: this is an option. And as we’re about 20% of the way through the 21st Century: learning to write software is a pretty good skill to have – it’s becoming pretty standard. There are a number places you can learn online including CodeAcademy.com, DataCamp.com, Udacity.com, Coursera.com, KhanAcademy.com and others. There’s some pretty good information out there for free and some of these sites are very good at teaching the basics of computer programming with lessons and practice. Books are good too – lots of good ones to get started. I’d recommend HTML, CSS, PHP, and JavaScript to start. Once you have a good idea of the basic “principles” or structural doctrines/properties/functions: you’ll be able to pick up new programming languages quickly. If you’re an intelligent, disciplined learner who sets goals: you should be able to learn enough to to build a basic MVP yourself. Also: once you learn more about software, you realize how modular it is. If you have an idea for something: someone’s probably built a framework or platform for it that you can build on top of and customize rather than having to build everything from scratch. And when you know the basics of programming you can tie together technologies and make new stuff that has a lot of value and that didn’t exist before.
  3. You can Bootstrap you Mobile App. If you have yours stuff together and have some credibility as a human being: you can probably find a developer to take on some tasks of your project. Maybe you can find a really good one who is super-awesome and smart and can handle everything end-to-end and is passionate about your project and the problem you are solving. That’s the perfect scenario. Maybe you have to pay them cash or equity – likely one or the other since good people don’t work for free. But you have to start somewhere and if you’re the founder: you need to create a plan. You need to tell them what to do, technically speaking. Maybe they have a preferred platform or language or framework but you’re going to have to tell them what pages/screens you want and what each one is going to have to do. They can’t read your mind – you’re going to have to design this. How are you going to do that?

Wireframes. Wireframes are the basic outline of each Web page or screen on a Mobile App that lays out what each one of them is going to do.

There are a lot of Wireframe tools but one I’ve used lately to design a Mobile App I’m building is called JustinMind. I like it for a few reasons: 1) It’s Free, 2) It’s pretty easy to pick up and become proficient at, meaning any Mobile App you want to build in the future can happen a lot faster, and 3) It’s a drag-and-drop editor that creates a live HTML App for design, testing, and usability purposes. It also essentially automates the Requirements Document for any developer you may work with in the future, or for yourself if you build it.

If you want to build a business around a Web or Mobile App: create Wireframes ASAP. It will make things easier.

Written By Peter Johnson, Founder of RevolutionaryIndustries.com.

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