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  1. #11
    Vinny is offline Member
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    Best of luck to you, I'm in the mobile app space as well, and about the best advice I can give is, RESEARCH AND MARKET! Having a good product is one thing, but if you don't have the userbase to draw mass attention, you'll be looking for a way out in no time. Stay persistent!
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  2. #12
    Ellingford Enterprise is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ADR3NALINE FIX View Post
    Axure is a full-blown prototyping tool, with a medium/heavy learning curve. I'm in the field yet it took me 2 weeks to become proficient. If you're not up for that, you could go the route of InvisionApp.com. It's a free prototyping tool but requires that you create static images of the app's workflow, and then link them together via InvisionApp. Very easy program, and easy to share with others for use as a feedback tool.

    Apps are in a grey area as far as fundamental business requirements. You can be an individual coding an app in your garage, although if you want to monetize via advertising partners, you're going to need a tax ID & the whole nine yards. Some start out without any sort of business front and then once the app is at the point of monetization (gained X amount of downloaded customer base, or are positioned for acquisition) then they file for those credentials.
    I am still working on the plan for the legal and business aspect of the app. The way the whole thing is geared, I think it would have to be a business from day one. When it comes to business structure (as in LLC, Corporation, etc.) is there any specific type that works better then others in the app world?

    Quote Originally Posted by anonymoose View Post
    If you need help wrapping your head around how difficult it will be, I can probably help you out. I started out like you, just having ideas and not app development experience. Now I have a bit of development experience, so I have a much better understanding of that side now. Just PM me if you want any help. If you don't want to tell me exactly what your idea is, you could just tell me the apps that are similar and I could tell you the challenges of developing those apps.
    Will send shortly after this post.

    Edit: Not able to send due to not having permission yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by dylanisgaines View Post
    Hey Ellingford Enterprise,

    I saw this yesterday and meat to respond but didn't have time. App development is a tricky business and there are as many options for building your app as there are apps to be built. If you want to give your application the best possible start in life it can have, start by defining a workflow. What i mean by that is all the information your application is going to collect, and what you intend to do with that information in its various stages. Most applications are developed on a relational data model: Relational model - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia if your good with spread sheets this should be right up your alley. Omni chart is a pretty common data organizational application for people trying to build out their concepts prior to coding.

    After you have a solid idea of all the information your going to be gathering and what you intend to do with it I'd highly recommend finding a firm to build your prototype. There are a lot of advantages to going with pro's over doing it yourself ( unless your a programmer ). Making good decisions with your prototype can result in usable code that can be rolled into your final product, or at least be loosely based on rather than re-written from scratch. Additionally most good firms are up to date on design trends and will make sure your UI/UX is second to none.

    Any firm that your interested in should present a plan that involves the mobile platform itself and the server based application to run it. My recommendation would be to look into phonegap: PhoneGap | Home

    phonegap will let you ( or a developer ) write mobile applications in html, css and javascript. These can then be compiled for any mobile platform, one set of code to rule them all! This is a huge cost savings in terms of maintenance and the cost of the kind of developer you need to maintain that code. Phonegap isn't really great for games but apps as large as LinkedIn's mobile app are on their platform. ( now using a new tech called node-webkit these apps can also now be compiled out into desktop applications for mac, windows and linux )

    Applications by themselves are pretty useless, they need to exchange data with a server in order to really be dynamic. Most commonly this is done via a RestFUL JSON api. Your mobile application will request a web address and a JSON formatted file is returned from a server, its lightweight, fast and efficient ( i.e. cheap ). My best recommendation is to find an application developer who builds their API's with Ruby on Rails. Rails will scale ( when written properly ) to unbelievably huge amounts of traffic.

    As a final note, whatever you do, dont put your app on Heroku. Heroku is a cloud hosting service that will rape your of all your money. I've worked with a few apps that where paying 15k+ a month in hosting. We moved one to amazon aws and that went down to ~3k a month.

    Feel free to ask me any questions and sorry for the book, hope it helps!

    Knowledge Source - Professional Application Developer / Working on building my own app.
    Thanks for the advice! For the workflow and relational model, I feel like I understand how it works, but it seems complicated. I should be able to come up with a simplified version of both however. I have no programming experience, so going with professionals seems to be the best choice in this case. After reading your post, I went and checked out Heroku, their pricing is insane.. I sure wasn't expecting to go well over $100k. One thing I am worried about in regards to this, is the integration to the "suppliers." My idea for doing so was a cloud based software that they could view and it would show the information that they would need. Would that be the right path?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinny View Post
    Best of luck to you, I'm in the mobile app space as well, and about the best advice I can give is, RESEARCH AND MARKET! Having a good product is one thing, but if you don't have the userbase to draw mass attention, you'll be looking for a way out in no time. Stay persistent!
    Thank you very much! I have done a fair amount of research on this so far. When it comes to the marketing I think I have a good plan to get the name out in its respectful market.

    -Tyler E.
    Last edited by Ellingford Enterprise; 12-03-2014 at 08:41 AM. Reason: Adding info

  3. #13
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    Your question depends a lot upon the kind of data you need to aggregate and what means you have for gathering it. Your always limited with what you can do inside your application by the information your capable of feeding to it. Many major suppliers and fulfillment providers have APIs ( Application Programmable Interfaces ), these are interfaces which applications can use to communicate and exchange information with each other.

    A simple workflow is best to start, leave the complicated details to someone who best knows how to structure a database.

    Its also worth noting at this stage I wouldn't consider shelling out the cash to have the full application developed unless I had a rock solid profit model and guaranteed clientele. As with most things in life you get what you pay for, going with a firm that uses local ( i.e. american or western developers ) is a lot more expensive but the advantages are huge, even at the prototyping phase.

    As far as finding the right developers to get your product started, make a list of some of the features your looking to include: think e-commerce, real-time updates, chat etc etc and google around to find some events for those technologies. If your in a major metropolitan area you'll have plenty of choice.

    Also, no matter what any dev says, get an NDA before you disclose any of your application idea.
    Dylan Gaines

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  5. #14
    Ellingford Enterprise is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by dylanisgaines View Post
    Your question depends a lot upon the kind of data you need to aggregate and what means you have for gathering it. Your always limited with what you can do inside your application by the information your capable of feeding to it. Many major suppliers and fulfillment providers have APIs ( Application Programmable Interfaces ), these are interfaces which applications can use to communicate and exchange information with each other.

    A simple workflow is best to start, leave the complicated details to someone who best knows how to structure a database.

    Its also worth noting at this stage I wouldn't consider shelling out the cash to have the full application developed unless I had a rock solid profit model and guaranteed clientele. As with most things in life you get what you pay for, going with a firm that uses local ( i.e. american or western developers ) is a lot more expensive but the advantages are huge, even at the prototyping phase.

    As far as finding the right developers to get your product started, make a list of some of the features your looking to include: think e-commerce, real-time updates, chat etc etc and google around to find some events for those technologies. If your in a major metropolitan area you'll have plenty of choice.

    Also, no matter what any dev says, get an NDA before you disclose any of your application idea.
    What kind of places use API's? Those would probably make the whole thing 10x easier. Since you suggested not having the full app developed yet, how would I go about getting "guarenteed" clientele or people who without the whole app? For the profit model id say its about 75% done as of now. So the process so far; is the workflow, a protype, a profit model, and to find those that would get involved? I live in LA so finding those events shouldnt be too hard at all.
    -Tyler

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  6. #15
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    I had written out a long reply to this but for some reason it didn't post it... lame... the tldr; ( too long didn't read ) version is:

    1) List 12,000 or so popular APIs APIs Dashboard | ProgrammableWeb

    2) My business partner handles clients and investors and that stuff, I just run the devs and come up with the apps. I'd look into Founders Club, tons of people there will have the kind of information your after.

    3) I'd do workflow and profit model together then use them to have the prototype built. Usually the prototype is used to get first clients and fine tune your workflow. Even the best planned apps will have hick ups and need some updates to be truly ready for the public. Remember, your end users are often stupid and impatient, complex and confusing applications will result in a harder time getting users, Google has one button for a reason.

    After Prototyping the cycle usually goes
    Private Beta
    Beta
    Alpha ( Production )
    Dylan Gaines

  7. #16
    Ellingford Enterprise is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by dylanisgaines View Post
    I had written out a long reply to this but for some reason it didn't post it... lame... the tldr; ( too long didn't read ) version is:

    1) List 12,000 or so popular APIs APIs Dashboard | ProgrammableWeb

    2) My business partner handles clients and investors and that stuff, I just run the devs and come up with the apps. I'd look into Founders Club, tons of people there will have the kind of information your after.

    3) I'd do workflow and profit model together then use them to have the prototype built. Usually the prototype is used to get first clients and fine tune your workflow. Even the best planned apps will have hick ups and need some updates to be truly ready for the public. Remember, your end users are often stupid and impatient, complex and confusing applications will result in a harder time getting users, Google has one button for a reason.

    After Prototyping the cycle usually goes
    Private Beta
    Beta
    Alpha ( Production )
    I didnt realize like half of those were API's. I think that's a smart way to run a business. Seems like it would minimize the headaches of having a partner, in the sense of each person having rolls rather then both trying to do everything and clashing on many things. On the founders club, I went to their website (I believe it was the right one), and from what I understand, it seems like they are only interested in businesses that have been around for a while or are worth a lot. Unless I am misunderstanding the whole thing, which is a big possibility. When you make the workflow and profit models, what is your preferred method? Like do you start with a pen and note pad and sketch one up then go on some program to make it more detailed and functional? And is there a way to combine the two or do they stay separate and just make them at the same time? One of my main priorities when it comes to the properties of the app is simplicity, though it will be a complex app in the sense of features. I have some ideas on how to make it more simple for the end user.
    -Tyler

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    Dylan seems to be on the dev side. I am on the business side, so here is what I worry about when building an app:

    When you depend on an API integration for your app to function, remember that support and escalation paths need to be nailed down early. Where-ever possible, I will house data internally and draw upon it, vs. depending on a third party who has other customers and revenue models to keep an eye on as well.

    Prototypes are always best started with pen and paper. Draw, scratch, re-draw, test. One page per step in the workflow and then test it on someone--anyone. Then translate what comes of it to the PC and link them together in a low-fidelity mock-up.

    As far as simplicity--read Eric Ries' Lean Startup and introduce yourself to the idea of an MVP, or Minimum Viable Product. The idea is to build only the necessities, test, fail quickly if needed, and decide next steps.

    Make no mistake, this is a complicated process, but it's a very fun and lucrative complicated process.
    Last edited by ADR3NALINE FIX; 12-05-2014 at 09:36 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dylanisgaines View Post
    After Prototyping the cycle usually goes
    Private Beta
    Beta
    Alpha ( Production )
    I just want to clarify some terminology here. The alpha is actually before the beta, and it is a test typically amongst the developers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by anonymoose View Post
    I just want to clarify some terminology here. The alpha is actually before the beta, and it is a test typically amongst the developers.
    Different strokes for different folks I guess. I also call a production release an Alpha release (if it needs to be called anything besides a launch).
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  11. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ADR3NALINE FIX View Post
    Different strokes for different folks I guess. I also call a production release an Alpha release (if it needs to be called anything besides a launch).
    The production version is typically known as the gold version. As long as your people know your use of the terminology, that's all that matters. I just wanted to clarify the terminology for anyone who might read this thread down the road.

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