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  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast bnewton's Avatar
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    Question App Idea's outside your area of expertise.

    I was just interested to know , what do you guys do when you have an idea for an app that's outside of your area of expertise.

    For example you have ideas for like an medical app or real estate app , but don't know all the ins and outs of those fields. Do you try to find a friend or someone with knowledge in that area and run your idea by them. Or do you try to educate your self more in the field to see if your idea would be valid.

    I guess I'm just looking for some guidance on this issue.

    thanks,
    bnewton

  2. #2
    Theoretical Physics Student bronze trophy Jake Arkinstall's Avatar
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    Life is for learning.

    If you have a great idea, the LAST thing you want to do is give it to someone else - and a close second-to-last is giving up a part of your life to persue the idea.

    But generally the best thing to do is learn it and take it as it comes. I've had loads of ideas that i've turned into a bloated app, refactored a hundred times over into a really light and fast application - but lost interest in before persuing it further. But at least I learn from it
    Jake Arkinstall
    "Sometimes you don't need to reinvent the wheel;
    Sometimes its enough to make that wheel more rounded"-Molona

  3. #3
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Contact a group of people (perhaps on a forum) whom are in the field you have the idea for, tell them you have an idea (just be brief), ask them what kind of things they would like to see in that sort of application, and then as required you can use this information to acquire the knowledge needed to implement the item. I have gone through the same thing before, and nothing beats a good usability group or brainstorm session with people who know what they’re talking about.

  4. #4
    King of Paralysis by Analysis bronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by bnewton View Post
    For example you have ideas for like an medical app or real estate app , but don't know all the ins and outs of those fields. Do you try to find a friend or someone with knowledge in that area and run your idea by them. Or do you try to educate your self more in the field to see if your idea would be valid.
    All of the above, starting with point 2 and then progressing to point 1.

    There really is minimal risk to someone stealing your idea and running with it in most cases, and if you're truly concerned than have them sign an NDA.

    If you have a thought about a real-estate app, approach some professionals in the business and run it by them (that's market research). The odds of one of them saying "awesome idea, I think I'll steal it, learn to code, learn about DBs and the such, and spend 5 years building it because I have no clue how to code" are pretty slim.

    The truly LAST thing you want to do is invest a ton of time and money in an idea that never had a chance of going anywhere because it was a bad idea to start with. Time seems infinite when you're young and single but as you get older and need to pay a mortgage and for daycare for your kid you need to focus on things that will make $$$. You can learn just as much coding an app with a chance of being a success that you can coding an app that never stood a chance.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Very good topic. For me, I would work someone who has the domain knowledge and split the profit 50/50. The reason is that, unless you're actually in the field you don't know what functionality is crucial to them. You can make educated guess and may cover 80% of it. But, some times you make 1 wrong turn and keeps on making harmful/useless codes for nothing or may even break the system. Still, more than anything, anyone can make great apps but who's going to market it? unless you already have a client who's interested in your software, it'll be a hard sell!!! Also, don't share the idea among IT people. At least in the beginning, make a prototype and decide if you need further IT help.

  6. #6
    Theoretical Physics Student bronze trophy Jake Arkinstall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tke71709 View Post
    If you have a thought about a real-estate app, approach some professionals in the business and run it by them (that's market research). The odds of one of them saying "awesome idea, I think I'll steal it, learn to code, learn about DBs and the such, and spend 5 years building it because I have no clue how to code" are pretty slim.
    Or they could just approach a cheap web development company...
    Jake Arkinstall
    "Sometimes you don't need to reinvent the wheel;
    Sometimes its enough to make that wheel more rounded"-Molona

  7. #7
    King of Paralysis by Analysis bronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by arkinstall View Post
    Or they could just approach a cheap web development company...
    Which would most likely rip them off, deliver crappy code and they'd still be no further ahead.

    The odds of this happening, again, are pretty slim.

    Just because you and I know how to get something developed, the pitfalls, etc... doesn't mean that the general population does, has the initiative to do so, or even wants to. People who specialize in a field (e.g. real estate) are just that, specialists in a field. Their time is better spent selling houses and the such than it is getting sucked into side-projects that they have no clue about (web dev).

    I send my child to a daycare everyday. I see how much money this daycare brings in (and the fact that my kid was on the waiting list for 18 months to get in). Does that mean that I'm going to run out and start a daycare? I could do it easily enough, I would just need to hire a manager (web dev company in your scenario), and let them take care of the details with me financing it to get it off the ground. I'm not going to waste my time doing that though because it's not my area of expertise and I can make more money doing other things with less risk.

    Talk to potential users, offer them a free lifetime license to use it once it's developed. These are the people that you're going to need to vet your requirements, set the business rules, introduce you to the right people to market it, test the application, critique the prototypes, etc... For the hardcore subject matter experts offer them a small piece of the company (I would never go 50-50) for their help.

    Software development shouldn't occur in a vacuum, and if it does then you're wasting your time. People love to help others and people love to be thought of as experts and to be part of something bigger than them. You'd be amazed at how much free expertise and advice and you can get from people if you just ask nicely.


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