Ideas for apps

Discussion in 'iOS Programming' started by Charcoalwerks, Nov 11, 2016.

  1. Charcoalwerks macrumors regular


    Jul 14, 2011
    I have a question regarding creation of iOS apps. If I have ideas for apps that may or may not be good, how can I make these into reality?
    I have no idea how to use Xcode, and I don't know any app programmers. All I have are ideas.
    Are there places I can go and submit my ideas? Or should I keep them secret until I know someone who codes or someone who has already created successful and useful apps.
    I have iOS and OS X apps in mind.

    Thank you
  2. AxoNeuron macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2012
    The Left Coast
    First of all, it's pretty likely that your ideas are probably pretty terrible. Most apps flop. In fact, the vast majority fail to get 10,000 downloads.

    The app store is an incredibly difficult place to earn a living.

    If you want to make apps, the best way is to build them yourself. Learn programming. Buy a course from udemy or something. Programmers are very, very expensive, and programmers that are willing to work for an equity stake in a company are like unicorns, they are very rare.
  3. trepp16 macrumors newbie

    Nov 24, 2016
    +1 learn programming is the best way. event if you just get a basic app together and prove there is a market for it then you will be able to get another developer on board easier
  4. Mascots macrumors 65832


    Sep 5, 2009
    Not to mention, it's hard to have legitimate and truly usable ideas until you understand apps/programming in general - some things just won't work or take very large efforts.
  5. 1458279 Suspended


    May 1, 2010
    First off you have to figure out what do you want to do. I just had a discussion with someone that had a great idea for an app and it'll probably never be made. He wanted the app for himself and his business.

    The problem is that the app has to be programmed, submitted via a paid account, and maintained. Most want some backend which can costs money. Many apps will be knocked off or loaded on a bootleg device and most people would never pay you a dime for the work you've already done because this can find it somewhere for free.

    So what do you want to do? Do you want to get rich from your idea or do you want an app for you to use?

    You mentioned "keep them secret" ok, so you think they have value and you want that value. In that case, hire someone to create the app for you based on your specs, then go out and get the money from marketing your shinny new app.

    I won't agree with the "learn to program" as that's a lost cause for most. That's like learning how to rebuild engines because your's just blew a head gasket. Take it to a pro that knows what they are doing.

    I'll give you the idea that I was talking about before:
    The business person needed an app that would have a list of all his workers, he would schedule them to be on a certain site at a certain time for a certain duration...

    He would then email them and get confirmation of the email. This schedule would be done for about a week in advance and he needs records of who showed up, so some on site "check in" system would be needed.

    Ok, so that's the idea for an app. The reality is that not too many people would need this app. He has a special need that is addressed by more complex systems, but he doesn't want the hassle of a more complex system. He want's a "dirt simple" system.

    Nobody is going to write this for him. It's not worth it.

    The way the market is now, you have to have a GREAT idea for ANYONE that has a clue to consider it. If it won't be a chew it up, spit it out and make a few million, it's not likely to ever see the light of day.

    I wanted an app to use WiFi to make an old iPT into a com system. Setup an old iPT outside a gate and have someone "call in" using WiFi. Instant, dirt cheap, security system that can make Skype type WiFi calls and can even do motion detection and facial rec, etc...

    Plenty of ideas that'll never see the light of day.
  6. firewood macrumors 604

    Jul 29, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    Learning to code, for all but the simplest apps, often takes so long that the idea becomes obsolete before you finish. Another way is to raise from $10k to $250k (depending on the app complexity), and hire a programming consulting firm to implement your app idea.
  7. 1458279 Suspended


    May 1, 2010
    I saw a local new story about a group of students that created a babysitter app. They paid some 20~30K for a local company to do the app. It was basically a master/detail app with messaging. I don't know how hard it was, but the reality is that apps are quickly moving along he same lines as the websites did after DotCom, they ended up with a TON of templates out there.
  8. AxoNeuron macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2012
    The Left Coast
    I still disagree KarlJay. Your car analogy isn't quite right. We're not advising someone to learn to build an engine just because something broke. We're advising them to learn to build an engine because he wants to start his own car company.

    Almost universally most successful tech companies are started by software developers. There is a reason for this. It's because most non-software engineers are surprisingly bad at being able to predict what is "hard" and what isn't. They don't make realistic schedules because they simply don't understand the process. They make silly, non-sensical architecture decisions that lead to huge problems down the road. But a software engineer can predict what parts of the app will take the most time, they will have experience with testing, and most importantly, they will have the wisdom and experience needed to build out a robust, secure, and scalable backend infrastructure to support the app.

    Trying to start an app without any programming experience is silly. You don't have to be a code monkey, but you've at least got to have experience in the industry of project management at the very least, because if you don't, you'll make a ton of mistakes. Building any app more complicated than a simple notes list takes a huge amount of planning, time, and effort.
  9. 1458279 Suspended


    May 1, 2010
    As far as the car analogy goes, that would make it many times worse. The difference between you fixing your engine and building a car company is that if you screw up your engine, you've screw up one. If you screw up a car company, you've screwed up millions.

    The point that I wanted to make is that not everyone is made to be a programmer. I just saw a new clip about a company here in California that was trying to make a Silicon Valley outside of the actual Silicon Valley. They had classes with 'coders'... The point is that a 'coder' as they are using it is NOT a programmer or a software developer. These are people that find a block of code and paste it into an editor and click the button.

    Use this code for this, Use that code for that... That is NOT programming.
    1. a systems analyst solves complex problems of a system type.
    2. a programmer solves problem and has the ability to create a routine out of nothing.
    3. a coder looks at pictures of screens and cuts and pastes code that makes the screens happen.

    I think both of us have been around for quite a while now, we've seen many times before, the "do I have to code to make an app" or "how hard is it for me to make an app" type questions.

    Someone that comes in with a "I want to get to point X, does that mean I have to code?" should never try to be a programmer.

    The development of computer software is a science, it's not a "just tell me which block of code to cut-n-paste, and I'll press the run button"

    Is he looking to save money by not paying a professional?

    Quick story. Someone just posted on a forum: "I'll program an app at fixed cost, not hourly, to help pay for college". I posted an idea in order to get a price. He had no apps to see, no reference, no rules, no web page, etc...

    My idea was for a restaurant menu that would show pic of food items and send the selected items to an iPad that would show up so a cashier can process them.

    We went around in circles, he never gave a bid.

    The moral of the story (or at least a few) was that he was trying to bypass a normal business process. Truth is that the skills anyone has when they leave college have no market value. What has the market value is what they're able to do past what is learned in college.

    Take the Stanford 193 classes. I've done several of them. One was a calculator. This is entry level stuff that has no real market value. Nobody needs a sort routine, basic calculator, or card match game. These can be had for free for anyone that cares to search for them.

    There's a ton of people out there 'coding' by cut-n-paste. That alone doesn't make them real programmers.

    You're assuming the OP has what it take to become a skilled programmer. What happens if OP actually does have a great idea, and he codes it himself. He screws something up and the whole thing falls apart? Did you just cost him a million dollars because you convinced him he had the skills to program a computer?

    When I was in college, we had a computer lab in the business school. The wait was unreal, hours waiting for a seat. I didn't have to wait, people held a seat for me knowing when I got off work. They did this because the vast majority of them had NO CLUE what they were doing. They would watch me go and I'd even explain what I was doing and they still had no clue. This isn't an eval of them as people, they went for a degree that had little programming and they wanted to get a 'tech' degree that was actually a BS not a BA from a business school. They skimmed by and hoped they never had to program again.

    Make the language easier, drag-n-drop all you want, that doesn't make the brain any smarter.

    I'm not saying the OP doesn't have that skill, what I am saying is that suggesting that anyone can be a programmer is just wrong.

    BTW, where'd you learn about this: I'd like to read more about this.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 30, 2016 ---
    Just as a point about what's going on out there, here's a site that has "ready to go" apps for coders to compile.

    How many people can actually create these things from scratch?
  10. AxoNeuron macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2012
    The Left Coast
    Haha, that was PBS Newshour, we watch it every day. I saw the same story.

    I'm not saying everyone can be a programmer. But the same fact applies to business: not everyone can start a successful tech business. What I'm saying is: the skills are so closely related between the two that if you can do one, you can probably do the other. That's why I think people who want to start an app company should learn to program.
  11. 1458279 Suspended


    May 1, 2010
    LOL, I laughed when they're talking "high tech" and "we're NEAR Silicon Valley" and they're teaching bin-search on an array. Bin-search an array? Really? We don't do that, we make objects, classes, we're dealing with master/detail and client server database caching and they think learning to bin-search an array is going to have value?

    It was funny to hear that guy say "we need the talent here, that'll bring the jobs".

    I'm about the same distance from Silicon Valley as they are, a long commute or train ride. The jobs here are NOTHING like the jobs there. It's two different worlds.

    Anyways, I don't doubt the skills, I doubt the order. Some of these people can no more run a business than build a great app. I have a BS degree is in business (MIS) and one of the biggest problems we have is our mind set.

    We treat management as a promotion in stead of a profession.

    Everyone thinks they can run a business and/or build an app. They think it's just about knowing which button to press. If someone could just tell them which button to press, all the problems will be solved.

    It's like the old question: If I could turn sand into gold, could I pay off the nation's debt?

    The answer is NO because gold gets it value because it's rare. Quality app devs and great business people have their value because they are rare. If everyone were a Jobs or Ellison, we'd just have tough competition and they wouldn't be rare.

    There was no evidence that the OP or many of the other people that come here have the ability to develop a great app or a great business.

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