App Developer Chat: Appitalize On Your Idea with Justin Esgar
AppDevChat is open to any app developers, marketers or others interested in learning about developing, creating, inventing, marketing apps. It happens every Thursday at 10am PST on twitter. We post the recap here.
This App Dev Chat was unique. We met Justin at SXSW V2V in August of 2013 and were intrigued by his idea and book. It was an honor to ask him questions about his career as an entrepreneur and how he created his apps from simple ideas.
All responses by Justin are in
All responses by Justin are in bold.
@AppDevChat when did you decide to turn your ideas about app development into a book?
Back in the beginning of 2013. I had been doing it as a presentation and realized a book would be helpful for peeps
@AppDevChat Give us a summary of what the book is about?
The book is a 101 guide to take any idea and make it real, not only apps.I discuss how to come up with an idea, how to protect yourself, how to get it built, and how to market it
@williamdnapier What do you think about the whole ‘native’ (iOS, Android, Win) app v. hybrid (HTML5, PhoneGap, etc.) debate?
There’s room for everyone in the pool. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. Do what works best for the user.
@TheCodeBender was getting all of your thoughts down on paper and formatted into a book harder then you had anticipated?
Yes and no. I started in Jan, but didn’t really work hard until I was commuting to my day job on the train but I did it all in word, paid someone to format for kindle, and used the self-publish methods on amazon – EZ!
@AppDevChat Wanted to know if you did your own design & development or found others to assist you?
So my original idea I drew on paper. My wife is an amazing designer and was able to help me make a graphical flow chart. I used that flow chart for the first time with the programmers to get it built. Here’s the actual flow chart she designed for me back in 2010 – autriv.com/flow.jpg
@TheCodeBender What kind of background do you come from that you were able to draw insight from while writing this?
I’m an apple consultant who built an app. I was able to talk about it, and used that to write the book – it’s really my story how I built #SignMyPad, and other apps, and what worked and didn’t
@AppDevChat What about Marketing? Hire someone to help or DIY?
Everything I do is DIY. I listen to a lot of podcasts, and read a lot of blogs to get new ideas. Also conferences help! I’m working on trying to go to a Real estate conference to show off our new product.
@williamdnapier Did you also create user personas or stories?
Not when we started. Now that we have so many users we try to do QA testing, but everyone use is different. we did do that also with our failed app BlackBook…& that failed, shows how much we knew what the users wanted
@TheCodeBender When marketing your own app what kind of budget do you usually work with and what kind of return can you expect?
Budget = if it’s free I’m doing it. If I can tweet to someone and say “hey show some love” and they do the ROI
@AppDevChat Tell us about you core philosophies in regards to “appitalizing” your idea.
It’s that anyone can do it. We need innovation in this world and we need it now! Look at the smartphone market – everyone’s trying to do what the iPhone did to it. Where’s the innovation? I feel that people think they can only work inside the confines of the box, but I’m no where near that box. You can be also.
@AppDevChat So coming from a failed app idea, what lessons did you learn?
The biggest lesson – release a MVP (minimum viable product) – get version 0.1 out the door, if you wait your market will shift. We got stuck on a feature we wanted for 6 months, by the the audience for the app found other solutions.
@AppDevChat How do you decide on features when competing with such an aggressively growing market?
My day job helped figured out what people wanted, both from a client view and a sys admin view.
@TheCodeBender What about releasing too little and users not getting enough value and ultimately going elsewhere or not returning?
But what about those who will love what it is and keep loving it. Others will return if you position correctly.
@TheCodeBender So how do you decide what is enough or what features to include in 0.1?
Case by case. Get core competency out. What’s the main idea of the app- make that work. Bells and whistles later.
@AppDevChat Where do you keep all your best ideas?
The notes app on my phone and Mac – I have a note called ‘Ideas’ – its riddled with everything, both easy and not.
@AppDevChat How do you move forward on picking what’s next and executing those ideas?
I talk it out with my wife, family and friends, and see what they think. then try to figure out how much it will $ and I look for competition. Once I’m clear of all 3 I move to the next step – design!
Join us next time on #appdevchat on February 6th at 10am PST
If you’d like to participate and lead a discussion, please contact [email protected]
Also published on Medium.