The assignment was to take an app or business idea and do market research to simulate making a pitch to a venture capitalist. Presented on December 8, 2016
Leading a successful company is a challenge that arises from its start.
The goal of this assignment was to develop an idea and do sufficient market research to be able to simulate approaching a venture capitalist. We formed groups and worked as teams to develop teamwork ethics.
What Was My Team’s Idea?
We thought of a news app. The app will consist of news on humanitarian rights issues. We wanted to connect people to human rights issues. Users can take actions such as sign a petition, donate to a cause or be able to write to government officials. They will also be able to take pictures and share their stories. The stories that they share will have to be in accordance to humanitarian rights. After stories have been submitted to us, they will be shared in the app and on social media.
Why Did We Want To Create This App?
We felt that there is a lack of human rights stories in the media and thereby less people knowing about it. Our aim was to educate more people and filter “entertainment” or useless content as we described it. These content we felt disconnected humanity from stories that speak the truth; i.e. injustice to people.
Who Is Our Audience?
The app was directed toward age group 18–24 of men and women. This age group used their smartphones the most hours.
*Click images to enlarge them and pinch to zoom in mobile devices
Our next audience were activists. Our hope was that activists would share our app with their big audiences and populate our app.
We needed to find out if developing an app was worth it. Looking at the chart below, we noticed that the number of hours spent on the internet through mobile devices is increasing. This let us know that we should move toward app development.
Google Play Store Vs. App Store
Once app development has been confirmed, we now had to look at amount of apps between the biggest app markets Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store. The number of apps in Play Store were significantly higher than in App Store.
How Much Can We Be Worth?
We compared company worth of App Store and Play Store. Play Store’s company worth is more than App Store’s.
Next we estimated our monthly income on each platform. We did so by taking the average monthly income of apps in Play Store and App Store. This was done because the goal was to simulate market research. The aim of this assignment was not to actually do business to come up with our data. Based upon studying the average monthly income of apps in both platforms, we predicted that if we published our app on Play Store, our monthly revenue would be $2,735. If we published our app on App Store, our monthly revenue would be $3,693.
Growing at a rate of 100%, our income for the first year would be $32,820 in Play Store and in App Store, it would be $44,316. We then took these calculations and used a calculator to determine our net worth in 10 years. Our company would be worth $8,670,625 in Play Store and in App Store, our company would be worth $11,707,722.
Using the same calculator, our profit in 10 years in the Play Store would be over $15 million. In App Store, our profit would be over $20 million in 10 years.
We determined that we should publish our app on Google Play Store. The decision was made based on the constraints offered by both platforms. App Store charges $100 annual fee for developers to publish apps for Apple products. Play Store only charges a one-time fee of $25. Another factor was the programming language to be used. Play Store uses Java that is an easier language to adapt to compared with objective-C used in Apple Store. Since we wanted to code our application by ourselves, we went with android application development.
How Big Is The News Category In Play Store?
According to the latest data at the time, 2.97% (30,877) of all apps were in the news category. We determined from this that our stay in the market would be competitive since the news category is small compared to other categories. This did not cause us to change our idea.
How Did We Stand Out?
Some of the biggest competitors in the news category are Google (Google News/Google Now) and Flipboard. However, their apps contain a broad range of topics, again leading to users getting distracted from human rights issues. While filters are available in those apps, they allow the users to choose from multiple categories.
None of those news apps include features that allow users to take actions to situations. Our app had the options that allow users to sign petitions, donate to causes and write to their government officials.
After Our Research
After we had sufficient research data and a solid understanding of our business plan, it was time to submit our app idea to our teacher (Click Image Below).
How Did We Code Our App?
Me and my team went a degree above the rest of the groups in our software engineering class. Our teacher did not require for us to code an app. However, we thought this would give our presentation a greater value.
Android apps are coded using a programming language known as Java. In order to code, an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is required. An IDE assists in app development by organizing components of an application’s code into a neat format. Android Studio by Google was our choice of IDE.
Lastly, we all had to create a presentation. After many revisions, we presented our presentation to the class.
According to our calculations and research, we asked for $8,000,000 for 35% stake of our company.
After presenting, we realized that we have made some mistakes.
Based on the feedback we received, our presentation did not follow a storyline. This is a big problem because it shows our lack of organization skills.
Secondly, we emphasized more on the content that we would produce. However, we did not look into sources that we would generate revenue from. One reason was because I thought that our company should be nonprofit. Our team discussions about this lead us to believe that somehow big companies would donate to us and being nonprofit would be a better option.
In general, venture capitalists are looking to make money. If me and my team approached an actual venture capitalist with this element missing, we would be turned away.
On our initial presentation, we also did not mention where we would advertise. While we did claim that letting activists know about our app can assist in generating users, it was not sufficient.
We looked at the morals and made changes to our presentation by adding sources to generate revenue through.
We began with an outline (Click Image Below)
We reframed our presentation to fill in the gaps using our outline.
The Final Presentation
Matter News By | Tahfimul, Jean and Danieldocs.google.com
When we published our app in the Google Play Store, we did not see much success. In our process of developing the app, we did not ever survey nor think of surveying our target age group. As a result, we did not know if they needed our app.
Another fact is that we were not proficient at the language that we planned to code our app using (Java).
We realized that for all of these constraints, we should take down our app.
The team members who were part of the journey from the beginning have left. However, I did not give up. I am in the process of learning Android Java to be able to successfully code the app and survey the original target age group.
I plan to grow this app into a bigger state. The profit earned through the app will go towards development of other services for the company.
If the company grows big enough, it will house research and plans to give to and improve the developing countries.