Thinking of building a mobile app? Breaking into the mobile application space can be incredibly difficult if you don’t know and understand the nuances of the industry. The process of building a mobile application can be long, complicated and full of obstacles. However, in order to save you time and energy, I’ve taken the liberty of breaking the process into smaller, much more manageable steps.
What follows is the definitive guide to building a mobile app.
Down a bottle of NoDoz.
While up at 1 a.m. posting hilarious comments on /r/holdmyjuicebox, come up with your “Uber for babies” app idea.
Quit your job as a tax auditor. How hard can it be to build an app and make millions!?
Call every app development agency in town. Ask them if they’ll work for equity. When they inevitably laugh so hard they can’t even choke up the words to answer your question, ask them what they can do with $3000. Hang up once you realize the agency rep has been laughing for ten minutes straight.
Decide to outsource. Find a company based in some country you can’t pronounce that swears they can incorporate GPS and augmented reality into both iPhone and Andriod applications for total of $3,000. Believe them when they tell you they can have it done in two weeks.
Sign up with said company. Then, when they inevitably ask for product specs, spend all night trying to develop some until you realize you have no idea what they even mean by “product specs.”
Send the shop the scribbled notes you wrote to yourself when you came up with the idea while on aforementioned NoDoz bender. They’ll know what “GPS goes to awhdiognnhghh” means! (Even if you can’t remember.)
Check in on the app for the first time two weeks later. And then again, two weeks later. And again, two weeks later. Keep doing this until your app is finally complete in a year and a half.
In the meantime, do absolutely no marketing or business development beyond telling all your cool startup friends you’re building an app.
Finally, you get the app! Test it rigorously until you realize it does absolutely nothing that it was supposed to do.
Receive a bill from dev shop in country that you still can’t pronounce after all this time for $325,000.
Send app to the app store. Get immediately rejected by Apple. The reason? “This app is terrible and no one will ever use it. Even the dumbest of dumb people couldn’t find a use for this dumb app. Please, I beg of you… STOP WASTING YOUR LIFE ON THIS INCREDIBLY STUPID APP!”
Send to ProductHunt. Try to use your four upvotes as leverage to get an investor.
Call more dev shops to find out if they can fix problems with your app. Find one willing to help! After performing a code audit, the shop tells you they can fix it $500,000.
Decide you need a CTO instead. The right person is someone with a decade of expertise strategizing around and building mass market mobile products, ideally with experience at Google or Facebook. However, the only CTO you can find is a 21-year-old stoner who just graduated from a coding bootcamp. Contract to give that person half the company instead of a paycheck.
Two weeks into trying to fix the app, said CTO decides to use their trust fund to move to Costa Rica and become a surf instructor. Due to the way the contract is structured, there’s no way to take them off the cap table. Watch sadly as half your business walks out the door with a manbun and a conch shell necklace.
Come to the realization that building anything well takes time, energy and money.
Come to the realization that you’re not willing to invest any of these things.
Write a blog post about your epic failure. Be sure to write about how awesome failure is, how great it is for people and how you think everyone should fail all the time because failing is SO GREAT and definitely DOESN’T cause major personal and professional setbacks. SO GREAT!
Look up the Dunning-Kruger effect. Decide it DEFINITELY doesn’t apply to you.
Come up with a new idea while on another NoDoz bender. “Uber for babies” didn’t work, but “Tinder for toddlers” is sure to be a success!
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