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Idea I had and how I'm trying to make it work

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Jeix

Contributor
Oct 1, 2018
22
39
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26
Milan, Italy
Hello fastlaners, random 25 year old here.
This might look like a progress thread but it's not, I promise.

Last October my friend had (in our view) a great app idea. I talked about it with some more friends and they all agreed. Of course the idea is worth millions (yeah I wish lol) so I can't tell explicitly what it is but it doesn't matter for the sake of this discussion.
The point was that none of us knew how to code and none of us had any business experience, some only had a small job experience in unrelated fields. We also had very little money to invest.

Nevertheless, I decided to get started anyway and began looking for developers.

I hired the only ones that I could afford, Nigerian guys my age for €2000. We agreed on milestone payments and got the project started in November, I've only paid about one third of the money so far. I would be the one using his own money and my friends were mostly unwilling to risk anything. As the devs worked, I began looking into legal stuff such as how to set up a company in my country, how to deal with taxes and how to get funds. I would also have to deal with privacy policies and with setting up a well done ad campaign.

Now I'm in the desert of desertion. The app is being made and I feel mostly useless until it's done.
My biggest problem here is that I have no technical know-how. I feel like I'm good at managing a company but I have no proof of it yet (none that I can show others anyway, I'm very convinced of it myself if that counts for something lol), I just know that I love diving into data and analyzing the way the market responds to develop new strategies and stuff like that.
Given that I don't know how to code, I have to outsource and anybody can steal my project.
I actually do know how to advertise on social media and how the metrics work but I'm not a graphic designer so I need to outsource that too. I also believe that there should be other people taking care of the ad campaigns full time because I should focus on finding new sponsors, planning future investments, handling legal stuff etc.
And finally the last problem is this one: I need investors but anybody I tell my idea to can simply steal it and use the money to develop it themselves by cutting out a useless person (me) who would otherwise own 51% of the company. Given my need for them, the only thing that I can do here is take the risk.

So I'm not asking what to do here because I've already decided that I'm going for it all the way.
I would, however, like to ask if I should rightfully be worried about this, what I can do to fix these issues, if what I've said sounds sensible and if it's reasonable to do what I'm doing given my little experience (just curious on this one because I'm doing it anyway lol).
I know that I'm going to fail, learn, try again, fail, learn, try again and succeed.
I'm just very scared because I would be using someone else's money and if things don't go well it's going to be harder to get more in the future; although I can answer my own doubt here and say that if I don't try it's always going to be hard to succeed.
Last but not least, I basically have no team with know-how and (most likely) no money to hire them.
Combine all of these things together and you get a very scared entrepreneur who really looks like a fool that's just rushing headlong into something he doesn't understand.
Please help lol.
 

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rwhyan

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Aug 27, 2017
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Ideas are useless without execution. If someone can "steal" your idea and profit off it so easily to where you are afraid to share it with anyone, then you should revisit the Commandment of Entry.

Have you read TMF or UNSCRIPTED? I think that a lot of your questions would be answered.

The idea itself isn't as important as your execution. What do you bring to the table? Why will your app provide immense value to others and how do you know that it will? What will make your app better than the millions of others? Do you absolutely need investors? Do you need a team at this point?

As quickly as possible you want to expose your product to the market and interact with the market. You want to receive market echos. Act. Assess. Adjust.
 
OP
OP
Jeix

Jeix

Contributor
Oct 1, 2018
22
39
22
26
Milan, Italy
Ideas are useless without execution. If someone can "steal" your idea and profit off it so easily to where you are afraid to share it with anyone, then you should revisit the Commandment of Entry.

Have you read TMF or UNSCRIPTED? I think that a lot of your questions would be answered.

The idea itself isn't as important as your execution. What do you bring to the table? Why will your app provide immense value to others and how do you know that it will? What will make your app better than the millions of others? Do you absolutely need investors? Do you need a team at this point?

As quickly as possible you want to expose your product to the market and interact with the market. You want to receive market echos. Act. Assess. Adjust.
Anyone with money can put execution into an idea. If I were to start from scratch by myself it would take at least another year of learning how to code and who knows what the market will look like then. If I need money, I gotta ask those who have it and face some amount of risk no matter what idea I have. But this is not what this discussion is about, it's a risk I have to take. I read both books btw.

The app is not the next facebook, I'm sure there are some Chinese already trying this out and having good success. Without going into much detail, we are taking the market from the current top entertainment apps, seeing what need they satisfy, and give it a new twist that we believe will improve user experience.

I'm trying things out with the tools I have access to from the position I am in. My only question is if you think that's something you'd pursue too or if you'd do something else instead. This won't change what I'm going to do, I will just use the information to get a better understanding of the whole situation.
 

rwhyan

The higher, the fewer
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
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Aug 27, 2017
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Anyone with money can put execution into an idea. If I were to start from scratch by myself it would take at least another year of learning how to code and who knows what the market will look like then. If I need money, I gotta ask those who have it and face some amount of risk no matter what idea I have. But this is not what this discussion is about, it's a risk I have to take. I read both books btw.

The app is not the next facebook, I'm sure there are some Chinese already trying this out and having good success. Without going into much detail, we are taking the market from the current top entertainment apps, seeing what need they satisfy, and give it a new twist that we believe will improve user experience.

I'm trying things out with the tools I have access to from the position I am in. My only question is if you think that's something you'd pursue too or if you'd do something else instead. This won't change what I'm going to do, I will just use the information to get a better understanding of the whole situation.
Have you interacted with the market at all before investing this much cash into developing an app? You need soft proof that your solution to a problem is valuable before even worrying about developing a full-fledged app, getting investors, a team, etc. Are you guessing that there is a Chinese version out there? Or is there actually one, that you're now trying to bring to US market?

I cannot tell you what I would do in your situation because A.) I don't know enough about it and B.) I wouldn't put myself in your situation in the first place.

The way I would've done this (before putting in $2k) would've been something like this:
1. Talk to peers, strangers, etc. and see what they think
2. Regardless of their response, build a landing page for the app that collects emails
3. GO TO the market, whoever that may be and wherever they may congregate (online or offline), and present them your concept.
4. Direct paid, targeted traffic to your landing page and see how many people sign up.

MJ has a section in UNSCRIPTED I believe around page 260 (I don't have my copy with me right now) that describes various methods of achieving soft proof.

You can also look at distribution channels (are their other products out there? how are the reviews? how many reviews?)
 
OP
OP
Jeix

Jeix

Contributor
Oct 1, 2018
22
39
22
26
Milan, Italy
Have you interacted with the market at all before investing this much cash into developing an app? You need soft proof that your solution to a problem is valuable before even worrying about developing a full-fledged app, getting investors, a team, etc. Are you guessing that there is a Chinese version out there? Or is there actually one, that you're now trying to bring to US market?

I cannot tell you what I would do in your situation because A.) I don't know enough about it and B.) I wouldn't put myself in your situation in the first place.

The way I would've done this (before putting in $2k) would've been something like this:
1. Talk to peers, strangers, etc. and see what they think
2. Regardless of their response, build a landing page for the app that collects emails
3. GO TO the market, whoever that may be and wherever they may congregate (online or offline), and present them your concept.
4. Direct paid, targeted traffic to your landing page and see how many people sign up.

MJ has a section in UNSCRIPTED I believe around page 260 (I don't have my copy with me right now) that describes various methods of achieving soft proof.

You can also look at distribution channels (are their other products out there? how are the reviews? how many reviews?)
Yes, we did our research and talked to our target market extensively, like I said the idea was born in October and we started in November. I'm just guessing some Chinese is already doing it, I haven't found anything so far.

The real question I have is if you would do something like this (managing an app) with no prior experience, assuming market conditions were the ones you are looking for, or if you would do something else instead, in which case I ask you: what something?
 

NMdad

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The real question I have is if you would do something like this (managing an app) with no prior experience, assuming market conditions were the ones you are looking for, or if you would do something else instead
If you don't have soft or hard proof that there's a need for the problem your app solves, then this question isn't your problem. Having no customers is your Achilles heel.
 

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