5 reasons why creating a popular app is harder than it looks

Flappy Bird start screen

When a game like Flappy Bird is able to hold steady at the top of Apple’s charts, it’s easy to think that creating a hit app is easy. After all, how hard could it be to create a game like that? A few pixel animations, some tap controls, and you’re done.

But, just like getting your scribbles featured in the Museum of Modern Art, creating a runaway hit application is a lot harder than it looks. Sure, learning to write the actual code can be a challenge, but these days there’s a lot more working against you than that. Continue reading

Your freelance developer won’t steal your idea

So you’ve worked out all the details of your app, created the wireframes, and you’re ready to find a freelance developer.

But you freeze up. What if your developer steals your idea?

Hell, you just did all that work, and now you’re just handing it over to someone who actually knows how to code.

But the chances of a developer stealing your idea are actually extremely slim. It just doesn’t make sense for a freelancer to steal your idea. Check out the video below to see why. Continue reading

It’s time to help your users do less, not more

We’ve just about reached the tipping point. The major technology companies of tomorrow won’t be focused on allowing users to do more — rather, they will allow us to do the same number of things but require much less work.

The internet gave rise to monster first-generation companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and a slew of gaming and coupon businesses. These companies allowed people to do things and they could never do before, like keep in contact with all of their friends, stay up to the minute with global news, and farm little multiplayer digital worlds no matter where they were. These companies are all about doing more.

But there is a limit to how much we as humans can do in a single day. It was easy for these companies to acquire user’s attention when the Internet was still young — simply because there wasn’t that much competition. Now, we are running out of new things that people want to do digitally. Continue reading

Should you ask your investor to sign an NDA?

There’s a common question among first-time entrepreneurs: Should I ask [insert person here] to sign a Disclosure Agreement? These “idea people” think they have a highly profitable idea, and want to make sure it’s protected before talking to anyone.

When someone asks my opinion on whether they should present an NDA to a potential investor or mentor, I have one emphatic reply: No. No no no. No no no no no no no. NO.

I made a video to explain why. Continue reading

Quit wasting time searching for a technical cofounder

Finger wag

It’s no surprise to me that many of my students are searching for a technical cofounder.

If you have a good idea but not the ability to bring that product to life, it makes sense to try to find someone with a complimentary skill set: a coder without an idea.

But this thinking is based on flawed logic — these students are assuming that their idea alone is valuable. This is flat-out not true. It’s the execution of an idea, not the idea itself.

Even if you don’t know how to code, there are a ton of other things you can do that will actually help move your idea forward. Knowing how to code is not the be-all and end-all of building apps or other technical products. Continue reading