I help companies understand and adopt emerging technologies. I am seasoned Digital Transformation & Innovation Consultant, helping organizations stay on top of their Business and Digital Strategy. I am also an experienced Product Owner & Program Manager, adept at taking raw ideas and developing capabilities necessary to bring them to life. I possess strong business acumen and thought leadership, mixed with skillful analytical and managerial abilities. Working with organizations of all sizes, I ensure they have the tools needed to keep up with the pace of digital evolution in EdTech, E-commerce, and Data-Driven Marketing by setting up pilot programs, innovation funnels and product roadmaps. I curate vendor relationships and build cross-functional teams using agile processes and lean methodologies. I also help productize ideas by merging ideation with leading-edge emerging technologies and data science. Providing strategic advice and recommending best practices, I help companies understand and integrate new technologies, championing adaptation of Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual and Augmented Reality. I help improve business processes by finding gaps and developing new business cases, adding value to my clients.
Sounds like you are looking for a business coach or branding specialist. As I am sure you already see that what you really need is for someone to come in and explain all available options and how they stack up. In all honesty, no two businesses are alike, so what you will need to do is to look at past track record of the consultant.
My advice would be to find other similar business models and understand how they work, what may be their advantages and disadvantages. Don't be shy to reach out to other owners or executives through LinkedIn, you would be surprised how many of them will be willing to share their experience.
Also, rather than hiring an expensive consultant, maybe it's worth finding an adviser or mentor first and do some due diligence, so that when you do hire someone, you will know exactly what to ask.
Great question, and pretty common in a new product launch. There are a lot of factors at play which may affect your go to market strategy. In line with Lean methodologies, the simplest approach is the best. You can launch with what you have already and iterate later once you have some feedback and analytics to guide you in what your customers like. It also depends on how you plan to launch. If you are going to run a national marketing campaign and pump lots of money into it, then I would advise doing more research first. Maybe first launch in a small focus group and experiment with various pricing models until you see which one works best.
On the other hand, if you have existing competitors which are not significantly differentiated from your product in feature set, and target the same customer groups, then you can trust they may have already figured out what works, so replicating their model may be the best choice. Happy to discuss more.
Let's assume you are talking about getting funded to create a full version of the app. Contrary to what others are saying, you are likely going to need a prototype in order to clearly demonstrate what you are trying to accomplish with this app. VCs and investors like to see a minimal viable product before any discussion about funding can begin. Now, what prototype means is a very wide range of things. It could be a simple as a sketched mockups of each screen of your app - a paper prototype. This is actually very useful in early customer testing. You could also create an interactive prototype through a service like Invision, this will be a simulation of your app without any code written. Also, a lot depends on the complexity of the app. For instance, if you are creating an app which follows well known user experience conventions like booking or instant messaging, then it's easy to demonstrate functionality using existing apps, while if this is something completely new, then more details will need to be fleshed out in the prototype.
If you are starting your own business, you likely have a significant amount of experience in your industry, or passion which is just as good. I found that a lot of skills I developed while starting new businesses are transferable and there is a demand for them in a freelance marketplace. I have been consulting on and off for pretty much my whole career, even when being neck deep in a new venture. I would suggest identifying a few skills which you can sell by offering them on part-time basis: writing, programming, SEO, creative design, etc. Utilize your network by offering your services or even use larger freelance marketplaces like UpWork. I do not think I would have been able to sustain myself without this kind of work while bootstrapping a new idea.
As a long time entrepreneur, I would say the most important aspect of starting something new is planning. I can not emphasize that enough. It is important to understand product lifecycle and how your new idea will be brought to market.
While planning your journey is important, some aspects of your startup growth are going to be hard to predict. In particular whether customers will like your product or service. I strongly believe in lean methodology, which means creating simple prototypes and testing your market over and over again, until you can build enough confidence in demand for what you are doing. Then it's mostly just following the startup path by the book:
- establish an amazing team
- gain and demonstrate traction
- have a solid growth and demonetization plan
- pitch, pitch & pitch (or if funds are available, bootstrap it yourself until you hit the growth ceiling, then pitch)
- don't forget to watch your life balance, very often entrepreneurs get sucked into the work funnel, set time aside for other things in your life or you will burn out quicker than a candle in a wind.
When opening a new corp, it's a good idea to issue initial shares in large enough quantities which would allow you to offer them to other team members later on. I would suggest something along 1-10K. At this point you own 100% of shares.
Once you do decide to bring someone on-board, you may decide to offer them a certain stake in the company. You should always think of that in terms of how much would that equate in terms of actual money. Lets say you hire a COO and you agree that he/she would be interested in earning 150K annually. Since you currently can only offer 50K, you would offer the other 100K in equity. Now if you forecast your company to evaluate at 2M at some near future, then each share (assuming you issued 1000) would effectively be worth 1K, so to compensate someone with potential earning based on future valuation you may want to offer them 100 shares. This means that now you own only 90% of the company. Hope this gives you general idea.
I would second previous replies. The decision should be based on a number of factors:
- do you plan to offer the same features on other platforms and if so how much effort can you save by developing core functionality in a portable format?
- will your app require complicated animations or integration with technologies not easily accessible through a hybrid framework (Cordova, PhoneGap, etc)
- also look at the talent you have access to. If you have an awesome iOS or Android developer, it may make sense to develop a native version first.
Not necessarily, if your app can potentially serve different markets with different demographics, it may be beneficial to market to each market individually. Since app interface often serves as a marketing tool, it is important that it resonates with its target audience. This means having a different interface for the same set of functionalities depending on your audience may be prudent.
On the contrary, if you are simply trying to create variations of the app for a single market by short-cutting user testing and hoping that one of the interfaces will generate more interest, you are then over-saturating the market and may actually hurt yourself by creating unnecessary confusion for your users. I would suggest looking into what other apps your target audience is using and working off that to create a single user experience which would resonate with them.
My name is Michael and I am an Entrepreneur, Adviser and Innovator in a Small Business and Technical Solutions arena. I'd be happy to offer you additional assistance if you are interested.
How are you today? I would like to start by asking if you have a QA process in place? Normally, with any application or website development, there is a final step of validating what has been developed before releasing it to the public. This ensures that there are no bugs or defects being released. You can do this yourself, hire a freelancer to do it for cheap or retain a professional service like applause.com. You can also do code reviews, to check for commonly accepted coding conventions. Hope this helps, let me know if I can be of assistance?