Every once in a while you will come up with an idea that is rather good. A business idea for a web page that might just be of interest to other people. Sometimes you have those grand plans that will challenge Facebook. Other times you think of a page that will show all the colors of the rainbow, just for the sake of it.

My problem is that I’m always waiting for that business idea. You know, the one that you complete in 2-3 weeks and then you’re sitting in the shade of a palm tree on some Caribbean island. In one hand, a Piña Colada that an unknown force of nature keeps filled up to the brim, and with the other hand you’re refreshing the bank account on your cell phone and the display is just filling up with digits.

The thing is, that when that great idea arrives I will be totally unprepared. I will not know what to do. That is why I will do a fire drill with you to prepare for that idea. Let’s go through what we need to do to go from business idea to app. Come along!

The business idea

The first thing you need to do is to find the business idea. This could prove quite difficult.

Imagine all the smart things that are out there and how happy all the people who invented them must be. Well, I can guarantee that for every smart business idea emerging on the market, there are at least nine more of them that are useless. So why don’t we start out with a bad one, and then there are only eight ideas away from succeeding!? In my example we will do something that I have been missing for quite a while. Yeah, you all know what I’m talking about. This is the scenario.

You’re driving your car. It’s 170 km left until you reach your destination. You have fallen into that nice trance that only the humping of your car’s worn out suspension and the buzz from the summer tires on wet pavement can give. That is when unspeakable happens.

– Dad, the battery of my iPad is dead!

Panic! What should we do? We can’t let the poor children look out the windows for more than an hour, can we? Without doing nothing at all? Well, we might as well move back into a cave, then! But relax, you are well prepared! It’s right there in your glove compartment. The amazing thing.

– Kids, I printed som car bingo badges for you!

– Wow, dad! You’re awesome!

Implementation

That’s right, we will do a car bingo! To do this in a proper fashion we need to set up a few guide lines:

  1. Anyone should be able to get into our website and play car bingo online.
  2. We should be able to print the badges from the webpage. The badges should be randomized, of course.
  3. We need an app for this! This means one app for iPhone and one for Android.
  4. We want to make money from our business idea!

Don’t just sit there! Get som pens and paper and start designing those bingo badges!

 

from business idea to app - work in progress

Domain names

Now that we know what to do it’s time to find a great name for our app. I would like to register the domain with the same name as the app. The car bingo feels like a rather international thing, which means that we just have to modify some of the images a bit – change the road signs and remove all the Swedish moose – to be able to release it in every country. Because of this, an international app name would be great!

During my years of failing to implement smart business ideas I have learnt an important lesson. All good names are already taken.

There are domain name professionals out there that will register all the good names just to be able to sell them at a high price later. Some of them succeeds, which is also a good business idea. However, rest assured that carbingo.com and autobingo.com are already taken. Never the less, you should always look up the good domain names first. Sometimes your lucky. But most of the times you will have to settle for the second best.

According to Heed, that is myself, the ingeniousness of the domain name is inversely proportional to your required advertising budget. Everything can be sold with enough advertising but the worse the domain name, the greater the spend on ads.

Don’t give up

It’s easy to get disappointed when you don’t find the perfect domain name right away. If I had a daim for every time that I’ve cancelled a business idea for not finding the right domain name I would be rather fat by now. My newly invented rule goes like this – register a pretty good name and start working. Maybe you will find a better name before you’re done, or else you won’t. If you do a good job with the product your idea will be a success anyway. I visit web pages every day with stupid names.

So, I’ve registered bingobil.se. I registered bingobil.com too, to reach an international audience.

– But, “bil” is a Swedish word for car. That’s not an international name!

– Well… That may be the case. I will need to put some money on advertising then!

From business idea to app - Daim

If I had a daim…

From business idea to app

Time to get started. In the first step I have painted a lot of pictures for my car bingo. It took me more time than you might expect to paint those images. Especially when you see the result. I used so called aquarelle pencils, which are just like regular color pencils but when you’re done painting you can use water and a brush to smear out the colors a bit. The result is almost like watercolors.

When I was done with the images i scanned them into my computer and removed all the color outside the lines and I inserted all of the images to one file, a spritesheet. Now I just need to write a bit of code. I will write the first version, that is the web version, in HTML and Javascript. Depending on when you are reading this, there might just be a testable version on the site.

Some of the images that I drew might not be that appropriate for the car bingo. I’m thinking about adding an adult version as well. That will be in version 2.0 in that case. Hmm… Or maybe this is what you will get if you pay for the app?

 

From business idea to app - Drunkard