Now feels like the right time to revisit the road map I had set out for Idea Growr.
Let’s first take a look at the old one:
- First (DONE) Save & Show ideas, app provides question fields to idea
- Clean (DONE) Questions ordered in chapters, notes, cleaned code & database, some colors
- Google Play (DONE) Backup / export options, put it on Google Play
- Stats (DONE) Statistics, nice visual design (icons, etc), ready for updating via Google Play
- Accounts Accounts & backup ideas online (no web app access), security
- Freemium Freemium model. If you pay can write unlimited amount of ideas
According to this roadmap I should now start to work on accounts. I thought of this milestone because I thought it would be a challenge to program and valuable for the app.
Now I have the app up and running, I feel like security might be a bigger thing than I anticipated. Making a mistake in how I set this up, might be not something that is repairable. While I investigate the different back-end options and see who might help me out with that, I am going to skip step 5 for now.
My first plan was to use the freemium model for the number of ideas you can store. Having experience with the app, it now feels like a silly idea. So there needs to be a something else in place. I’ll get back on this later in this post. I’m not really skipping this step, but taking a different approach.
Adding a new perspective
The old road map was based on giving me a nice technical challenge that also results in something that people might actually use. Now I added a new ambition. I also want to learn more about the marketing of an app like this. How can I make this app have real impact?
The best way to learn is to just try, so I pinpointed three areas to investigate and experiment in.
1. Long tail of languages
My gut feeling tells me that the majority of apps are not translated in a lot of languages. I think most app creators rather create a new feature then take the effort to translate it in 50 languages.
If Idea Growr would be translated in 50 languages it is very well possible that in a couple of those languages/cultures, it somehow hits a sweet spot and generates a large number of users. Also, all the people who prefer to use apps in their own little used language, might add up to be a large group of people.
Experiment: Add three atypical languages
The idea is to ask friends, or just contact schools in different countries and ask if they would like to help me. There is not much more I can offer in return than a big thank you and a “this translation was made possible thanks to X” in the description. Still, I think it is doable.
I want atypical languages, because I want to investigate the long tail with all the smaller languages, so while I wouldn’t reject anyone helping me out with translating it in French and Spanish, it is not where I will put my energy in.
- Get it translated in 3 atypical languages.
The more different the cultures belonging to these languages are, the better.
- Have a significant traffic increase for these languages/countries.
To make it measurable, let’s say 500 new active installs for that language in the first month after adding the language update. Today the whole app has 371 active installs after three weeks of use.
Marketing investigation 2. In-app purchases
The sooner I learn about in-app purchases the better. So I need to do experiments on what my users find valuable.
Experiment: Test 3 in-app purchase options
The experiments should test different type of motivations for people to pay. It is not yet clear for me what (if any) motivation my users will have to pay for anything in relation to Idea Growr. So let’s test.
- Support idea growr (1 dollar) on the About page.
Motivation: Feel good. They love the app, would like to show their support
- New feature (1 dollar*): get inspirational quotes and challenges that stimulate your thinking
Motivation: More stimulating content
- New feature (1 dollar*): customize the questions or add your own.
Motivation: More control over the app
* I don’t have the capacity to actually create those features just for in-app purchase testing. So the buttons will be fake. No purchase can be made, but the click does show an intent. The user will be shown a message explaining the situation. If possible, these fake buttons will only be shown to a portion of the users, so that not all users will get this sub-optimal experience.
- Non-marketing criteria: if the in-app purchase process is implemented and has been shown to work at least once.
- If user feedback and statistical analysis of the usage of the buttons give a better understanding of what people want to pay for. It’s not about how much money, but about what motivation is the strongest.
Marketing investigation 3. Get endorsements
More people need to know that Idea Growr exists. The plan is to get well known creative people to write a tweet and facebook message refering to Idea Growr.
Experiment: Add three endorsements
Some people are what I call creative thought leaders in a field. They push the thinking forward by having a vision and are putting new ideas out there that support this vision. For instance, let’s take Jamie Oliver in the field of cooking. What is Jamie’s perspective on growing ideas? That is both interesting and relevant to the users of Idea Growr. I will write about a more concrete plan on how to go about this in a later post.
The first experiment is more about testing the process of getting someone to endorse than making that much of an impact on installs. These thought leaders don’t have to be super famous.
- Get three creative thought leaders to contribute and endorse Idea Growr.
- The person must at least have 10.000 followers on Twitter
- The person must be genuine. He or she is actually creative and cares about how his or her field moves forward.
- Have a small but significant traffic increase after this tweet and/or Facebook message. Let’s say an increase of 100 new active installs in the first month per person. That would add up to an increase of 300 new active installs. It might be difficult to measure directly if someone installed Idea Growr because of an endorsement, but a bump in the statistics should be clearly visible.
If this experiment is a success, more famous people can be contacted to try to get more impact.
The new road map
- 1,2,3,4 Done!
- 5. Experiment: Add three atypical languages
- 6. Experiment: Test 3 in-app purchase options
- 7. Experiment: Add three endorsements
- While I did not explain it yet, this one requires coding
- After that; evaluate & make a new plan.