New experiments for a new road map

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:

  1. First (DONE) Save & Show ideas, app provides question fields to idea
  2. Clean (DONE) Questions ordered in chapters, notes, cleaned code & database, some colors
  3. Google Play (DONE) Backup / export options, put it on Google Play
  4. Stats (DONE) Statistics, nice visual design (icons, etc), ready for updating via Google Play
  5. Accounts Accounts & backup ideas online (no web app access), security
  6. 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.

Postponing accounts..

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.

Reframing freemium

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

new

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

flatworld

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.

Success criteria

**Marketing investigation 2. In-app purchases

**

billing_test_flow

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.

  1. Support idea growr (1 dollar) on the About page.

    Motivation: Feel good. They love the app, would like to show their support

  2. New feature (1 dollar*): get inspirational quotes and challenges that stimulate your thinking

    Motivation: More stimulating content

  3. 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.

Success criteria

Marketing investigation 3. Get endorsements

Capture

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.

Success criteria

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.

If this experiment is a success, more famous people can be contacted to try to get more impact.

The new road map