Want To Build An App And Strike It Rich? Don't Use Any Of These Terrible Ideas

“There’s an app for that” was a statement that Apple trademarked in 2009 as they began the rollout for the iPhone 3G. Today, that declaration is very true.

Weather trackers, travel planners and dating apps are just a small selection of the applications available. They cover every possible demographic and audience in order to cater to their various needs.

Despite that, the multitude of programs has made it difficult for aspiring developers to come up with the newest creation.

It seems as if every possible aspect is covered but Ryan Matzner, Director & Chief Strategist of Fuelled has some advice.

Based in New York City, Fuelled is a mobile app development company that helps people build apps for the iPhone, Android, iPad and the desktop PC. Matzner polled his staff and clients to come up with this list of tips of what’s hot/what’s not in today’s app world.
General Terrible

  • Selling public parking spaces (Airbnb for public parking!): “It turns out no one wants to go through the hassle of setting up and monitoring a bidding platform for a parking space and spend 10-20 minutes hanging out in a spot just to collect a few dollars (or less).”
  • Tinder for dogs. Here’s the message that we were sent via our website: “I need a proposal today for LillyFly. Sorry for the last minute. But I’m meeting with some investors this weekend. LillyFly is going to be an IOS APP (Identical) to Tinder. Except with Dogs. Purpose. So Dogs/Owners can have MeetUps at the local dog park. Can you guys email me a proposal today???”
  • GPS-based chat. “This idea comes in every month or two. It’s a system of chatting with people around you. We spent about a month pondering the idea with WunWun’s founder Lee Hnetinka, back in 2011 when he was working on Bubble. We both ultimately concluded that the idea wasn’t going anywhere. People just don’t care much about connecting with people over chat just because they’re in a similar physical location. Just look at the failure of all the geo-networking apps that were so hot at SXSW 2012 and ultimately fell flat. Or look at Meet Gatsby, which also completely failed (though, ironically, Rameet and I originally met through it, which is probably the one successful match the app ever had).”
  • Pee Break; “App that lets you know when your friends are going to the bathroom. Stepping out of the movie theatre or off the dance floor for a pee-break, and it’s too loud (or quiet) to tell ask your girlfriends to join you? There’s an app for that!”
  • Shock Therapy: “App that shocks you when you haven’t been moving your bod enough. The idea was pitched as an app that would communicate with an external device: a shock bracelet that can send electrical currency through your skin, hair, or muscles. Haven’t stepped away from your desk in the past 30 minutes? ZING! Eating unhealthy? ZING!”

Terrible To People Who Understand Tech

  • Apps to find bars with happy hour deals: “Get in line.”
  • Emojis of all types (ratchet emojis, college life emojis, celebrity emojis). “The emojis on an iPhone exist the same way any other international language does on the phone. They’re really just characters on the phone, like any letter or symbol on the keyboard. They’re built into iOS, so you can’t just create new ones and add them to the phone. People don’t seem to realise this and we get about one call a week asking for a quote to build an emoji app. People get confused because there are many emoji apps in the app store, but what they don’t realise is that all these apps are just reusing the fixed set of emoji on the Apple keyboard. This concept hits a real sweet-spot with would-be million-dollar-idea-havers: it’s a simple technical concept, people are familiar with it, and there is a clear need for new emojis as the current set is overly limited.”
  • Building a point-of-sale (POS) cash register system: “This is a HUGE undertaking that requires a huge sales force to execute, on top of it. And the payoff has very limited potential.”
  • Any app that requires a huge network of users and can’t work “with the inevitably smaller set of initial users” that it will have.
  • Apps that allows you to pay when you walk out of a store: “Sometimes a super smart idea, like this one, can be really dumb. Lots of wannabe entrepreneurs have no concept of how current technology works.”
  • A daily scavenger hunt: “Every day the app will post an assignment and then users will take and upload pictures in hops of winning a prize or coupon. Meh.”

Other Terrible Things People Call Fuelled About

  • People trying to sell their ideas: “On a regular basis, people call us up and tell us they have million-dollar or billion-dollar ideas that they have no interest or means to pursue and want to sell the idea to us. We quickly hang up on these calls.”
  • “People call us every day with a ridiculous budgets to build huge apps. For example, yesterday a guy called wanting to build a new social network that would cost around $200,000 to develop and then had a budget of only $US1,500. — People hear about Internet startups and founders striking it right with a hot new website. They assume these things are trivial to build and can easily be built overnight, if only someone could come up with the right idea first.”

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.