straight from the source – a guest post by Andrew Song

I had just finished a consulting job in May analyzing pricing and quantity data for an anti-trust case. I always wanted to start my own business and the mobile space looked like a great place to start. In the beginning I reached out to friends and family members asking if they knew any programmers that were willing to build my idea, but all the good programmers were either already hired or didn’t want to take a risk of starting a business.
I went to MeetUp.com events in the Bay Area trying to learn and network with developers, but I realized people there wanted to talk more than listen, so I stopped. Don’t get me wrong, Meetup is a great place

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to get feedback from people just like you, entrepreneurs. I got to practice my elevator pitch 100s of times and received little boosts of validation saying that my app would do great in the market, but I still didn’t have a developer.
I finally bit the bullet and hired a mobile app development company, they quoted a range from $50k-$100k for all the features I wanted to implement, but after the 1st phase of the app, I wasn’t happy with the progress, so I ended the project. I’d say I got out unscathed since I only spent $1,000 and learned a lot from the experience by working with developers over the phone and email having never met the team face to face.
Then I got and email from BeMyApp through one of the email lists. I had heard about hackathons through friends and I thought it was geared towards programmers trying to break into something or exploiting a security hole. BeMyApp

changed my opinion and welcomed everyone with different skills sets, be it an idea person, developer or artist. I liked the format of the BeMyApp weekend where anyone could pitch for a minute to 30+ developers that might be interested in building my app. After the one minute pitches were finished, you have to collect tokens from the developers and artists and only 5 to 6 ideas with the most tokens would go on to the next round.
That’s when I met Kevin, he liked my idea and had the same pain of what to do with the left over ingredients after cooking a recipe. So we got to it, and worked throughout the weekend building a prototype that could be presented to judges that were in the mobile industry. In the end, we got 3rd place and some great feedback from the judges. One of the judges, Kurt Collins really liked my idea and eventually he let me use his office to continue developing the app. He is also a great mentor and person overall, if you see him on the street, give him a high-five and buy him a beer.
I’m a firm believer that an app development event is the best way to get app ideas off the ground, why? In 24-48 hours you get a prototype and instant feedback from judges in the industry, you get to work with people that could be your next co-founder, and you get to meet some great people who love working their asses off to build something they are passionate about.
If you like to know what we are doing now (it involves phone sex, but it’s not dirty at all), visit www.tapthatgame.com or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

 

I’ll leave you with some tips for any budding app developers and entrepreneurs:

  1. Don’t be afraid to share your idea, the idea is just one piece of a very large puzzle, if someone does
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    steal you idea, then hey, you’ve got a great idea and convinced someone to abandon their own, you’ve got some market validation.

  2. Ask for help, you have nothing to lose
  3. If you want to win a hackathon, make a game or a charity app, I learned this quickly and got 1st in another hackathon
  4. Be a lady or gentleman, there are enough douche bags in the world and the tech community is very small and well connected
  5. Always follow up and update people, people have their own lives and sometimes your email will get lost in the inbox
  6. Lastly, I know I’m repeating myself, but don’t be afraid to share your idea. I’ll pitch to anyone, who knows? They could be your next user, customer, mentor, or even an investor. Keeping an idea to yourself will only hurt you.

Good luck,
Andrew Song
@ASong408

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