Ideas to Products ~ How do you do it?

Ideas to Products ~ How do you do it?

Challenges in web application design

Let’s start with the bad news – ideas are easy but implementations are hard. You could probably day dream a bunch of possible projects that could become viable or tweaks to existing concepts that can create an exciting business opportunity.

So what is stopping you?

In this context we are only going to address the digital aspects of the process as that is what we do.

Marketing is defined as aiding the egress of a product or service into a market with the aim of achieving a sales result. Different businesses will define results differently, for example a car manufacturer wants consumers to buy cars, a DJ wants to be booked for gigs whereas a lobby group wants education and endorsement of their policies.

In today’s world the web has created the default “go-to” vehicle to make marketing easier but that journey has been littered with success stories, failures and learning along the way. Since the early 1990’s we have been developing web software which started out in static pages, then the early content management systems [CMS] (ColdFusion, and others), custom database driven sites, to modern CMS’s like WordPress and now turn key hosted platforms that users can manage and bolt on themselves.

The 3 pathways to build your web application & business

1 ~ Hosted CMS

If your business can survive on a turn key hosed platform then that is probably the best option for you. As simple and effective web based brochure-ware these do a great job. A down side is that you are wedded to the cost of the platform and share many of the functionalities of your competitors. This may mean you lack a point of difference to a degree.

2 ~ WordPress

If your business can work with WordPress but needs some special sauce to add a killer aspect you can no doubt get a developer to create a plugin that works for you. This second level of functionality does differentiate you and when done correctly will elevate your site above its peers. The downside is that as you update WordPress (and update you must for security reasons!) then at some point you may need to rewrite your plugin. Can you find the same developer years later? Was it written and documented in such a way that another developer can update it for you?

3 ~ Bespoke Sites & Applications

The top level is to take your idea and develop something unique. This means choosing a framework which is a pre-built set of tools that help developers not have to re-invent the wheel, follow best practice and more rapidly develop your site or application. If you want your site to function as phone or tablet application via an API then unless you start at this tier you are in for a world of pain later on.

The Cost Of Innovation

Getting back to that brilliant idea that you have and how you are going to implement it on the web you have to have a road map. A bad plan is better than no plan at all.

Whilst acknowledging that the first premise of engineering is to observe previous implementations to draw inspirations from them, ergo there were products before these (and competing ones now) consider the following:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Gmail/Hotmail
  • eBay

This list could be a bit longer but the point is simple – which one of these is a shared hosted platform or WordPress site?

When it comes to big ideas your options are to either take something from the first two tiers and hope you can get enough traction to fund the development of something bespoke like the 3rd tier or start a the 3rd tier and deliver and build upon your platform in a consistent way for your consumers.

What’s the BIG idea then?

WebGen can help you at all levels of your web footprint. In this article we are speaking out the the third level – those businesses and ideas that want something so innovative and unique that it either creates a new market or causes a shift in an existing one. When done correctly the ROI on these projects can be significant.

Our process is:

  • Initial consultation
  • Initial feedback (pros, cons, time frames, etc)
  • Contractual engagement
  • Communicate development methodology (how it will be done, who has what responsibilities, etc)
  • Detailed scoping of the business case (building a picture in lay person’s terms of what will be delivered)
  • Development environment set up (the “back-end”)
  • Alpha/first build phase
  • Client UAT (user acceptance testing)
  • Beta/second build phase (implementing the feedback)
  • Client UAT (user acceptance testing for release)
  • Release
  • Maintenance phase

If you are keen to get your idea made into a revenue stream contact us and let’s see how we can make it happen today!