What are the first steps in the Mobile App business?

Hi guys how’s it going,
I have an app idea that I’m confident in, and I’ve spoken to friends and family who also think it’s a great idea. I’ve also spoken to people who would fall in my target market, and they said they would definitely use the app.

Now, what is the next logical step from here? My thoughts were, I need some proper validation of the idea. Money isn’t too tight right now, and I was wondering if I should pay a few thousand dollars for a focus group to validate my app idea? That would give me concrete data that I could even use when talking to investors.
The other question I had was regarding existing apps. I found one similar app that was launched in 2014 and hasn’t really taken off since. This could be for many different reasons - maybe they didn’t market it properly, maybe they didn’t execute properly (Google vs Altavista)… or maybe there’s just no market. I guess this is where the focus group would help? I mean Tinder validated the dating app market, but now there are dating apps coming out left and right, as if they don’t feel the market is over saturated.

The other thing I could do to validate my idea is make a landing page that describes the idea that says “Coming Soon” with an email opt in page and market that using paid/organic marketing. However this would make my idea very public before the app is made, opening myself up to competition?

Back to the original question, what steps should I take? I just figured properly validating the idea and examining competition should be done before creating a prototype and looking for funding.

The biggest thing to remember when validating any idea is that people saying “yes, I love it” or “yeah, I’d pay for that” shouldn’t count for anything. Doubly so if it’s friends and family because they’re more likely to be biased to support you. For the most part, people are hesitant to be critical in that context. Asking people is the first step, but it shouldn’t be mistaken for validation.

Talk is cheap. The only true measure of validation is getting someone to make a payment. The next best step is pre-orders of some kind. 90% of the friction is between the ease of saying yes and actually entering payment information. Collecting email addresses is a step in the right direction, but it’s still no substitute for payments.

Unfortunately, that takes a leap of faith to invest the time and effort to build something without being confident it will work. That’s the catch. I definitely wouldn’t pay for a focus group. I’d suggest building something, getting it in people’s hands, and then iterating. If all else fails, find a way to do the process manually and help people in person. Talk to them as you work through it and then think about ways to translate that into software terms.

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To think if you’re willing to sell you work for $0.99?

And how many sales you’d need to make it worth? And if it is possible to achieve those numbers?

You could share it here. We could try and point to holes in your dream.

Nobody had this idea before … like 1000 times. Execution is everything - if they did not execute yet, they won’t even if you spell it out for them step by step.