A. Write down all your ideas in a spreadsheet.
Everything remotely relevant is welcome on the list. Be exhaustive. Ask others for input also: your team, your neighbors or your boyfriend.
Sadly, you can’t build everything on the list. With limited time, money, and user attention, prioritization is key.
B. Rank every idea on the list with a GIMP. 21
GIMPing your ideas means scoring them from 1 to 10 for:
Gut – What does your instinct say about the value of this idea? Don’t overthink it, just score it.
Importance – How relevant is the idea for the overall app experience? How useful will it be for your users? Will they adopt it quickly?
Money – How much resources will this idea demand? Will it add complexity? Security risks? Dependencies on third parties?
Probability – What’s the chance that we’re right? Are there any unknowns? What is the price we pay if it goes haywire? In short, what’s the risk?
Got your scores? Good. Now multiply them to get your total GIMP score.
Gut x Importance x Money x Probability = GIMP score
You multiply them because a low scoring GIMP factor should drag down the entire idea. Needless to say, higher GIMP scores mean better ideas.
C. Select the best ideas for a minimum viable app.
By building this app you’re making assumptions:
- The problem my app solves is pretty common (market size)
- People will definitely use this app to solve their problem (user adoption)
- My first users will be suburban moms (market segment)
- I will be able to charge money for my app (pricing)
- 50% of users will keep using it after installing the app (retention)
These assumptions might or might not be right. You better validate them with an app that delivers on the basics.
Get this minimal version out fast, then improve it with user feedback.
Use your best ideas, the merry GIMP’s, to build the minimal version. The other ideas – including those users will give you – can be included (and scored!) later.