How to evaluate an iPhone app idea

6csWhen I’m explaining to people what ReignDesign does, nothing makes their eyes like up like mentioning that we develop iPhone apps (for the record, we do lots of other cool things too). The conversation will then inevitably turn to

I have a cool idea for an iPhone app – it’s like Facebook… for knitters! with GPS!

Everyone has great ideas for iPhone apps… but how to evaluate which ones make sense to spend the time developing and promoting? In an attempt to solve this problem, we developed a standard analysis – the 6 C’s -to apply to mobile app ideas in six categories: customers, competition, cost, community, complexity and cool.

Here are the sort of questions we ask ourselves for each of the categories:


Who are the target market? Does the app meet their needs? Where do they live/work, where do they get their information? What perecentage of these customers can we hope to reach?


Are there similar apps? What are their price points? Good features? Common complaints in reviews?


How much can we sell the app for? What effect will the price have on its perceived value? How much are people willing to pay? Is a freemium model appropriate? What about advertising? Can we sell items in the app?


Are there existing communties we can market to? How can we build a community around this app? Can people share their app experience and achievements with friends? what tools (blogs, forums, twitter) might make sense to support the app?


Will it be technically easy or hard to create the app? Will we need to learn new frameworks and tools? Can the app development be broken down into modules which can be worked on separately? Would it be possible to outsource some complex parts?


Is it cool? Is it a nice piece of tech? Do we want to work on it, have our names associated with it, have it in our portfolio? Will it make people go WOW when we show it to them?


Matt Mayer

Matt Mayer is a founder at ReignDesign. Matt is from the UK and was based in Shanghai for ten years. He is now living in Bangkok, Thailand.


  1. Whats Taking place i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve found It absolutely helpful and it has helped me out loads. I’m hoping to contribute & aid different customers like its helped me. Great job.

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