Find the Expertise You Need By Asking Someone Who’s… an Expert

People who want to start their own venture often get lost in the weeds even before they write up their business plan. They know exactly how they’ll build their app, but haven’t a clue about how to market it. Here’s a story from The New York Times that demonstrates a solution: Ask people.

It’s the tale of Katherine Bomkamp, a 20-year-old who’s created a prototype prosthesis that eases an amputee’s phantom limb pain. She was a criminal-justice major, not an engineer, but she emailed college professors and others in the field who offered to help her out, and did. One designer built a prototype without charging the $15,000 it otherwise would have cost. Now, she’s applied for a patent and is talking to a prosthetic company about licensing the rights for the device.

So, reverse the story: You’re a developer, but you need someone who can figure out how to package up your idea. My suggestions:

  • If you’re serious about selling your app, you have to address the areas you don’t know anything about.
  • There are people out there who have the expertise you need to do that, but you have to find them.
  • Once you’ve identified them, you have to call them.
  • Many, if not most, won’t want to be bothered with your project, but some will be intrigued.
  • If Katherine Bomkamp did it, others probably have done it, too. And if others have done it, so can you.

Simon Judge at Mobile Phone Development has some other thoughts on the matter, which are helpful, too. And, this is a good time to think about networking.

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