Cloud Four Blog

Technical notes, War stories and anecdotes

You have an idea for an app? Come to Mobile Portland on Monday to learn what it takes.

Out of all the conversations I’ve had with individuals who have had ideas for apps, the one I had with Miloš Jovanović stands out the most. That’s why I’m so pleased he is going to be telling his tale at Mobile Portland on Monday.

Most of the conversations about app ideas have similar characteristics. Someone has an idea for an app. They think it will be a hit. They don’t have the technical abilities to build the app. They don’t know what it will cost. And they’re trying to figure out how to make the app a reality. So they ask me for advice.

I start by sharing some articles that I’ve found that describe how much app development costs.1 We’ll talk about how it isn’t enough to simply build an app. You need to have a business plan. That you need recurring revenue to maintain the app. What happens if you build it and they don’t come?

And that is often the last I see of the individual. The app never gets created. I always feel bad to see their ideas die, but simply having an idea isn’t enough to be successful.

Screenshot of SpaceView appMiloš was different from the beginning. Yes, he had an idea for an app, but he set himself apart in our first meeting by demonstrating how much research he had already done. He had domain expertise. He wanted to learn everything there was about how to build an app and a business.

He had even gone so far as to hire someone to build a crude, throwaway application just so he could see what the process was like.

And Miloš didn’t just distinguish himself during our meeting. He has shown perseverance in his pursuit of his vision like no other person I have met. He has been working on making his vision a reality for two years now.

There are many points where it would have been easy to give up. And even now, I don’t know if SpaceView, that app that Miloš is building, will be successful.

What I have no doubt about is that Miloš will be successful in whatever he does.

And I now have a simple answer when someone asked me what it takes to build an app: you need to be as persistent and dogged in pursuit of your vision as Miloš has been.

If you have an idea for an app and you’re wondering what it takes to build one, I highly encourage you to come listen to Miloš on Monday at Mobile Portland. It’s not to be missed.2


  1. In case you’re curious, here are the articles that I’ve found do a good job of describing how much it costs to build an app.

  2. I realized as I wrote those words how sad I was that I’m going to miss the meeting. I’m going to be in Boston speaking at An Event Apart. I’m always sad when I miss Mobile Portland, but this month is a double whammy. I’m not only missing Miloš, but I’m missing out on an opportunity to see Urban Airship’s new offices. :-(