Four Ways for Developers To Open Source Their Next Big Idea
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Whether it was the printing press, steam engine, or the assembly line, history has been defined by pivotal advances in technology.
We are now in the age of a new wave of advances – from the smartphone to virtual reality – that have again revolutionized how we interact with the world and access information. The growing app economy to support this technology (which could double in size by 2020) allows developers to provide inventive solutions to real problems on a scale that was previously unimaginable.
Despite this booming app economy generating gross revenue in the tens of billions of dollars, only a small fraction of those apps ever become financially viable according to analyst firm Gartner. Developers looking to succeed need to cut through the noise of an increasingly crowded marketplace. That means mastering multiple factors such as distribution, marketing and user acquisition, and user experience and design.
And once users discover an app, they need engaging content to make them stay. Finding that mix of familiarity and ingenuity capable of capitalizing on our shrinking attention spans requires nothing short of inspiration. For most developers, finding this inspiration may require a little help.
The open source movement is transforming technology in many respects, and its fundamental stance toward collaboration can be used to transform the inspiration process for developers as well. Consider these opportunities to ‘open source’ your next big app idea:
Outside sources: Sometimes the best inspiration comes from where you least expect it. Chat with friends and family, especially those without a developer background. They can give you feedback on a concept from a user’s perspective, as well as inspire something new. Ask what frustrates them about their personal technology today or seems to be missing from the market – is that something you can develop a solution for?
Emerging platforms: The opportunity for developers today extends far beyond the crowded mobile app market. Look to emerging platforms which are exploding in popularity but currently have relatively limited content available. Look for untapped opportunities in these emerging platforms and draw your inspiration from there.
Consult with peers: Connecting with other developers is one of the best ways to find inspiration. While much of a developer’s day-to-day work may be solo, there’s great value in making the time to check in with your peers, sharing ideas and exchanging fresh perspectives. If you’re stuck on something, remember that developers love problem-solving by nature. Challenge your peers to come up with the most creative solution to your specific problem and watch the inspiration roll in.
Attending industry conferences and events: Somewhere out there, there’s probably a room full of developers right now discussing the future of technology and what consumers are looking for. Add your voice to the discussion – see what kinds of industry conferences, seminars and other events are coming up in your area.
At the 2016 Samsung Developer Conference in San Francisco, for example, we held two full days of hands-on workshops, educational sessions, inspirational keynote series and more. More than 150 speakers from Samsung and its technology partners gathered to explore technology that will disrupt the future and change the way we live – from mobile to virtual reality, the Internet of Things and more.
Becoming a successful developer is no easy task. It takes artistic vision, technical skills and an acute entrepreneurial instinct. It also takes a high degree of creativity and inspiration. And now, with more sources of inspiration than ever before, it’s never been a more realistic feat.
This content is made possible by a guest author, or sponsor; it is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of App Developer Magazine's editorial staff.
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