So You Have an iPhone App Idea, But Don’t Know How To Program

money-idea-bulbPat Here:

If you’re like a lot of people these days, an idea for an iPhone app pops into your head now and again, only to be followed by feelings of  doubt. The doubt comes not  because your idea isn’t good  (you know it’s a great idea, which is why you can’t get it out of your head),  but because you don’t know how to get it from your head to an iPhone.

A few months ago,  my friend and I had an idea for an app – and not knowing how to code or program didn’t stop us. A couple of days ago, our first app was approved and on sale in the app store. It was really an awesome feeling. We can’t wait for our next app to come out within the next few weeks.

Actually,  Quoc does know how to program. but he’ll actually be telling you why we decided to outsource our apps, instead of developing our apps himself. We’ll save that for a later post.

Map It Out

Before you spend some time to find someone to develop your app for you, you’ll need to take your idea and figure out exactly how you want it to work. The easiest way to do this is to pretend you’re using your app on an iphone, and page-by-page make note of what you want to see and where you want each page to go.  If it’s a game, think about exactly what you want to see or would want to do. Instead of making a list, you can easily organize all of this in a bubble diagram.

Now, know that even though you mapped it out your way, your app may not be able to perform exactly how you had wished. So no, a laser beam will not be able to shoot out the end of the iPhone, so you can forget about that. However, just map out exactly how you want it, and your developer will be able to tell you whether something you had asked for is not possible on the iPhone.

Where to Find iPhone Developers

In addition to your basic Google Keyword Search, you can find a load of iPhone developers hungry to work on your project on  various site such as or We chose elance because it’s kind of like ebay – you post your job, and people bid to work on it. You can choose your favorite bidder based on price, portfolio and/or reviews.

You might be wondering about people stealing your idea when posting your job or asking for quotes. It doesn’t usually happen, but it is something you should still be cautious about. When posting your job or asking for a quote, you can just give away the basic idea of the app (no details) and ask the potential developer to sign a non-disclosure agreements (NDA) before giving them the whole story. Note that their bids may adjust a little after you disclose all of the information and detail s about your app to them.

On elance, they will provide you with a non-disclosure agreement you can use. If you can’t find one, here’s  a sample NDA (on elance). Have them sign it and give it back to you (usually in a PDF format), and you should be good to go. If they steal your idea, you now have proof that it was yours first and you can take legal action accordingly.

Everything Laid Out in Plain English

This is obviously a quick overview of the entire process. If you’d like a proven eBook that walks you through the entire process, from start to finish, please check out How to Create iPhone Apps Without Programming Experience, a book that we’ve used time and time again to publish now 27 applications in iTunes!

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100 Responses to “So You Have an iPhone App Idea, But Don’t Know How To Program”

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  8. Vercis says:

    About the NDA… well by signing that you prevent HIM from stealing your idea but what if he decides to include someone else in the deal and that person actualy develops the application instead of him? This way his legal agreement is not actually broken.

    I’m saying that cause I feel like I have a really good idea but I’m too cautious and scared to tell it to someone else.

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