#weOWNtech App Development Resource Guide

How many negative headlines on the lack of diversity in tech startups must we be subjected to?

Seriously, we get it.

The digital divide in America takes many forms. We’ve seen countless articles and studies highlight the pathetic diversity numbers in the tech industry.

Coding is a necessary skill in today’s world and app development is not promoted enough to children of color. Our high schools & colleges don’t adequately prepare us for careers in computer science, information technology and mobile development. Access to investors is also a huge problem for minorities.

In order to break through & change the status quo, we must create our own opportunities.

I’m not here to complain; I’m here to motivate and share knowledge. This is a resource guide for those willing to change the narrative & create their own app.

#weOWNtech

The time for black and brown people to dominate and transform the app space is now. Silicon Valley will regret overlooking the global majority. We will not wait for investors and gatekeepers to figure out that diversity drives innovation. We will instead empower ourselves by creating our own platforms.

According to the federal government, there are more than 500,000 unfilled jobs in information technology across all sectors of the economy. By 2020, there will be more than a million unfilled technology jobs, paying more than $75,000 to start.

The Karen Hunter Show has launched the #weOWNtech initiative to get our family ready for these jobs. People from the Global Majority currently represent just 2% of the workforce in the technology field — from Google to Apple, Facebook to Twitter. We are committed to seeing that percentage change dramatically for the better.

We are more than consumers. Let’s monetize our creativity and brain power. We must embrace tech confidently and become dedicated to learning the necessary skills to create & own our intellectual property. If you have a viable app idea, take the first step: write it down.

There are endless resources readily available to take next steps. Through research, immersion, collaboration and pooling of resources, we can collectively get things done. Let’s be self-sufficient and embrace the process.

Coming up with an app idea:

Study the app stores — The app world is a saturated industry. Apple grows by more than 1,000 apps per day. How will you stand out? You must be in tune to the latest trends, current app store leaders and have a strong grasp of the features and strategies that garner downloads. It should become a daily habit to check sites like Product Hunt and AppCrwlr. Total immersion will fuel your creativity during the infant stages of app development.

Focus on simplicity — The most addictive apps are easy to use. Attention spans are low, people aint got time for complexity. During all stages of development, maintain simplicity. You should be able to describe it one simple sentence.

Target a niche group — Build around the needs and behaviors of a niche group. Create an app that solves a pain point, service them. Add value to their lifestyle, interest or passion. Whether you are creating a utility or building a community, do more than study your niche group…know them. The more specific your niche group the better, it will help you stand out in the market.

Resources:

· App Development Checklist

· The Startup Guide

Three steps to get your app idea in motion:

Step One: Create your Startup Pitch Deck

Create a compelling 10–15 slide Power Point or PDF document that showcases your business plan, vision & mission statement. Prove viability, create your elevator pitch, outline features, highlight financials & market opportunity in detail. End this process by making it official, research and come up with your app name & register your domain.

Resources:

· The 5 Slides You Must Have In Your Pitch Deck

· Pitch Deck Examples

· Pitch Deck Templates for Startups

· The Ultimate Pitch Deck to Raise Money for Startups

· How to Build a Startup Plan

Step Two: Create your app prototype

Invest in your app idea. Pick your platform (iOS, Android, Microsoft) and hire a graphic designer to create wireframes & a developer to create an interactive prototype. The road to showing proof of concept starts with creating the minimum viable product. Be able to show & tell during presentations, as it is easier to raise money with a powerful deck, app screens and a demo.

Resources:

· Eight App Prototyping Tools Compared

· Pros and Cons of Proto.io, InVision and Marvel

· Find Graphic designers by location, skills, availability

· Graphic Designers — Top Skills & Locations

· 11 Helpful Tools for Every Step of Building a Mobile App

Step Three: Legally protect your Idea

Eliminate all legal headaches early. Don’t jeopardize your app’s future, be proactive and register your business name, choose your business structure and handle necessary trademarks by the time pitch deck & interactive demo are completed. Research and apply for necessary permits.

Resources:

· The legal checklist every startup should reference

· 5 Legal Steps for Starting Your Business

· 6 Tips for Successfully Splitting Equity in Your Startup

· Top 5 Legal Issues Facing App Developers

· 4 Legal Considerations for Building a Mobile App

You wrote it down and got it started. The goal of this resource guide was to give you the tools to take your app idea from an abstract thought to interactive demo. After these three crucial steps are completed, you have laid the foundation.

Your app idea is now tangible and has momentum, but more work is to be done. Don’t be satisfied with creating the minimum viable product, use your deck & demo to get the necessary funding you need. The next phase is raising capital for full development & scaling infrastructure.

Resource:

· Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about venture capital, but were too afraid to ask

· How To Get Your App Funded Using Crowdfunding

· How To Get Creative With Your Startup Fundraising Approach

· 10 ideas to find money for your small business

· Where to Get the Money to Build Your Mobile App

My Journey

I’m a radio producer (Karen Hunter Show, SiriusXM Urban View) who has always had a deep interest in tech but lacked the technical skills. I’m a Youtube junkie and I read daily about apps, bitcoin, 3D printing, etc. Innovation excites me and the tech space to me feels like the gold rush & new industrial revolution.

I’m not presenting myself as an authority in the app space, but I’m no longer a spectator. I took the leap.

November 2014 I attended my first major tech event, The Phat Start Up’s Tech808 conference at New York University. I was blessed to hear speakers such as CJ Peters (CEO of Konsole Kingz), Trevor Owens (CEO of Javelin & Lean Startup Machine), Rakia Reynolds (Founder of Skai Blue Media) and many more. Tech808 was both unique & inspiring because of the diversity of the crowd & panelist. I saw people who looked like me and who were dominating digitally. I soaked up a ton of knowledge during the event that cemented my decision to follow my passion & interest and fully enter the tech space.

My focus was learning, networking and using the skills I did have. I wasn’t going to be paralyzed by what I did not know. I’m not just preaching tech immersion, I practice it.

In the following months, I was hired by zinnApp (Free Open Source Web apps) to do marketing and account creation. #weOWNtech hit the airwaves, as we launched a Tech Tuesdays segment on the Karen Hunter show, showcasing industry thought leaders & those making a difference in tech scene from around the nation.The biggest move I’ve made was launching my own fintech start up CEWEBITY last November.

My co-founder Scott McKenzie & I had the honor to return to Tech808 Conference…not in the crowd but on-stage pitching our platform shark tank style with J. Irving of The Atom Factory, a venture firm that was one of the early investors in Spotify and Uber.

What a difference a year makes.

CEWEBITY.com is a Profit Center Fan Page and it’s free to sign up. We are the only platform that pays users for their likes & listens. CEWEBITYS receive residual income through PayPal for uploading original, copyright free photos, blogs & audio creations.

CEWEBITY is in the seed stage, our user base continues to grow each week and have been featured on Product Hunt, Black Enterprise & BET. Our iOS app will be completed by April.

Every path will be different. App development won’t be a smooth, linear process for you. It wasn’t for us, but we put the sweat equity in to build our platform. If you are interested in empowering yourself and creating your own app, some of the resources within this post will be of value as you embark your own journey.

We got our start by handling one thing at a time. We completed our deck, demo and handled legal. The future is bright, we will continue learn & grow but we are now in the game.

It all started by writing down our idea, researching & moving on it.

That is the key.