Your App — Hobby or Startup?

Before you jump into the insane world of app development, you need to make sure you’re committed to your app idea. And by committed I mean really committed.

There is a major difference between wanting to make a cool app for some pocket money and having an intense desire to launch a startup that’s centered around an app idea you’re passionate about.

One is a hobby and the other entails a life changing decision.

If you’re brave enough, answer these questions to figure out where you stand.

How much time are you willing to commit to this app idea?

With app development, it’s not about having time; it’s about making time.

How long are you willing to work toward your goal? Best-selling author and entrepreneur, Seth Godin, has said that it takes six years of hard work to become an overnight success. It might take even longer for others.

Steve Jobs dedicated 20 years of his life to work non-stop before Apple took off.

“That’s been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex; you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.” — Steve Jobs

If you only want to spend five hours a week working on this project, the “glamorous” startup life isn’t for you. But if you’re willing to carve as much time as possible out of your weekly schedule, then owning a business just might work.

How much cash are you willing to invest?

Reality hits once you put money in the equation, doesn’t it? If someone else approached you with your idea would you be willing to invest $5k? How about $100k or $1 million?

Be honest with yourself because this is the exact question investors will be trying to answer.

Do you like the idea because it’s cool or do you sincerely believe this is a money-making venture worth risking money on? If you’re not prepared to risk your money, why should someone else risk their own?

If possible, would you change careers and work on this idea full-time?

What’s your end-game? Are you dreaming you can quit your job and work on your new app business full-time or is this a side project that puts some extra money in your pocket while you still keep your day-job?

If you’re comfortable where you are now and just want a simple functioning app, then treat it as a side-hobby and explore different resources to develop the app yourself or with friends who have a coding background.

If you’re willing to take the risk of quitting your job to work full-time on your startup, then treat it like the second job it is — even if it’s not profitable.

What if your startup failed tomorrow?

Imagine your startup completely failed tomorrow. What kind of effect would that have on you? What about your finances, family, career prospects, etc?

Would the cost be too high to bear or are the consequences acceptable? A young recent college-grad might miss out on valuable opportunities to jump start their career. A 40-year old father might jeopardize his ability to pay for his kid’s college education.

As awesome as being the CEO sounds, you need to keep in mind that 90% of startups fail. Part of being committed means accepting the unkown risks as well as the massive opportunity.


If you’ve realize your idea is more of a hobby — that’s totally fine, pursue it that way. You don’t need to raise money from investors or worry about devastating risks. Have fun with the process, learn new skills, and earn bragging rights! After all, your friends don’t have apps do they? 😉

However, if you’re a serious entrepreneur, then now is the best time to pursue your passion.

To learn more about what it takes to turn an app idea into a scalable and successful business download our PDF.

This post originally appeared on our App Partner resource center. Click here for more.