Learn How To Build An App (Via Kevin Rose)

By Richard Reis

Step 1: Research

Whatever idea you have, it is a good plan to go out there and play with your competition.

  1. Is there an app that already does everything you’re looking for? If so, there’s no point in building another one.
  2. What features do you really like? Maybe you can duplicate some. Hardcore Silicon Valley fans are reminded of the mantra “good artists copy, great artists steal.”

Recommended — Spreadsheet

Don’t just use the apps and forget about them.

Step 2: Wireframes

Did all your research? Fantastic.

Step 3: Mockups

Next up, we need to turn those wireframes into beautiful designs.


You need to establish a visual tone for your app.

Find A Designer

If you’re not a designer, I recommend you find one.

Design The Mockups

You don’t just “hand the wireframes and get a design back.”

No bueno…

Tap That App

After working with a designer, your ugly wireframes will turn into beautiful mockups.

Step 4: Build

Finally, you can start building!


Here are same tools to help you build the app.

  • Backend: To keep your user’s data, use a service like Firebase (Google) or CloudKit (Apple).
  • Analytics: It’s a mess. All services aren’t great in one way or another. For example, Facebook Analytics is great for audience metrics (gender and age breakdowns) but not so good for event metrics. It really depends on what you focus on for your app. So pick between Facebook Analytics, Google Analytics, or Mixpanel.
  • Videos: If your app has videos, host them using JW Player.
  • Beta Testing: Only version 1.0 of your app should make it onto the app store. Before that, do all the beta testing using TestFlight. You can invite up to 10,000 beta testers before putting your app out there.
  • Project Management: If you’re working with a team, use Basecamp to make sure everyone is on the same page.
  • Record: It’s nice to document the app building process (if you share online, this also helps you get beta testers like Kevin did). Record your screen and edit videos using Camtasia.


What about focus groups, or A/B Testing?

Magic Number

If you really want something to focus on (once your product is working and people like it), try to find the magic number.

Step 5: Name

Ahh, the naming process.

  • The first column showed his current five favorite names.
  • The second column showed names he liked, but passed on.
  • The third column showed terms he thought about when thinking about the app (this helps think of more names).
  • The fourth column showed names he could end the app with on the app store.
  • How to build an app!
  • How to do research.
  • How to build wireframes.
  • How to create beautiful mockups.
  • How to build a beta version.
  • How to find the perfect name.
Thanks for reading! 😊If you enjoyed it, test how many times can you hit 👏 in 5 seconds. It’s great cardio for your fingers AND will help other people see the story.You can follow me on Twitter at @richardreeze to find out whenever others just like it come out.📚 Do you like books? If so you might enjoy my latest obsession: 
Most Recommended Books.📚



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Richard Reis

"I write this not for the many, but for you; each of us is enough of an audience for the other." - Epicurus https://www.richardreis.me/