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Need the opinion of skilled professional developers on an app idea (#1)

I want to thank you in advanced for taking the time to lend me your criticism on my idea whether its negative or positive. Also, keep in mind I have NO coding experience in iOS development but am willing to learn as much as I can.

SpotHot (working name)

Problem it solves
Not knowing which night life hangout spot to venture to without going from place to place wasting time and money.

SpotHot gives users the ability to rate the level of fun/excitement/atmosphere/etc. of a local night "spot" at any given time. An average is taken from all the ratings submitted to that specific location to give its "hot" level which is constantly updated as the night goes by.

Through the locations function you will be able to easily find the places you want to rate or check.
The rating interface is a slider that you move based on the atmosphere of the place you are rating.
Comments can be added and shared along with your rating (limited character count).
A notification system will alert users to rate a place again after the initial rating.

Clean and simple.
I've been playing with the idea of the use of a thermometer interface as the rating slider going from cold (blue) to hot (red).

So that's the basics of the idea which I think is relatively simple and doesn't seem like that much work for a good developer, but what do I know, that's why I'm posting on here in the first place.

Ultimately I'm looking for three things:

1. To know if this is a valuable project that is worth perusing.
2. If so, what would go into developing something like this (time/money/work).
3. Someone to go in on this project with me if they are interested and committed to the idea.

Thanks again and please don't spare me my feelings with the criticism, I'm a big boy.


  • mmilommilo Posts: 30Registered Users
    Some questions you'll need to try and ask yourself:

    - What differentiates this from other similar implementations that are out there? Have you done research?

    - Are you prepared to invest? It would require effort for several things, as a starter:
    1) Development and design efforts for the app
    2) Development and design efforts for the website / back-end server (you need to store the comments, ratings, etc somewhere)
    3) Marketing, people don't like using an app that no-one else uses. Turnover rate is important.

    - I am always on the lookout for these types of ideas, PM me.
  • RickSDKRickSDK Posts: 1,240Registered Users @ @ @ @
    the biggest problem i see if you are going to run into the "social media paradox". Which means you are attempting to create an app that no one will want to use unless everyone is using it.

    if users download your app and find no reviews for their local area, they aren't going to use it again. And the amount of time and resources needed to populate the database are enormous. You litterally need millions of reviews before it is useful.

    Not trying to throw cold water on your idea, but those are serious problems you are going to face.
  • tiffonttiffont Posts: 5New Users
    edited March 2013
    RickSDK, I get what you are saying with the social media paradox, but its that part of any app that uses user submitted info. Like how does any review site/app become popular when at first there are no reviews for these places. I think this can be taken care of with a strong but not complicated marketing campaign. I was thinking that we could give posters or some type of advertising to the places getting people to get the app and rate the experience of the place that they are at. For example, your in the club or where ever having a great time, you got to the bathroom and above the urinal you see an ad that says, "Is your SpotHot? Download the app and let everyone know" or something to that nature.
  • editThiseditThis Posts: 24New Users
    Gamify your app. As the Average Joe, I need an incentive to leave a rating at a place. I'm out at a bar, not enjoying myself, I need a reason to bust out my phone, fire up the app, and leave that bar a single chili pepper rating (or whatever you're using). Likewise, if I'm out at a busy dance club having the time of my life, you need to convince me that I should stop what I'm doing, pull out my phone, and give this place 5-stars.

    Leave 3 reviews and unlock your first badge or a better feature of the app, perhaps. Basically get them in the habit of submitting ratings. Make shiny stuff happen after the user leaves a review, so they will want to do it again. Basic reward principle.

    Also, you want to lock in those power users. You know, those hardcore Yelper types that review every single place they go. They do it because there are benefits to being a hardcore Yelper. As a start, they have rating next to their name on their reviews, so people can know "this person knows what they are talking about". Then they have their special exclusive events that us regular non-reviewers don't get to be a part of. What is your benefit going to be?
  • tiffonttiffont Posts: 5New Users
    editThis, what you are saying makes perfect sense. Now its my job to come up with some type of incentive system thats creative and rewarding. These are all things that I wouldn't have though up on my own with out your guys help, so thank you and keep it coming, but the main thing is do any of you think this a worth wild project to pursue?
  • mmilommilo Posts: 30Registered Users
    I sent you a PM.

    Whether or not the project is worthwhile is subjective. You ask a working 9-5 guy with 5 kids if it's worth it, he'll say no. You ask a rich 21 year-old, he may think otherwise.
  • tiffonttiffont Posts: 5New Users
    you make a valid point, I PMed you back.
  • BobarinoBobarino Posts: 167Registered Users @ @
    Sorry, there is already something out there with exactly what you are describing called SceneTap ( However, if you have an idea that makes your app unique and better than what is out there, definitely go for it :)
  • editThiseditThis Posts: 24New Users
    Ouch that's rough. Just downloaded SceneTap, it's actually pretty sweet. Good luck!
  • tiffonttiffont Posts: 5New Users
    thanks man for pointing that out. at least i know i had a good idea just someone beat me to it.
  • sberleysberley Posts: 3New Users
    Hi - I think you're going to face two related issues...first is the "social media paradox" mentioned above.

    Put another way, the issue is getting a critical mass of users. The other issue is getting a critical mass of users at a given point in time. After all - a given place may be a hit or a dud from one night to the next so you need to have A LOT of data flowing in about each place every night to get a real-time "traffic report" of where's good/not.

    Now, IF you can make it all work (and it's a huge if), then tracking that data over time and matching user preferences to places could give you a great predictive tool of where WILL BE hot tonight...but that's a future challenge.

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