Coming up with web app ideas

I just recently re-did my portfolio site and made it live. There are some projects I have done but they’re mostly simplistic and only demonstrate that I can build things given I have direction. So the goal now is to add some real world projects that people can find value in. And also possibly make a little bit of income from it.

The sticking point I am running into is that I am stumped as to what to build. I’ve thought of some ideas such as a client support app for personal trainers. However, after some research I noticed that the market is overly saturated with such apps. I could still build the app, on the other hand, it’d still feel like it would be just for display not actually a tool people will use.

What is your method of finding an idea for a web app to build? What seems to be an effective method for you when you’re searching for an idea?

This may sound like I expecting things to be spoon-fed to me but, I genuinely have no idea where to start :frowning:


There are a million people out there trying to think up the next great idea. If you can think it up, you will be the next Zuckerberg.

Really, no offense, but if I think of some money making app, I’m going to keep it to myself.

Yeah, I know it’s tough. Do you have an app that you like? Recreate it. Don’t worry about making money. Don’t worry about being original. Just write some nice code. Something that you would use.

Me, I’m a musician. So I’m thinking about writing a metronome app. Maybe a note reading testing app for my students. Stuff I would use. I just want the experience and some nice portfolio pieces. Yeah, I’ll probably put a donation button on the app, but don’t expect to make anything.

If you get a great idea, I’d keep it to yourself.

[ADDENDUM: Having reread this, it comes off more hostile than I intended. Sorry for that. It wasn’t meant that way. :frowning: ]

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“Good ideas come from bad ideas, but only if there are enough of them”.Seth Godin

I noticed that having many ideas works, most of them will fade away but maybe one idea just won’t go away. It keeps bugging you. That may be the one.

I also believe that boring is good. Not many people are excited about things like cement, traffic lights, fire extinguishers or door handles but each of these mundane things are the base of industries. The fun stuff attracts lots of attention anyway. But the boring is open for new opportunities.

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Yeah, to riff off what Magwitt is saying, I think most great ideas come from someone having the imagination to think, “hey, wouldn’t it be nice if…” Think of all the major internet success stories - Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, IMDB, Amazon, Netflix, YouTube, etc. - someone wished they could do something, saw that no one had come up with it, and decided to do it themselves.

Don’t worry about what other people want - what do you want? What do you wish you could do with the internet that you can’t? Odds are, if you want it, so will a lot of other people. Look to yourself and your needs - you’ll understand that better than trying to get into other people’s heads. What could you do, if only someone had made the app? Where do you have a need that isn’t being met?
If you can figure that out, maybe you’ll be the next billionaire.

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If the founders of Google thought like that, there will be no Google today. For during that time, AltaVista was the king of the search engine. Then there was also Yahoo, AskJeeves, Lycos, Excite, Dogpile, and a few hundred more less known.

[quote=“DanStockham, post:1, topic:131813”]
What is your method of finding an idea for a web app to build? What seems to be an effective method for you when you’re searching for an idea?[/quote]

Make something that you’ll use personally. (recipe database, lorem ipsum, lorem pixel, automate boring stuff)
Make something using a technology/API that you’d like to learn, or become an expert of. (maps, data viz)
Make something that is challenging. (A.I., computer vision, natural language search query)
Make something that is fun. (games)
Make something that is useless. (animation, particles)