Selling on Amazon

App Idea to App Business: The Quick 3-Step System

By October 23, 2015 October 20th, 2019 47 Comments

App Idea to App Business- The Quick 3-Step System

Ever had an idea for an app?

Idea for an App

You?ve told your friends…they love it.

You told your co-workers…they think you?re going to be the next Uber.

You?ve even taken the time to sketch out the screens on a napkin (which you kept because it will be a great story for your TechCrunch interview in a few years).

Now it?s time to do this one small research exercise that will dramatically increase your chances of this taking off.

After creating over 1,500 apps and seeing thousands more in the app community, I can safely say that doing this one simple process will save you more time and money than anything else.

It?s a quick 3-step system that we call ?IASMR? – Internal App Store Market Research and it helps ANYONE take an idea and turn it into a real app business in a matter of minutes.

Here?s how you get started:

Step 1: Go into iTunes (or Google Play if you?re an Android user) and select the category that your app will be in. For example, let?s say your app is going to be the most epic guitar tuner app – you?d probably select the Music category.

You?ll see a list of Top Paid, Top Free and Top Grossing Apps. Click on Top Paid Apps.
Top Paid Apps

Step 2: Now that you?re in the Top Paid apps section of your category, scroll down to the 51st ranked app. We?re going to start here to filter out all the super popular apps that get huge marketing budgets and get some REAL data 🙂

Look through the grid of apps (ranked 51-200) and spot 5 apps that are as close to the app you want to build. It?s okay if nothing is exactly like your app idea – you?re simply looking for similar apps.

Specifically, you?re looking for apps with similar functionality to the app you?re going to build. In our guitar tuner example, we might select a few apps that have guitar tuner functions in them already:
Top Paid Apps 2
NOTE: If you can?t find any apps that are similar to your app functionality, type in a keyword to the search box that would match the functions. Then follow this same process with the results (i.e. I would type in ?guitar tuner? into the search box if no apps came up that were similar in the top charts.)

Step 3: Click on one of those apps and then click on the ?Ratings and Reviews? tab. Select ?All Reviews? and then sort by ?Most Critical.?
Most CriticalScroll down until you reach the 2-star reviews. Then start reading everything that is 2-star or 3-star review!

Create a spreadsheet and write down the key suggestions or complaints from each 2-star or 3-star review. You?ll start to see something magical happen?.

People are telling you EXACTLY what they want in an app! 1-star reviews are usually just negative and 4-5 star reviews aren?t constructive…but the 2-3 star reviews have gold in them.

Repeat this process for each app and fill out your spreadsheet.

That?s it!

Now you have a laundry list of potential ways to make your app idea a real business, all of which came straight from your ideal customer avatar.

This simple process is the #1 way to hit the market with a product that people will pay for and enjoy because you?re using their feedback!

It works extremely well and can help take any app idea from a concept to a real, tangible product in a matter of minutes.

Now it?s your turn.

What?s your app idea?


P.S…Stay tuned for something special coming soon!



  • Jorge Diaz says:

    Great post! Congratulations on sharing this knowledge to the tribe. This system works. Have used it in several of my Apps and you basically are given an app idea in a silver platter looking at reviews and what people really want.

    The App Business is great!

    • Carter Thomas says:

      Thanks Jorge! Good to see you here. It’s amazing how sometimes we forget how the simple fundamentals like this can be so powerful. You’re right – it’s like they’re just giving you the winning ideas. Yes, please 🙂

  • Stuart says:

    Fantastic! Now where you do you go to develop the app?

    • Carter Thomas says:

      Good question Stuart. Lots of options – you can learn to code, hire a developer or use an app template. All have their pros and cons and differ in budgets. What are you interested in creating?

  • Allen Hahn says:


    • Carter Thomas says:

      Allen – there is a TON of synergy between that category on ASM/Amazon and the app store. Fitness and Health is a really powerful category. Often you can use content or tips within your app to sell the products you have on Amazon. I’ve seen this done before and it was a terrific solution.

      • Victor says:

        We have an app builder site and this is what i was planning on doing using the traffic from the app stores to promote our amazon products were working on a shopify function that pulls your products from your only store and your able to sell your products from your spp if some ASM need a app let me know i can help here is the site were you can get more info

        mobidonia dot com

  • Allen Hahn says:

    My Category is: Heath and Personal Care.

    • Joanna Bates says:

      Hi Carter this sounds like a great idea… and you make it sound very simple. I’m a girl (bit of a euphemis there but you know what I mean. 🙂 What are the risks? How much of a techie do you need to be…..although I know I’d get a developer to do it but what’s the worst case scenario? You can’t sell it?… you need to have a lot of money behind pushing it once it’s there?
      i know it’a a barrage…..but it’s out of my area of experience so I need to ask a lot.



  • Armando Lopez says:

    I like app to play and sell.

    • Carter Thomas says:

      Hey Armando – yeah definitely. Games are the biggest category by far and often have the highest monetization. I made over 1,000 games! And had a lot of fun in the process 🙂 Maybe we can make you a game soon?

  • svetlana says:

    easy like 1 2 3, I guess my son can do it. Thanks a lot for incredible idea!!!

    • Carter Thomas says:

      Haha yes your son can definitely do it. It really is that easy…and so many people never do this. It can save you thousands of dollars in the long run AND it gives you great ideas for your app. Thanks for reading!

  • Serge Zombou says:

    Great advices.
    I hope every body can do it. I may do it with friends and family. Congratulations!

  • Elizabeth says:

    Do you have an app for creative lesson plans?

  • Elizabeth says:

    Educational lesson plans

    • Hey Elizabeth – I do not, unfortunately, but that is an excellent idea. Did you see Teachers Pay Teachers? It’s an app started by a Kindergarten teacher where you can buy and sell lesson plans with other teachers. Not bad, considering she’s made well over 7 figures doing it 🙂

  • Eric says:

    Great article! I was hoping you’d have ideas for us to get funding for our app. I’ve gotten quotes into the $100k range, and that’s well beyond what I can afford. I’d love any advice, or maybe a partner(wink wink, nudge nudge) if you have any suggestions in that area, please don’t hesitate to email me. Thanks again for sharing, and congratulations on your success!


    • Hey Eric, great question and definitely one of the most common I get. A lot of it comes down to the type of app, the scope and the amount you’re going to search. I would urge you to do a post on to see what that experience is like. You may not find the right person immediately, but it will give you a new perspective. One option that can be hit or miss for app funding is Kickstarter – might be something work checking out. Good luck!

  • Anthony says:

    Mr Carter, please how can I find a reliable experienced developer to build an app for me.

    • Hey Anthony, your best place to start is – it’s a marketplace for freelancers. There are thousands of developers who can help make your app a reality! Best of luck.

  • Artur says:

    Thanks for the info, with all the competing noise out there, it’s great to know what to focus on… So lets say I get an app developed, can marketing/promoting be as straightforward as this process, or does it get really complicated with no simple way to win?

    • Hey Artur – it’s definitely NOT complicated, but there are a lot of parts to it. It’s similar to marketing any product or website. Often building a unique, great app to start with does a lot of the marketing for you. App Store Optimization (ASO) might be something you’d be interested in checking out. It’s the app equivalent of SEO for web/amazon. I mean, if I can do it 1,500 hundred times without knowing how to code I’m pretty sure anyone can haha.

  • philippe says:

    Very interesting way to make a good survey without asking many people in the street. But now how do we create an app by ourself that can be bought by the public. Is there any amazing simple way to create our own app even for begeners that have just a good idea. Please let me know. Kind regards. Philippe

    • Hey Philippe – lots of ways, yes! The easiest easiest is going to use an app template and then have someone update it for you. If you search for “app source code” on the web you’ll see what I’m talking about. There are also some app and game builders out there that may be worth looking at. No matter what, the process of finding an outsourcer is a lot easier than people think.

  • Venkat Ramana Samudrala says:

    Good idea for business. I miss the 2 nd and 3rd vedio. It may help me.

  • Malusi says:

    Great day…..
    I am into educational gaming space and have always wondered how to start just a market research into this space but I have a way and a broader scope when doing my research beccause it will allow me to see South Africa and the worlds demand!?

    Thank you!

    • Hey Malusi – you can do research in all the stores yes! If you are in South Africa, you can switch your iTunes store over the USA or Australia to see larger markets. This is always great for market research. If you have any questions about how to do that, just search “how to switch itunes country” and you’ll get instructions from Apple.

  • David Luther says:

    Very impressive post.

  • Lorato says:

    Thank you very much for the info.I am looking forward to creating my own apps.

  • Mohamed Yusuf says:

    Many thanks for your helpful information

  • Riyaz says:

    Feedback is the number one place to find out what you need to do – I work in complaints and most of the great ideas for service development stem from the complaints that people make – completely get this Carter, great post! I have lots of ideas but struggle to move these from idea to build to market! My field is in professional services and here the app revolution is only just beginning ….!

    • Hey Riyaz – yes! You’re totally right. Often the feedback and questions that come through support departments are the most constructive and helpful. This exercise helps so much with taking an idea to market because you now know what people want. I used to run into a lot of those blocks because I wasn’t sure if the app would be successful. When you do this work, you realize that people are telling you all along! Can’t wait to see what you do next 🙂

  • Manasi says:

    Its realy great post Mr Carter.

  • alfonso Lafuente says:

    Thanks… Ho do you make that your app is in the first 50! any method for that?

    regards, very good content!

    • Hey Alfonso – Yes of course! It’s a combination of having a great, unique app, your launch strategy and ongoing marketing. Updates can also play a big role in your chart ranking. I can’t wait to keep the content coming for you all and help show you the best strategies for winning on the app store. Thanks for reading!

  • Craig Scott says:

    I love mobile apps & I made over $13,771 from 1 app by placing ads on my app. I would highly recommend people to get on this app business idea. It’s all going mobile.

    • Craig – Wow, that’s awesome! Ads have been a big part of my app revenue as well. And yes, you are 100% right on things going to mobile. It’s going to be sooo much bigger than the internet is/was. Everyone in the world will have a smartphone soon. Hopefully you’ll have many apps by then!

  • Wee says:

    Hi Carter,
    Thank you for your amazin blog post here. I just wonder if this method can apply for Game categories ? if we want to lunch game on the store without any idea. just need to know how we can research about the game trend or theme right now. Please advice


    • Hey Wee – yes, but games can be a little trickier. The difference is that you need to focus much more on the FUNCTIONS vs the overall app. For example, lets say you wanted to create a game similar to Crossy Roads, you would look at the reviews that talked specifically about that function (not the whole game). This way you can really start to build a great game from the inside out. Hope that helps!

  • Nancy says:

    Hi Carter, Impressive job! How do l get started to create an app?Any technical skills required?My interest is cooking and recipes.How do l get the traffic internationally? how do l get ads placed on my app?

  • Edmond Felix KOFFI says:

    Salut Carter qu’est ce que font ceux qui ne savent des app et surtout que dans nos pays Africains tout est chiffré l’appareil,les app, les téléchargements, les SMS,MMS, l’internet. Surtout nous attendons les chiffres d’acquisition of the amazing.

Ready To Join The Amazing Selling Machine?

The only thing standing between you and your own business is you.

Amazon is a billion-dollar marketplace, with room to grow and room for you to make your mark.

Start today!

Ready to start selling on Amazon?

Join Amazing Selling Machine!

NO EXPERIENCE REQUIRED! Learn the best strategies, tactics, and get private resources to start, grow, and scale your own business, leveraging the power of Amazon.