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Facebook Cookbook by Jay Goldman

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Chapter 2. Ideation and Strategy

So! Now that you’re ready to write your million-dollar Facebook app and retire to a life of luxury, there’s only one small problem: what to build? You might already have an idea, or you might have come across an existing Facebook app that you think you can one-up. Maybe you have no ideas at all but are overflowing with web development fu and want to flex your coding muscles. Fear not, intrepid developer! This chapter will help you figure out the four Ws of Facebook application development:

Who should I build for?

Some of the most successful software products are born out of a need their developers felt wasn’t satisfied elsewhere. If that’s the case for you, build for yourself and your friends. However, many of you will be reading this book because you hope to make money from your work, in which case you need to consider your audience more carefully. Sometimes you and your friends aren’t the ones who are going to pay for your villa in Maui, so make sure you spend the time to understand who is.

What can I build?

The sky is really the limit: if you can imagine it, you can probably build it. That said, before you start dreaming up the most complex application ever, keep in mind that you’ll start earning users (and money) sooner if your app is released sooner, so consider how to tackle your problem in more manageable chunks. Also, keep in mind that throwaway apps that people install and play with once are much less successful (and profitable!) than apps that ...

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