There’s an app for everything these days, but there’s a reason for it. Apps create convenient solutions to problems we didn’t even know existed – but where do these entrepreneurs get their innovative ideas from?

In our recent Business Leaders episode, discover how a Dublin business owner has used innovation and app development to build a unique service designed to revolutionise the food delivery market.

Emphasize ubiquity and impact:

  • In today’s mobile-first world, having a well-designed and functional app is no longer a luxury, but a necessity for businesses of all sizes. Mobile apps have become ubiquitous extensions of ourselves, shaping how we connect, work, and interact with the world around us.

Highlight competitive advantage:

  • In an increasingly crowded digital landscape, a well-crafted app can be the difference between a thriving business and a forgotten footnote. Apps provide businesses with a direct line to their customers, enabling them to engage, inform, and ultimately convert them into loyal patrons, leaving the competition in the dust.

Focus on problem-solving and efficiency:

Business Innovation with Conor McCarthy
  • The power of app development lies in its ability to streamline processes, solve everyday problems, and unlock new possibilities. From revolutionizing communication to automating tasks and enhancing productivity, apps are transforming the way we live, work, and do business.

Spark curiosity and intrigue:

  • Imagine carrying a powerful tool in your pocket, capable of connecting you to millions, boosting your brand, and driving revenue. App development unlocks this potential and more, turning innovative ideas into tangible solutions that captivate users and shape the future.

Our host Ciaran Connolly speaks to Conor McCarthy, Creator of Flipdish, who explains the thinking behind his app, entrepreneurship and innovation.
Watch the full interview below, or read on for the highlights.

Flipdish: using innovation in app development

Combining App Development, Entrepreneurship & Food Delivery | Conor McCarthy, Flipdish

As with many entrepreneurs, when a problem arises – their aim is to solve it.

Conor began by outlining how the concept behind Flipdish came to light: “Initially it came about for purely selfish reasons. I was trying to order food online, maybe four or five years ago, using one of the big portals.

“I was really frustrated with the experience. I’d signed up the week before and placed an order for a takeaway. I was doing the same again, but I had to reset my password and wait for those emails to come through.

“Also, although I paid with my credit card the week before, I had to enter my card details again. It took seven or eight minutes to place the order and was a real pain.”

After comparing his experience to other apps on the market, he realised the food delivery industry was severely lacking in innovation when it came to apps.

“The same evening, I ordered a taxi with Halo, it was such a stark contrast between the difficulty of ordering the food online.”

“It seemed like there was no progression in this market. I just thought nothing was getting better. It really annoyed me as it could be so much better.”
So, Conor ventured to do just that. With enhanced usability at the forefront of his mind, he began his market research, which led to the creation of Flipdish.

Flipdish logo
Flipdish is a food web ordering service, where you can create your own branded food ordering website in minutes. Image credit: Flipdish

User Experience USP

After identifying the app’s unique selling point of usability and user experience,

Conor tried to work out how he could best solve the problem.

“Initially I set out to create a portal which would list all the takeaways in the country.

People could then place an order, except with the main focus being on user experience.”

Conor then started to think about time. Including how many pages and taps it would take to meet users’ needs, as well as what information was both necessary and redundant to the process.

“I spent a lot of time thinking about the minimum number of taps between opening the app and placing the order.”

By using more accurate location information for the user, Conor and his team removed the possibility of orders being cancelled due to a customer being outside of a delivery zone.

Basing the system on a mobile phone number instead of both a mobile number and email address meant “one more thing gone”. As delivery drivers only need your mobile number, this was used as the primary login method.

The end product was an app Conor could use to move his business to the next stage.

“In the end, we created an app that enabled a new customer to register and place an order in under 20 seconds.”

Conor and his brother James ventured to create Flipdish to solve the usability problem of food delivery apps. Image credit:

The Restaurant’s Solution: Flipdish Disrupts the Market

From this stage, Conor and his brother James took to the streets of Dublin to gauge interest for their prototype.

“My brother James got involved, and we started going around all the restaurants in Dublin, trying to sign them up to this app.

“But they told us they didn’t want another aggregator. They told us about all the problems they had with food portals which I had no idea about. They felt they were sending their customers to a place where all their competitors are listed, and could potentially lose that order altogether.

“If they did get the order, they were being charged 13% plus card fees, which is maybe half their margin. They couldn’t send emails or do push notifications and it wasn’t their logo on customer’s phones.

“What they really wanted was their own customised app with their brand and website featured. They would have a much closer relationship with the customer and could have their own offers with their own loyalty systems.”

After discovering these hardships that restaurants aplenty were facing – it seemed evident to Conor and James that they needed to refocus their strategy.

“After 20 or 30 restaurants came back with the same story, we pivoted and built a platform where it would be as easy as possible for these restaurants to get set-up online.”

Flipdish’s Success

Three years ago, the Flipdish portal was launched in Dublin as an online ordering system for restaurants, giving them the chance to create their own branded food ordering website in minutes.

With a focus on usability and giving restaurants back their power and control over their brand – Flipdish has seen a steady success rate.

Conor says the initial launch was “reasonably well received”.

“We’ve now signed up over 1,000 stores now, across Ireland and Europe.

“It was interesting how what we thought people wanted was completely different to what turned out to be useful.”

With an impressive client list, including food giants like Subway, Flipdish has well and truly disrupted the market by giving restaurants their brand back, rather than being facelessly listed on an aggregator site.

As Conor emphasises, the food ordering industry was highly focused on consumers, but not really restaurants.

“Big portals were a really easy option for restaurants. That’s all the consumers wanted, to order online. They believed these portals would bring them loads of business, but that’s not how it worked.

“It was definitely more consumer-focused, yet restaurants were losing that relationship with consumers.

“But the restaurant has the brand and the power. The customer wants their food. As long as they can order from them in a nice and easy way, then they will.”

To find out more about Conor’s story with Flipdish, entrepreneurship, innovation and app development, check out our full Business Leaders interview.

If you want to learn more about Flipdish and how it can help your business – you can find the app via its website.

Choosing the right development platform:

  • Native vs. Cross-platform: Explain the trade-offs between native platforms (iOS, Android) for optimal performance and access to platform-specific features, versus cross-platform solutions (React Native, Flutter) for faster development and wider reach. Highlight the importance of considering factors like target audience, budget, and desired features when making this crucial decision.
  • Technology stack: Discuss the challenges of selecting the right programming languages, frameworks, and libraries based on the app’s functionality, complexity, and future scalability needs. Mention the complexities of integrating various back-end services and managing data security across different platforms.

Designing a user-friendly interface (UI) and user experience (UX):

  • Striking the balance between aesthetics and functionality: Explain the challenge of creating a visually appealing UI that doesn’t compromise intuitiveness and ease of use. Discuss the importance of conducting user research and A/B testing to ensure the app’s flow and information hierarchy are optimized for seamless user journeys.
  • Catering to diverse user needs and devices: Highlight the challenge of ensuring consistency and responsiveness across a range of screen sizes, operating systems, and user abilities. Discuss strategies for implementing accessibility features and adapting layouts for optimal viewing on different devices.

Staying within budget:

  • Scope creep: Explain the common pitfall of feature creep, where additional features get added during development, leading to budget overruns and delayed timelines. Share tips on maintaining clear project scope, prioritizing features based on value and feasibility, and communicating effectively with stakeholders to manage expectations.
  • Hidden costs: Discuss potential hidden costs beyond development, such as app store fees, server maintenance, marketing campaigns, and ongoing updates. Provide advice on factoring these costs into the initial budget and planning for sustainable long-term app maintenance.

Bonus Tip: You can enhance your explanation of these challenges by including real-world examples, case studies, or even fictional scenarios that illustrate the specific difficulties faced by app developers. This will make the content more relatable and engaging for your readers.

Remember, the key is to strike a balance between providing enough detail to be informative without overwhelming your readers. Choose the examples that best resonate with your target audience and offer actionable insights to help them navigate these common hurdles in app development.

Web Application Development | How to Build An App | Web Applications | Web Development

Quantifying the Benefits of App Development:

Here are some specific ways to quantify the benefits of app development in your article, drawing on data and statistics to paint a compelling picture for your readers:

Increased Revenue and Engagement:

  • Sales Boost: As you mentioned, highlight studies that show businesses with mobile apps see significant sales increases. For example, MentionApp reports a 20% average sales increase for businesses with well-designed apps. You can even delve deeper and showcase findings for specific industries, like a 54% rise in restaurant orders thanks to their app (Statista, 2023).
  • Improved Customer Retention: Quantify the benefits of enhanced customer engagement through apps. Mention studies like App Annie’s finding that users spend 27% more time in apps than on mobile websites, leading to greater brand loyalty and repeat purchases.
  • Direct Marketing Channel: Emphasize the cost-effectiveness of app-based marketing compared to traditional methods. Quote Apptopia’s data showing that push notifications deliver an average open rate of 20%, significantly higher than email marketing.

Enhanced Efficiency and Productivity:

  • Streamlined Operations: Showcase how apps automate tasks and workflows, leading to productivity gains. Quote a statistic like Forrester’s finding that businesses using mobile apps for employee productivity see a 30% increase in efficiency.
  • Reduced Costs: Quantify potential cost savings from apps. For example, mention how maintenance logs or expense tracking apps can save businesses an average of $15,000 per year (CloudTech).
  • Improved Communication and Collaboration: Highlight how internal communication apps boost team productivity. Point to studies like Asana’s finding that teams using collaboration apps experience a 20% increase in project completion rates.

Brand Building and Competitive Advantage:

  • Increased Brand Awareness: Quantify the reach potential of apps. Mention data like Statista’s report that nearly 90% of all global smartphone users access apps monthly, showcasing apps’ ability to reach a vast audience.
  • Customer Insights and Feedback: Explain how apps provide valuable data on user behavior. Quote studies like McKinsey’s finding that companies using app analytics for personalization see a 10% increase in revenue.
  • Differentiation from Competitors: Emphasize how apps can give businesses a competitive edge. Share data like Clutch’s finding that 80% of consumers believe a business is more trustworthy if it has a mobile app.

Remember to cite your sources credibly and be selective in choosing statistics that align with your target audience and industry. By leveraging these quantitative examples, you can make the benefits of app development more tangible and persuasive for your readers.

Demystifying App Development Costs: A Breakdown by Complexity

Transparency is key when discussing app development costs. In your article, you can provide readers with a realistic yet flexible understanding of what they might expect to spend, based on varying app complexities:

Simple Apps (Estimated Cost: $10,000 – $50,000):

  • Examples: Basic task management app, personal portfolio app, simple photo-editing app.
  • Features: Limited functionality, static UI, basic data storage, and offline functionality.
  • Development Time: 3-6 months.
  • Factors Affecting Cost: Development platform (native vs. cross-platform), UI/UX complexity, custom backend requirements.

Mid-Complexity Apps (Estimated Cost: $50,000 – $150,000):

  • Examples: E-commerce app, social media app, fitness tracking app with basic integrations.
  • Features: Moderate functionality, dynamic UI elements, user accounts, API integrations, and push notifications.
  • Development Time: 6-12 months.
  • Factors Affecting Cost: Additional features like chat, location services, payment gateways, complex data management.

Complex Apps (Estimated Cost: $150,000+):

  • Examples: AR/VR experiences, real-time data streaming apps, highly customized productivity tools.
  • Features: Advanced functionality, interactive UI with animations, real-time data processing, secure logins, and offline data synchronization.
  • Development Time: 12+ months.
  • Factors Affecting Cost: Cutting-edge technologies, large development team size, extensive testing and security measures, ongoing maintenance requirements.

Remember: These are just estimates, and the actual cost will vary depending on several factors:

  • Location of developers: Rates can be significantly higher in developed countries compared to outsourcing to regions with lower development costs.
  • Development methodology: Agile development may cost slightly more upfront but can be more flexible and cost-effective in the long run.
  • Project management: Hiring a dedicated project manager can add to the costs but can also optimize workflow and save time.

Offer additional tips:

  • Encourage readers to get quotes from different development teams for accurate cost estimates.
  • Suggest utilizing tools like cost calculators or development marketplaces to get a ballpark figure.
  • Advise prioritizing essential features and gradually adding functionalities later based on budget and feedback.

Launching Your App into the Spotlight: Effective Promotion Strategies

Reaching your target audience and standing out in the crowded app space requires a well-thought-out marketing strategy. Here are some specific tips you can include in your “How to Market and Promote Your App” section:

Leveraging Social Media:

  • Targeted campaigns: Identify your ideal user demographics and tailor your social media content accordingly. Utilize platforms like Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, and Twitter Ads to reach the right audience effectively.
  • Compelling visuals: Eye-catching screenshots, short app teasers, and user-generated content can grab attention and spark interest. Share engaging stories and tips related to your app’s functionality and benefits.
  • Building a community: Actively engage with your audience, respond to comments, and run contests or giveaways to create a buzz and encourage app downloads. Partner with relevant influencers in your niche to reach a wider audience.

App Store Optimization (ASO):

  • Keyword research: Use relevant keywords in your app title, description, and category selection to improve your app’s search ranking within app stores. Utilize tools like Apple Search Ads and Google Play Console to understand what users are searching for.
  • High-quality app icon and screenshots: First impressions matter! Design a captivating app icon that reflects your brand and use engaging screenshots showcasing your app’s key features and user interface.
  • Positive reviews and ratings: Encourage users to leave positive reviews and ratings on the app store. Offer incentives for early adopters and respond to feedback promptly to build trust and credibility.

Securing Press Coverage:

  • Craft a press kit: Prepare a concise press kit highlighting your app’s unique features, target audience, and competitive advantage. Include press releases, screenshots, and media contact information to make it easy for journalists to learn about your app.
  • Reach out to relevant publications: Identify blogs, websites, and magazines catering to your niche audience and pitch them your app’s story. Highlight how your app solves a problem or fills a gap in the market.
  • Offer exclusive content or interviews: Provide journalists with exclusive access to beta versions or offer interviews with your app’s developers to pique their interest and encourage coverage.

Additional Tips:

  • Run promotional campaigns: Offer limited-time discounts, free trials, or bonus features to attract new users and drive downloads.
  • Cross-promotion: Partner with other complementary apps or websites to cross-promote each other’s products and reach a wider audience.
  • Content marketing: Create blog posts, infographics, or videos showcasing your app’s features and benefits. Share valuable content related to your app’s niche to attract organic traffic and establish yourself as an expert.

By incorporating these diverse promotional strategies, you can significantly increase your app’s visibility, attract new users, and ultimately achieve success in the competitive app market. Remember, effective marketing is ongoing, so continuously analyze your results, adapt your approach, and refine your strategies to ensure your app stays in the spotlight.

FAQ Section:

Q: Do I need to know how to code to develop an app?

A: While coding skills are advantageous, you don’t necessarily need to know how to code to develop an app. You can utilize app development platforms with drag-and-drop interfaces or hire a professional development team to handle the technical aspects.

Q: How long does it take to develop an app?

A: Development time varies depending on the app’s complexity. Simple apps can take 3-6 months, while complex apps might require 12 months or more.

Q: How much does it cost to develop an app?

A: Costs can range from $10,000 to $150,000 or more, depending on features, complexity, and development team location. Consider utilizing cost calculators or requesting quotes for a more accurate estimate.

Q: What are the best ways to market and promote my app?

A: Utilize social media platforms with targeted campaigns, optimize your app store listing for discoverability, secure press coverage, and explore promotional campaigns, cross-promotion, and content marketing strategies.

Q: How can I ensure my app is successful?

A: Focus on solving a real problem for your target audience, prioritize user experience, gather feedback and iterate based on user needs, continuously market and promote your app, and maintain ongoing updates and improvements.


App development presents an exciting opportunity to bring your ideas to life and connect with users in a meaningful way. By understanding the process, navigating the challenges, and employing effective marketing strategies, you can create an app that stands out in the market and achieves its full potential.

Remember, the journey doesn’t end with launch – constantly refine your app based on user feedback and market trends to ensure continued success and engagement. Take the plunge, embrace the power of app development, and watch your vision come to life in the palm of your users’ hands.

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