Terribly sorry if this is in the wrong StackExchange site, but it looked closest to my question.

I have an idea or two floating around in my programmer's brain for mobile apps on Android or iOS. Thing is, I can't spend months programming it after my day job just to see someone else go to market first. In the same vein, I don't want to dump tens of thousands of dollars to pay someone to do it outright. I know that in other industries, you can often get paid by offering up the idea as intellectual property, allowing another company to do the work while you collect royalty checks for coming up with the idea in the first place, assuming the developing company went ahead with it and it became successful.

Does such a thing exist in the mobile application development world? If so, any recommendations for trustworthy companies? Let's assume that it actually IS a decent idea, is well vetted out and planned, and does not exist in the marketplace yet.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Hahahahahahahhahahahahaahahahaahaha \$\endgroup\$ May 13, 2011 at 7:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ You can take the first comment as response you would get from everyone you would try to sell your "idea" to. If it's so vetted out and planed put your money where your imagination is. Oh and can you please tell what industries where you can sell idea and in case some one else makes it work you get €€€, otherwise .... oh well let's try again. \$\endgroup\$
    – grega g
    May 13, 2011 at 9:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ Most people have a hard time finding an artist to do this. A good iOS developer can get a <paid> contracting gig for a fair chunk of $$, why would they go this route? You might be better off finding a partner who shares the same vision. \$\endgroup\$ May 13, 2011 at 15:24

3 Answers 3


Since you won't risk your own time, or your own money on it, your idea hasn't totally convinced even you. I doubt you will find anyone else to sell it to.

This is a very common line of reasoning. Paul Graham wrote an essay on the topic.

People ... overvalue ideas. They think creating a startup is just a matter of implementing some fabulous initial idea. And since a successful startup is worth millions of dollars, a good idea is therefore a million dollar idea.


Actually, startup ideas are not million dollar ideas, and here's an experiment you can try to prove it: just try to sell one. Nothing evolves faster than markets. The fact that there's no market for startup ideas suggests there's no demand. Which means, in the narrow sense of the word, that startup ideas are worthless.


  • \$\begingroup\$ "your idea hasn't totally convinced even you" -- perfect! \$\endgroup\$ Oct 3, 2016 at 8:56

Does such a thing exist in the mobile application development world?

I guess it's not. I remember reading this post about similar case, it's pretty much sums it all.
Essentially you want developer to take the risks while not taking any yourself (or so I understand.)


Actually, there are two startups that have been created (and, I'm sure, a few more if you look) to meet this exact need. One is called Dandy the other is call AppIdea...Dandy is located in the UK as is, I believe, AppIdea. Both have different biz and operating models, but both essentially offer royalties for ideas that get developed into apps.


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