Application Development 101

  • Apr-07-21
  • Apr-07-21

Can I really build my idea on a budget?

Yes you can but here are a few things to consider. The size of the budget will impact your quality and your speed.

Hire a U.S. development shop and you’ll spend $75 – $125/hr based on skills and years of experience. Hire an overseas developer and you’ll spend $45 – $75/hr for the same caliber of person through us. Go it alone and you can find developers on upwork for anywhere from $15/hr up to the mid $150s/hr. But the difference between $15 – $45/hr is full of variability, risk, communication uncertainty.

Our team includes devs with an average of 7 years of experience who have BS and MS degrees in computer science. The rate you pay us includes enough for us to pay benefits, provide a workspace and allows us to pay a predictable salary even when the devs might be in between paying projects.

Results are the outcome you pay for and we have found and refined the relationships with these developers based on their ability to create great software on a predictable basis based on the timelines we establish.

And we promise you will like the results that we pre-agree to or we will make it right. Still don’t like the results and you don’t pay. We haven’t gotten there but you get the point that we are serious about results.

On top of all this, you get access to U.S.-based advisors who provide product, business or market strategy as needed throughout your project. In sum, your team is a blend of optimal value.

Maybe I’ll build the app myself.

Yes you may. There are many apps built by solo developers who can do the design, front and back-end development. However many devs have an expertise and acknowledge in one area and they may choose to augmenting their skills with others who can help where they have gaps. We can help with that.

Plus, the do-it-yourself approach is very steep. The AppDevv founder tried to do that and quickly became overwhelmed trying to decipher which technology to code in, which tech stack to use. He did end up signing up for a nights and weekend coding bootcamp for 6 months that gave him a broad set of skills to theoretically build an app himself, but it was expensive and his skills after finishing the course were the equivalent of a junior developer. The challenge proved to be too much.

What are the measures of app success?

Certainly an important measure of success is to achieve a return on your investment and building a solid commercialization strategy is part of what we do, but to get there, we first must measure the value of the app idea by testing the app value proposition, features, functions and layout with your target user.

In the beginning, we do that through simple interviews with representative users and later with prototype click studies once we have simple, navigable wireframe digital screens that lay out the interfaces, and demonstrate the experience. Investing in user testing throughout is key to ensure we build something that the market will pay for.

What are the costs to build an app?

The answer depends on scope and function and we’ll gladly dig in on your plans to understand enough to give you a proposal, however at a minimum your team will consists of a front-end, back-end developer, designer and tester. We can build a web app and a mobile app using native technology for both which results in separate code bases for each. But we highly recommend using hybrid technology that allows us to build once and deploy across multiple platforms for web, Android and iOS. Such hybrid approaches are more cost effective and optimal for most applications.

The minimum cost for most apps is in the $15K range and up from there. However, you may be able to get by with a progressive web app which is more of a website with some basic user interaction that is built to scale across device sizes in ways that make the app look and feel simple.Such websites are often built using WordPress or WebFlow or Magento or another content management system (CMS). These type of sites can be built for $5k and up and give you a lot of value because so much functionality is available using cost-effective plugins.

Lastly, if you need help to create a simple application that simplifies workflow processes or moves data between applications to save time or reduce errors, we can do that too. We can even do custom application development on platforms like Salesforce.

How do I get started?
Put pen to paper and write out your idea. Share it. We’ll listen and give you a reaction. The process we lead you through is to ask discovery questions to flesh out the idea into words. That becomes a product plan that defines what it is we are building, for whom, and we include a commercialization plan that hypothesizes on how this thing will make money. Then we define features, and functions that leads to an experience map that we lay out either on paper or using Figma wireframe screens with grey boxes that define the use of space.But . . . that is well beyond starting. Give us a call and we’ll begin by talking.

Can I trust development overseas?

Yes, if you vet your developers appropriately and align around productive principles. Similar to hiring a team in the U.S, you’ll want to validate their character and competence.

Both critical to building trust, Stephen Covey developed their meaning in his Speed of Trust work defining character as the quality of whether they will do what they say they will do. Competence refers to whether they have the skills to get the work done.

But just like in other service selections, reviews, references and portfolio reviews are critical to conclude whether the past will represent the future. Furthermore, having a face-to-face video call to assess communication is invaluable.

We have a trust policy built around results. Like you get or we’ll fix it. Still don’t like what you got and we’ll give you a refund.

What experience do you have building startups?

Our company founder has worked for four startups as an early employee three of the times and staying with one startup for 8.5 years until their public offering. There, he was employee #7. AppDevv makes five startups. We do lots of work for companies small and large.What matters? We know how to operate on a shoe string as well as scaling rapidly with big budgets to reach big growth goals.

And we’ve all got scars on our backs from the lessons we learned about foolish money spent with too loose of a strategy.