So, you want us to build your shiny new app?

Over the last 3 years we have seen a significant increase in the number of people contacting us about web and mobile app development. That’s a good thing though, because we enjoy building apps! It makes me wonder where all this tech stuff is heading, and when this start-up bubble will end. We’ve seen a substantial decline in both the quality and quantity of documentation that people bring to the table when they are thinking about hiring a team to build an application.

In the past, potential clients would send us pages and pages of notes, which tried to communicate what they wanted us to build. I would never make it through all the pages, and they often needed quite a bit of translating for our designers and developers to be able to work. But those pages gave us a starting point.

Today, we’ll get a call from someone and the conversation will go like this:

“Hey, I heard from XYZ that you guys do great work.”

“Yes, we do. How can I help?”

“I want a quote for building an app. Can you give me that today?”

“Well it depends on what you are trying to build. What is this app?”

“I want to build a music app… it’s going to be the next big thing. As big as Facebook, Instagram, Uber”

“Sure, let’s talk about the details.”

“Nope, can’t do. That’s all I have. I want to build a music app and it’s going to be big and you are going to build it. How much?”

People seem more enthusiastic about investing in software but less aware of what it takes to make that venture succeed. So what’s the solution? Earlier this year we thought to ourselves that the solution is to be done with this — no more building apps when people don’t have their stuff together. This was a decision made out of frustration, not vision or strategy.

Then, we had an ‘ah-ha!’ moment. We realized that you’re not a bad person for not having your stuff together. We shouldn’t punish you for wanting to build an app but not knowing where to start.

The reality is that we know how to plan and scope web & mobile app projects. We have years of experience, and our team’s combined learning provides huge benefits. So instead of turning away people who don’t have their stuff together from the get-go, we decided to try something new (to us) — let’s offer a service that helps people plan & document their project in a way designers & developers can easily understand. So, each time we got a call from someone looking to build an app, we’d suggest it. At first, people were a bit weirded out by the concept, but pretty soon we had folks saying yes. We’ve had a couple people go through this process and they have LOVED IT!

Why does this work so well?

It allows us to help in ways we didn’t feel we should have before. During this phase we sit with the customers, and we spend time talking through their ideas, pointing out pitfalls, highlighting strengths, recommending value-added features, trimming less valuable requirements, clarify a business model, and the list goes on and on. It’s been fantastic, and we’ve found great freedom in bringing all our expertise to the table very early in a project to ensure a better result for our customers.

We want to see you succeed. When you do well, we’ll do well. This isn’t a zero-sum industry. When we work together, value is created. It’s not about us taking your money and building something we know will fail. Instead, it should be about us working together to make GREAT happen.

Remember, great doesn’t happen by chance or for cheap, but it certainly can happen through time and investment.

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