We are sometimes approached by new entrepreneurs or non-technical professionals seeking software development services. Many of these people are in the idea stage and are seeking a ‘coder’ to help build their web or mobile app. The questions we received from these potential clients are often focused on the coding aspect. Example questions include, “Which programming languages do you use?”, “Have you used the ‘x’ api before”, or “Have you built an application that has done ‘y’ before?”. The concern with these questions and therefore this approach is that it points to a belief that the hard part will be in building (coding) the app, when in reality the complication is mostly always in the building the business.
90% of startups fail. Less than 0.01% of consumer mobile apps are considered a financial success by their creators*. Those are the real numbers when considering tech businesses and apps for profit.
When approached by these potential clients, we ask them to instead begin by understanding their envisioned app is only a mere assumption at this stage. There is an assumption of both the problem they are trying to solve for their customers, and an assumption in that their envisioned app will solve that problem. When clients are in the idea stage, we work with them to identify a series of experiments or minimal viable (valuable) products (MVP) that can be built to validate their assumptions. This method of building small and validating along the way is more efficient than building a full featured application from idea conception and then launching. In addition, this method will produces better results and increase chances for success. And ultimately, we’re reaching for success for all of our clients.