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Information regarding app development? (Create Your Own VS Outsource Developer VS In-House Developer)

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DrScream

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I'm currently working on developing an app that is already on the market but isn't done as well as it could be. A competitor that used to be the king in this domain recently changed a lot of features and I've found a few places that I can skew value but I'm trying to figure out the best approach. I've got about $10,000 in savings and a job that pays well above what my monthly bills amount to.

Is there any section of the forum dedicated to this sort of talk? If this is the right section then I'll just post my questions here and if not, I'd love to know where I should move it to.

The app that I'm trying to create (The MVP) will be about 6 different pages that will be shown (Login, Register, Home page & about 4 other pages that play audio on them). It will also contain some sort of a tracking system to let you keep track of the progress you have on X subject.

The app will be subscription based with a yearly fee and a free trial available to test it out.

I'm currently studying Java myself (via TeamTreeHouse.com) so that I can use Android Studio to create my own MVP but I wanted to know if it's worth hiring out the work outright or if I should spend the next few months working on the MVP and risk another competitor coming out and taking the spotlight. For reference, I know absolutely nothing about coding other than doing my own coding on a video game in java 7+ years ago which I retained nothing.

Is there anyone on the forum that has experience with web app development for SaaS that I could go through their profile and consume as much of their post information as possible to get a better insight into how I should proceed?

I hope I offered enough information to get the message across. If you need to know anything else, feel free to ask.
 

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Nick T

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I'm currently working on developing an app that is already on the market but isn't done as well as it could be. A competitor that used to be the king in this domain recently changed a lot of features and I've found a few places that I can skew value but I'm trying to figure out the best approach. I've got about $10,000 in savings and a job that pays well above what my monthly bills amount to.

Is there any section of the forum dedicated to this sort of talk? If this is the right section then I'll just post my questions here and if not, I'd love to know where I should move it to.

The app that I'm trying to create (The MVP) will be about 6 different pages that will be shown (Login, Register, Home page & about 4 other pages that play audio on them). It will also contain some sort of a tracking system to let you keep track of the progress you have on X subject.

The app will be subscription based with a yearly fee and a free trial available to test it out.

I'm currently studying Java myself (via TeamTreeHouse.com) so that I can use Android Studio to create my own MVP but I wanted to know if it's worth hiring out the work outright or if I should spend the next few months working on the MVP and risk another competitor coming out and taking the spotlight. For reference, I know absolutely nothing about coding other than doing my own coding on a video game in java 7+ years ago which I retained nothing.

Is there anyone on the forum that has experience with web app development for SaaS that I could go through their profile and consume as much of their post information as possible to get a better insight into how I should proceed?

I hope I offered enough information to get the message across. If you need to know anything else, feel free to ask.

I have a couple SaaS companies, because you have a lot of ambiguity on the coding side I would test your hypothesis with a prototype VS a programmed MVP. I use Adobe XD and Justinmind to make clickable prototypes for testing. (Both you can get a free version of, and they are fast/easy to learn)

Once you have a solid customer verified prototype, the prototype becomes a clear workflow. Besides customer feedback... Not building the prototype, and workflows will waste a lot of money on developers deciding what to do next.

I would definitely suggest learning to code because it's powerful, but if your trying to get to market without a fair amount of time learning/fixing errors... and your app does not have a huge scope...

My preference would be to find a good programmer that you can trust, keep them accountable, give them a clear plan of execution with your prototype/workflows, create deadlines together, and check on progress daily. Then continue to learn to code, so you can trust but verify.

Keep the scope as small as possible at first because this is where I see a lot of people fail. They have all these ideas and end up burning their capital before they make it to market or find product market fit.

As far as someone to follow... follow @eliquid and read his thread in its entirety before asking questions on it... A lot of questions that are asked he has answered in the thread. His contribution to TFF is extremely valuable.

 
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DrScream

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I have a couple SaaS companies, because you have a lot of ambiguity on the coding side I would test your hypothesis with a prototype VS a programmed MVP. I use Adobe XD and Justinmind to make clickable prototypes for testing. (Both you can get a free version of, and they are fast/easy to learn)

Once you have a solid customer verified prototype, the prototype becomes a clear workflow. Besides customer feedback... Not building the prototype, and workflows will waste a lot of money on developers deciding what to do next.

I would definitely suggest learning to code because it's powerful, but if your trying to get to market without a fair amount of time learning/fixing errors... and your app does not have a huge scope...

My preference would be to find a good programmer that you can trust, keep them accountable, give them a clear plan of execution with your prototype/workflows, create deadlines together, and check on progress daily. Then continue to learn to code, so you can trust but verify.

Keep the scope as small as possible at first because this is where I see a lot of people fail. They have all these ideas and end up burning their capital before they make it to market or find product market fit.

As far as someone to follow... follow @eliquid and read his thread in its entirety before asking questions on it... A lot of questions that are asked he has answered in the thread. His contribution to TFF is extremely valuable.

Thanks so much for the information, brother. I've actually been binge reading through @eliquid thread on SaaS and Ctrl F searching for all the Hire and Developer questions. Lots of value in there for sure. Thanks for the tips! I'll try to grab that software. Do you recommend adobe xd and justinmind or just one of them? Are they 2 entirely different purposes?
 

Nick T

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Thanks so much for the information, brother. I've actually been binge reading through @eliquid thread on SaaS and Ctrl F searching for all the Hire and Developer questions. Lots of value in there for sure. Thanks for the tips! I'll try to grab that software. Do you recommend adobe xd and justinmind or just one of them? Are they 2 entirely different purposes?

Yeah, you won't go wrong binge reading his stuff.

You can use them alone or together....Both are prototyping tools...

What I do is make a rough layout in justintime because I find it faster for me, then I go to Fiverr and have someone clean it up... The Justintime file type isn't usually a file type they offer...but they usually have Adobe XD, so I bring the final version into XD. From XD you can make edits and create and interactive prototype.


I look forward to watching you execute on this journey... Definitely update the thread on your progress!
 

Hadrian

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I'm currently working on developing an app that is already on the market but isn't done as well as it could be. A competitor that used to be the king in this domain recently changed a lot of features and I've found a few places that I can skew value but I'm trying to figure out the best approach. I've got about $10,000 in savings and a job that pays well above what my monthly bills amount to.

Is there any section of the forum dedicated to this sort of talk? If this is the right section then I'll just post my questions here and if not, I'd love to know where I should move it to.

The app that I'm trying to create (The MVP) will be about 6 different pages that will be shown (Login, Register, Home page & about 4 other pages that play audio on them). It will also contain some sort of a tracking system to let you keep track of the progress you have on X subject.

The app will be subscription based with a yearly fee and a free trial available to test it out.

I'm currently studying Java myself (via TeamTreeHouse.com) so that I can use Android Studio to create my own MVP but I wanted to know if it's worth hiring out the work outright or if I should spend the next few months working on the MVP and risk another competitor coming out and taking the spotlight. For reference, I know absolutely nothing about coding other than doing my own coding on a video game in java 7+ years ago which I retained nothing.

Is there anyone on the forum that has experience with web app development for SaaS that I could go through their profile and consume as much of their post information as possible to get a better insight into how I should proceed?

I hope I offered enough information to get the message across. If you need to know anything else, feel free to ask.
Hello Hello,

Some great advice there from Nick. There’s some great threads from established successful software devs on here but also feel free to view my own previous posts to get a feel for the struggling indie app dev viewpoint...

I’d actually do these first:
1.) create a landing page and run some traffic to it to see if you get signups for your product idea...
2.) Make an interactive prototype using Nicks method above or something else. I use Proto.io and you can put the interactive prototype on your phone and just give it to people to see their reaction.
3.) Check the competitor app reviews using Sensortower or App Annie. If there’s a constant stream of requests for the new feature you want then you’ve got something!

Be darn sure you’re right as your 10k will disappear fast whether you outsource in the first world or the developing world...

Is it a web app or a regular iOS/Android app?
If it’s a regular app IOS seems to generate up to 80% more revenue... though I’m not a SAAS guy so it could be different for SAAS apps!

Is there an app group on here? No I’ve asked that a few times but I’m thinking it could be very useful. I’m bookmarking anyone who’s into apps so if we come up with something I can add everyone.
Good luck! ☘️
 

alexkuzmov

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I'm currently working on developing an app that is already on the market but isn't done as well as it could be. A competitor that used to be the king in this domain recently changed a lot of features and I've found a few places that I can skew value but I'm trying to figure out the best approach. I've got about $10,000 in savings and a job that pays well above what my monthly bills amount to.

Is there any section of the forum dedicated to this sort of talk? If this is the right section then I'll just post my questions here and if not, I'd love to know where I should move it to.

The app that I'm trying to create (The MVP) will be about 6 different pages that will be shown (Login, Register, Home page & about 4 other pages that play audio on them). It will also contain some sort of a tracking system to let you keep track of the progress you have on X subject.

The app will be subscription based with a yearly fee and a free trial available to test it out.

I'm currently studying Java myself (via TeamTreeHouse.com) so that I can use Android Studio to create my own MVP but I wanted to know if it's worth hiring out the work outright or if I should spend the next few months working on the MVP and risk another competitor coming out and taking the spotlight. For reference, I know absolutely nothing about coding other than doing my own coding on a video game in java 7+ years ago which I retained nothing.

Is there anyone on the forum that has experience with web app development for SaaS that I could go through their profile and consume as much of their post information as possible to get a better insight into how I should proceed?

I hope I offered enough information to get the message across. If you need to know anything else, feel free to ask.
You say that the app is already on the market, but there is no MVP?

Hard to say which route you should take.
If you have 0 experience in actual coding, best pay someone to do it, especially since you have the money and not the time.
Also, the complexity of the project, the niche, the USP and the marketing are all things which can affect your decision.
Can you share a bit more? Whats the goal?
 

DrScream

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Hello Hello,

Some great advice there from Nick. There’s some great threads from established successful software devs on here but also feel free to view my own previous posts to get a feel for the struggling indie app dev viewpoint...

I’d actually do these first:
1.) create a landing page and run some traffic to it to see if you get signups for your product idea...
2.) Make an interactive prototype using Nicks method above or something else. I use Proto.io and you can put the interactive prototype on your phone and just give it to people to see their reaction.
3.) Check the competitor app reviews using Sensortower or App Annie. If there’s a constant stream of requests for the new feature you want then you’ve got something!

Be darn sure you’re right as your 10k will disappear fast whether you outsource in the first world or the developing world...

Is it a web app or a regular iOS/Android app?
If it’s a regular app IOS seems to generate up to 80% more revenue... though I’m not a SAAS guy so it could be different for SAAS apps!

Is there an app group on here? No I’ve asked that a few times but I’m thinking it could be very useful. I’m bookmarking anyone who’s into apps so if we come up with something I can add everyone.
Good luck! ☘️
1. I'd love this but I don't need to test my product as there are already others doing something similar. The issue with those other apps is the cost is OUTRAGEOUS for what they're offering (the leader in the niche has a new CEO which is squeezing the proverbial towel). That and the fact that there are features the app doesn't have which I could easily add because I am the target audience myself. Even if this app fails, I will be using it myself because it's what I want to see in the market so I'm scratching my own itch so to speak.

2. I am taking a course on Adobe XD to get a good feel for the program and will start on the prototype ASAP.

3. I've consumed so much of the competitors apps that I've got a good amount of data to know the general consensus for what people are not happy with in their app.

I'd prefer not to convert a webpage to an app as that will not be ideal. I'd prefer to have the app be native to the platform. I will probably look into starting it off as an app on the app store for iPhones vs android as it seems the revenue is a lot higher on apple products.

Thank you for all of the advice and input!
You say that the app is already on the market, but there is no MVP?

Hard to say which route you should take.
If you have 0 experience in actual coding, best pay someone to do it, especially since you have the money and not the time.
Also, the complexity of the project, the niche, the USP and the marketing are all things which can affect your decision.
Can you share a bit more? Whats the goal?

There is an MVP but I don't have the MVP for MY product. The competitors already have "fully functioning"apps (emphasis on the "" as they don't work the way people want them to work).

Thanks for your thought-provoking questions :)
 

Jon L

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@Jon L not sure but you mentioned you do something with coding.
I do ... I own a custom software company that builds business-oriented web apps.

My normal rant on this topic is, 'Yup, I could build this for you, but are you sure this is what you want? You haven't even tested the market first.' I've talked more than a few people out of building software entirely.

You're not in this position. You're the end client (make sure you're being honest with yourself about that - how much of the market do you truly represent?), so you know what is needed. You've seen competitors' products, and know what you want to change.

What you need at this point is a good workflow and design. I recommend that you work with a good software developer to help you think through this workflow. People experienced in this will know features to suggest that will make the software better without breaking your budget while also steering you away from features that would cost too much.

Edit: When working with any software developer, especially overseas ones, good communication is crucial. You need to be extraordinarily detailed. Here is an example. The login screen.

You'd be tempted to say, 'make me a login screen here.' This might work well if you've worked with your developer before and you each know what you mean by a login screen. However, login screens mean different things to different people. Here is a description that would work well for most, though not all developers:

1) (You would include a full mockup of what the form/screen would look like)
2) Login button: This button checks ... (describe what is does)
3) If password is bad, display this message: "The username or password you entered isn't valid. Please try again"
4) If after 5 attempts, send the user back to the main system screen.
5) etc ... I think you get the picture.
 
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lobo

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Pros to learning to code would be its much more inexpensive to bootstrap your venture (you can build it on your own). But it's going to take much longer for you to get your product finished.

With a developer you're going to run through your $10K much quicker than you think (unless you outsource it to someone in a foreign country for cheaper), but odds are you aren't going to be satisfied with the final product either.

I'd say it would be smart for you to learn to code and while you're doing that, make it an objective to build a prototype using one of those no-code builders. Once you have established that theres a demand and you have market-fit, then you can really focus on hammering out your product in whatever language you choose.

The thing to remember is that while this particular venture may not work out, you will still have the coding skills to build the next one.
 

Kid

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Jon, you're giving very good points here.

The need for good communication is also pointed out as crucial by pros in industry of product sourcing so it is worth really paying attention to.
 

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DrScream

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I do ... I own a custom software company that builds business-oriented web apps.

My normal rant on this topic is, 'Yup, I could build this for you, but are you sure this is what you want? You haven't even tested the market first.' I've talked more than a few people out of building software entirely.

You're not in this position. You're the end client (make sure you're being honest with yourself about that - how much of the market do you truly represent?), so you know what is needed. You've seen competitors' products, and know what you want to change.

What you need at this point is a good workflow and design. I recommend that you work with a good software developer to help you think through this workflow. People experienced in this will know features to suggest that will make the software better without breaking your budget while also steering you away from features that would cost too much.

Edit: When working with any software developer, especially overseas ones, good communication is crucial. You need to be extraordinarily detailed. Here is an example. The login screen.

You'd be tempted to say, 'make me a login screen here.' This might work well if you've worked with your developer before and you each know what you mean by a login screen. However, login screens mean different things to different people. Here is a description that would work well for most, though not all developers:

1) (You would include a full mockup of what the form/screen would look like)
2) Login button: This button checks ... (describe what is does)
3) If password is bad, display this message: "The username or password you entered isn't valid. Please try again"
4) If after 5 attempts, send the user back to the main system screen.
5) etc ... I think you get the picture.
Thanks for the input. I've already designed the entire UI and am currently working on making the best UX. I have a friend who actually worked in a corporate setting for finding good developers overseas so I'm going to reach out to him to get his input. After I have the entire design is it as simple as interviewing developers to see whether they'd be able to apply the proper code to the interface? I'm still a little lost on how they go about turning the UI I've designed into a working end product or MVP to test the market. Hoping my friend can clarify this for me or if you have any input on that end, I'd love to hear it.
 

DrScream

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Pros to learning to code would be its much more inexpensive to bootstrap your venture (you can build it on your own). But it's going to take much longer for you to get your product finished.

With a developer you're going to run through your $10K much quicker than you think (unless you outsource it to someone in a foreign country for cheaper), but odds are you aren't going to be satisfied with the final product either.

I'd say it would be smart for you to learn to code and while you're doing that, make it an objective to build a prototype using one of those no-code builders. Once you have established that theres a demand and you have market-fit, then you can really focus on hammering out your product in whatever language you choose.

The thing to remember is that while this particular venture may not work out, you will still have the coding skills to build the next one.
yeah that's why I've chosen to learn to code alongside this project. Even if this project fails, I will be using the app myself and I can always use the knowledge to create an MVP on my next venture.
 

Jon L

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Thanks for the input. I've already designed the entire UI and am currently working on making the best UX. I have a friend who actually worked in a corporate setting for finding good developers overseas so I'm going to reach out to him to get his input. After I have the entire design is it as simple as interviewing developers to see whether they'd be able to apply the proper code to the interface? I'm still a little lost on how they go about turning the UI I've designed into a working end product or MVP to test the market. Hoping my friend can clarify this for me or if you have any input on that end, I'd love to hear it.
You're pretty far ahead then. A couple things:

1) You'll also need to describe, in words, the functionality of the various buttons and fields on your U/I
2) Finding a good developer can be difficult. If your friend can help you interview developers, that would be best.
 

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