How do app startups with coders work?
Agile. That is the short answer. Good? Probably not, huh? So, I will explain some of how that works.
First the idea for the app. Take Instagram, they realized people wanted to share photos like a social network and I’m not totally sure even filters were available. Anyway, the important part is their main value proposition behind photos was tested. IN order to get to this point you need to do a ton of planning that requires a team to help keep prices low and speed fast.
Here is a great overview of agile and how it works in startups with coders on staff and/or funded. This is from YouTube land, not us, it helps explain it well. ()
Want to watch a video by someone else here you go. I have more thoughts below….
Backlog Commitment list
This is basically your priority list. this is what is used to keep things straight and all the features you are implementing and want to implement are ranked according to their relevance at any moment. Bugs pop up? they go to the top of the list. Too expensive to build that new feature, lower it to make it when you can afford it.
This is where you keep your plans, plain and simple.
This is what the backlog list is focused on. This explains in a formulaic way how each part of the process will help the User and keep them coming back for longer periods of time. By focusing on the user, you are able to adapt at a moment’s notice (through escalation of priorities on the backlog list) and keep their patronage.
In our membership () this is you. This is the person that will decide how the app evolves and will (most importantly) say no a lot. The way the cycle works in agile development creates an “overflow” on the backlog list and that can cause your app and users to suffer (and the latter leave) because their requests are taking over 6 months to get developed (due to that overflow).
This person is the “boss” of the system and gets input from Development, product, customer service, sales, marketing, testing, user experience, and all the other experts you will rely on reports from.
Thought you knew what this meant, huh?
First, when an app is being built, each small decision can have large ramifications on the budget and functionality of the app. FOr instance, you can change all of the words in the app in a very short amount of time, but adding a button can imply a number of things, like going to a website, another app, a form (in the app or not), save something to the database to do any of those things or a combination of them, and way more possibilities. Suffice to say, that simple button could have a myriad of code hours in it.
This is inherently the problem with quoting and developing in a traditional sense. As Gartner said:
Second, when you say development, you probably think of a person at a computer hunched over in the middle of the night. This is certainly true, but “coder” is not just one person. Just as in Medicine, you would go to a cardiologist for advice on your eye problems. They do know about it, but you are best served going to an Opthamologist.
Just like that, coders are experts in different specialties. You do have “General Practitioners” but they refer to specialists when they come across a custom need and experts are the best a that due to their experience and on-the-job knowledge.
We noticed this was a huge problem when we were a development firm. We still are, but we have developed a system to house the people you need in the positions you do. The cost for all of these experts is just under $500,000 ().