5 Habits for Successful App Development Outsourcing

Wed 19 November 2014 Written by Evi


 As the app world continues its boom with more and more apps serving the growing appetites of users over various platforms like the iPhone, iPad, Android phones and Android tablets, we're now seeing a growing stream of new “appreneurs” who don’t come from a technology background yet are determined to launch their killer app. 


Apps are Cool

 Those who create an app, or are partners in such an exciting venture wear it like a badge of honor. When people mention they've launched an app, even if it still has a small user base and its success is far from proven, they speak of it with pride, their chest puffed out. Owning a piece of real estate in the exciting new digital marketplaces of the Apple App Store or Google Play is indeed something to brag about, something that puts one’s business on the map.


Apps are Profitable

 Another motivation to own an app is, of course, the high potential returns. We've all heard the amazing exit stories of Whatsapp, Viber, Instagram, Waze and the list goes on. In addition to the big names, I can personally tell you that there are countless “small exits” that few have ever heard of, yet still made the appreneurs extremely happy with their final payday. 


Apps are Technical in Nature


Given the above, what is one of the first steps an appreneur should take when starting out with a new app, especially a non-technical appreneur? 


Clearly, the appreneur is seeking a technology partner. This partner can be a full time employee or equity holder, or it can be a technology partner that will perform the job for the appreneur for a fee, equity, or a combination of both.


Assuming that the appreneur selects an external technology partner, here are a few tips I can offer to both parties that can make their business relationship as successful as possible:


  1. Get everything straight up front. Try to close all details large and small before you kick-off the project together. This is crucial to your business relationship and to the success of your project.


  1. Try to understand one another. The appreneur is working solely on his product, day-in and day-out. He has to do so in order to succeed. The service provider, on the other hand, is catering for a number of different customers. He too has to do so in order to succeed. The appreneur shouldn't be disappointed if the service provider doesn't reply to an email sent late at night till the following business day. Likewise, the service provider must understand that the appreneur, as a perfectionist, is demanding and even emotional when it comes to his product. This understanding between both sides is key to success. 


  1. Trust is crucial. The appreneur must trust the technology partner to keep his code and other assets discrete and safe. Needless to say, the service provider must follow the best practices and be proactive in protecting his customer's intellectual property.


  1. Listen to your business partner. For the appreneur, realize that the technology provider is an experienced expert in mobile apps development. Use his knowledge to avoid costly and time consuming. For the technology provider, listen to your customer. You may have excellent technology experience and seen many apps go through your doors, but your customer has intimate knowledge of the product, his market, where he wants to take the product, and how he envisions it. It's critical that you keep an open mind and try your best to make things happen for your customer exactly as he wants it. 


  1. Communicate, communicate, communicate. I can't stress how important communication is. It's vital. Try to set a predefined, recurrent time in which you speak to one another or chat online. Make sure you're on the same page and that all current and relevant issues are brought up. Communication will get you out of any tricky situation and back on the right track.  


In summary, the relationship between an appreneur and a technology service provider can be challenging and complex, but when there's good collaboration between both parties executed on an on-going basis, this relationship will be extremely beneficial to everyone involved.