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Seeking advice in determining mentorship needs

I am on the process of developing a mobile app. At this point, I've spoken with a developer and have quotes for the full app build and the prototype, but I don't have a good grasp on what my best next steps should be. I do not have a programming/startup background, and I'm trying to determine what kind of a mentor/partner I should be seeking to help determine next steps and what I can expect from them in terms of time and compensation.

37 Replies

Michael Brill
4
1
Michael Brill Entrepreneur
Technology startup exec focused on AI-driven products
Hey Kimberly.

Have you built a mockup yet? Validated with users/customers? There are only a few apps that have any traction in wine and hundreds that have failed to get traction. I'd validate, validate, validate before you hire a developer to build anything.

What you probably need is one or more advisors who have built something serving your same market. They're going to have the vertical domain expertise and high probability they'll have or have access to the technical skill set you need to help manage the development process. Do not, under any circumstances, just hand a few pages of scribbles to a developer and expect that they're going to build what you want. It almost always ends in tears if you don't understand as much about development as they do.

Christian Johnson
3
0
CoFounder & CEO at Good TRKR & Fotition
Hi Kimberly - I would first recommend finding someone with experience in UI/UX design. Also, before you have anyone write a single line of code, you should first find a way to test your idea with your target demographic - basically a Pre-MVP. I would recommend starting with a simple prototyping platform like InVision or Flinto. This would allow you to create a simple demo that you can use to get feedback from prospective users, partners, investors, etc.
Thomas Jay
0
0
Thomas Jay Entrepreneur
iOS / Server Architect / IoT / BLE / iBeacon / Apple Pay
I get contacted a few hundred times every month about app startups, I've built many apps for small companies and MVP's.

I've very interested to find out what people are quoting you for your app development.

There is a few major parts normally, the iOS app, Android app and then the Back End system.

You normally start with Wireframes and UX mockups before yuo go very far, take a look at fiverr for these tasks, I do dozens of wireframes a month and only spend $15 - $50 for them, a bit more for Mockups. The once we start development I work with a local UI developer to make all the PhotoShop pixel perfect elements.

I would suggest learning as much as possible about app development, get a Mac notebook and start learning. I'm not saying that you can develop your own app (it has happended before) but get an understanding of what is needed. This will allow you to build you own app form source code and install on your device to make sure you have everything from your developers.

Most apps appear to run $1k - $3k per screen for finished apps - I work fulltime for one of the largest consulting companies, I'm currently focused in IoT / Medical apps so the cost is more in the $30K per screen but its much more complicated.
Julian Jennings-White
0
0
Julian Jennings-White Entrepreneur • Advisor
Product(s) and/or Service(s)
Hi Kimberly, What kind of mobile app are you trying to build? At the least, I recommend finding a technically proficient advisor who can evaluate your development process, for example skimming some of the code your developer produces to make sure its not junk. Right now your overall goal is building a minimum viable product. Ideally you want to first validate that if you build what youre thinking of it will actually generate cash. Pada 1 Apr 2016, pukul 00.24, Kimberly Hickey menulis:
Andrea Raimondi
0
0
Andrea Raimondi Entrepreneur
Computer Software Consultant and Contractor
Hi!

I would suggest that you try creating a mockup yourself.
There are dozens of online services which help you create mobile apps.
Start from that, but ensure you can get the full source code (this is very important). Another good option is using Basic4Android, google it. It is a complete development environment which is based off a Visual Basic flavour, the same kind of thing as Microsoft Office macros. This would also open you up to a larger pool of developers, maybe older/retired ones who need to work but struggle to make the shift to mobile. For $99, it's quite affordable.

Once you have that, it will be much easier to find a longer-term developer or establish a longer-term relationship with the one you already found.
Hira Saeed
1
0
Hira Saeed Entrepreneur
Digital Marketing Strategist | Blogging | Event Management | Communication Specialist | PR | Public Speaking
Hello Kimberly,
Not making you afraid or scared but having low and little knowledge in this particular scenario can cost you in long run. Whenever we come to this phase with our clients, we ask them to set-up a meeting where we give them milestones of what and how we will be doing. Take those milestones of your project and show it to someone having sound background in development field.

I am just a message away if you need any help.
David Sorin
0
0
David Sorin Advisor
Partner, Practice Leader/Venture Cap and Emerging Growth Company Practice at McCarter & English, LLP
from a legal perspective, be sure to secure a "work for hire" arrangement/agreement to ensure your company's ownership of whatever is developed for you.
James Hipkin
0
0
James Hipkin Advisor
CEO, Managing Director at Red8 Interactive
Do you have functional and technical requirements defined? Do you have flow diagrams and/or wires of every screen?This would be steps one and two, it's part of the validation process Michael Brill mentioned.I have to wonder what the developer based his estimate on. We build apps and wouldn't be able to provide an even remotely accurate estimate without this information.
Kushal Trivedi
0
0
Kushal Trivedi Entrepreneur
Entrepreneur | Marketing Consultant
Kimberly,

In order to get your app made, you do not need to be a coder yourself. There are many white papers/pointers/case study available for FREE on the net to look at. I suggest you to pick the one which is very close or similar to your idea, and read about it.

Basic functionality about your app must be shared by you to the developer, so if you have came across any such app that is close enough to your idea then do share that app with your developer, ask him to check the functions, tell him your specific requirements, make sure you get clarification in "layman" language. Make sure you learn about the terms native apps/web apps/hybrid apps/phonegap/cross platform etc. Having a handful of knowledge in understanding such terms will give you an upper hand while negotiation your terms with the developer.

Ask him to give you the wireframe accordingly. And once you like the wireframe then go for a working prototype, have it tested by yourself, and your friends/family/trusted peers.

Make sure you know the cost of hosting the site and app (on both iStore and Playstore).
Ken Lloyd
1
0
Ken Lloyd Entrepreneur
Strategic Visionary | Mobile Security SME | Executive
It sounds like you need to find a technical partner with product management experience. They will be able to run interference between you and the developers, they will manage the process and when the product is built they will help you bring it to market.
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