Not Identifying the MVP

The Minimum Viable Product or “MVP” constitutes the minimum features that set you apart from the pack. It includes the most basic functions needed to run the app.  Regardless of your budget start with defining these core features.  If you hit the programmers with a slew of fancy features they typically get lost in the forest for the trees.

Software is Buggy

Get the MVP working correctly first before rolling out advanced features.  If there is too much going on: even smart programmers get confused & overwhelmed.  

A lot of testing and validation has to happen to make sure the basic gears of your app actually work. Moving ahead to advanced features without this validation is like building a house with a foundation that might not be correctly laid. Subsequent phases then become messy and it gets more and more likely that you will have to start over from scratch.

Building in layers reduces the likelihood that you will run out of money before your core concept is realized. If these features are functioning it is much easier to raise the next round of funding for your project.

Most Programmers Think in Black and White

Consider first investing in graphics.  These can also be used for fundraising and help the programmers visualize the functionality you desire.

But don’t be married to this opening design.

It’s Okay if Your App is Ugly to Start

Most of the well known sites we use today such as Facebook and Twitter were really quite ugly in the very beginning.  But these concepts went on to dominate because of the core functionality they brought to life.

Not Knowing How Much Programming Your Features Will Take

If you don’t have an experienced project manager don’t take a leap unless you can talk directly to your programmer.  You need to ask for the programming approach that will be taken for each feature and how many hours each element will take.

Some features are deceptively simple to non-programmers but are far more complicated to program in the real world. Just one element might consume 80% of your development budget but really bring only nominal value to your opening value proposition.  

By being willing to invest in a project planning phase with the right advisor you can make educated decisions as to which elements to start with and which ones to save for a subsequent round of development.

It also is helpful to have an expert translator to help get your ideas across into world of programmers and to advise you on what is realistic for your budget and where to focus your resources in order to make it to your intended destination.

What is a Good Sign You are About to be Taken for a Costly Ride?

Watch out if the development provider makes a big deal about some of your features but repeatedly glosses over other areas when asked and refuses to get specific.  This is a sign they don’t actually have the expertise in house to fully deliver your project.

Read the Part 1 of this 2 Part Series