Robert GoodmanPresident of Technical Interviewers

President of Technical Interviewers, specialists in finding and screening software developers for entrepreneurs and businesses. Recruiter, project manager, developer,
technical consultant.

Recent Answers

I have a business finding developers for startups, so this is something I have some experience in. I would say that you're looking for the wrong thing.

You do not need to have developers with experience in real estate. What you need is good developers, and a solid design plan for them to follow. For example, when I got my first programming job out of college, I worked as a coder for a company that did government retirement software. Government retirement rules are complex, and I knew nothing about them. But as a coder, I didn't need to, since my boss gave me instructions on what needed to be done. If you have a clear vision for your product, and can explain that vision in tangible, clear terms, that's good enough.

What you want is some solid, experienced developers who know how to build a product and use best practices. You may or may not need five people. Be careful not to make the mistake that many entrepreneurs make by overstaffing. More developers does not necessarily mean that it will get done faster. Plan out your team based on what skill sets you need, and start small. You can always add more developers later. Generally speaking, 90% of the time when I see an entrepreneur starting out with a big team, they're probably trying to do too much too soon. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Either React Native or Flutter. I find developers for small businesses and startups, and those two are what I usually recommend to my clients. If you're going to do a web application in addition to mobile, I'd lean in favor of React Native over Flutter since you can do some common interface stuff with React. In terms of benchmarking, Flutter is usually faster than React Native, but in most cases either solution should work just fine.

In my experience very few consultants advise on all aspects of running an ecommerce business. Instead they specialize in whatever fields they're good at. For example, I'm from a tech background and do recruiting, and I advise on hiring and managing software developers. I have a friend who advises on marketing. I know someone else who does accounting. And so on.

I'm not usually big on crowdfunding, but this is the sort of thing that it was created for. I would think that if you made your pitch compelling you'd be able to raise a fair amount that way.

I would also suggest that you really pear down your app so as minimize expenses. Use only one developer, making something with just enough features to get people interested and signing up. I wouldn't spend too much on the logo; a good logo is nice, but the question is, how much will it really help you in attracting early adopters?

Unfortunately, you don't. I have a business finding programmers for startups and small businesses, and if it was that easy I wouldn't have any customers.

The fact is that programming is a valuable, high-paying skill, so it's hard to find a developer who is willing to accept equity, which may or may not have any value, when they could work at a job that pays cash, which definitely has value.

I usually recommend either React Native or Flutter. Both produce professional looking apps that support both iOS and Android. React Native's advantage is that it is based on React, so you can combine some work if you want to have both a web and mobile interface. Flutter's got a nice, quick development style. Either one will give you great results though.

The main issue isn't whether this is a good idea, it's whether you can find a designer who would be interested. I have a business finding app developers for entrepreneurs and small businesses, so I can tell you from experience that most designers and developers don't want equity or a percentage of profits; they want cash. And that's understandable. They have an extremely valuable skill, and they'd rather have cash than a slice of equity that might be valuable or might be worth nothing. There are so many risks in involved with apps that most pro designers or developers wouldn't take that kind of risk. In this case the deal is even worse since it's a percentage instead of equity.

This kind of value disconnect with entrepreneurs is common. The problem is that you see your app as an exciting, sure thing. And that's only right; as a startup owner you should be excited and motivated about your big idea. But for a designer, it's not their big idea, it's their job. And so they want to be paid like with any other job. The only time I tend to see this kind of arrangement is when the entrepreneur has a friend that they're going to work with. Even then though you see equity more than profit percentages. I'm not saying that finding a designer who's willing to accept a percentage can't happen, I'm just saying it's not that likely unless you have a history of startup success and an impressive resume.

This may not be what you want to hear, but it's the situation that you have to deal with. So what do you do? There are a few things. First, keep your app plans as simple as possible with very few features. That means a simpler and cheaper design. Also, consider whether you actually need a pro designer. It's not necessarily a given that you do. Obviously you need some sort of design for your app, but depending on how complex it is you may not need a separate designer, you may be able to just do some mockups of your own. In fact, if you're planning on making revisions to your app post-launch, you'll end up having to revise the design anyway to accommodate the changes. Of course, if you're a commercial business that needs an app as a sales tool, then you might need a designer to make sure that your design has some polish to it. Overall, I'd say the key thing for most apps is picking the developer, not the designer. Of course, I can't give firm advice since I have no idea what the app is or what you're trying to do.

I consult on app planning and developer hiring, so feel free to reach out if you'd like some more individualized advice.

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