What are some great strategies to launch a successful mobile dev shop?

I have the developer/design talent available. We already have our first contract and have some leads for the next. We are based in NYC and are slowly putting together a portfolio. How do I land contracts for the next few projects in the meantime. I was thinking of approaching more established shops and offering to take contracts that are marginal to them 15-25k (or more for huge shops - think pivotal labs) while meaningful to us. Is that reasonable and how would you broach that? I don't mind giving a finders fee. Any feedback on my ideas as well as any other strategies are appreciated.


So here are two strategies:

Follow the money
You need to go where the money is spent on developing/design. I would approach startups at WeWork and also get in contact with the MBA programs of the universities in NY. Instead of giving a better price (finders fee) to actual projects build the relationships with those that will start startups. If you build their first project successfully then you would have started a long term relationship with someone that will have many years in front of them needing development work.

I will also approach Angels/VC and let them know you will give a good price to portfolio companies that get referral by them

Follow the volume
Accelerators/Incubators: Go to where the volume is: remember that the conversion rate on leads is small. Focus in the places where many projects will be built and where you can find those guys that don't have the technical skills.

PS: This are not strategies I did but I would if I was in your situation. :)

Answered 4 years ago

It's always good to establish a partner ecosystem to be able to tap the market for potential business opportunities. The ecosystem could be a blend of the established shops, marketing process organizations, sales enablers et al. In any of the scenarios, you'd be required to establish your credibility and earn trust. To you it may look like just a marginal project, but for the established shops you're actually asking them to hinge their brand value on your team. Because, for anything that may go wrong it's them at the forefront with customer.

Secondly, all those marginal projects could only be helpful if you're catering them under your banner and not working as a sub-contractors. You may end up making money via subcontracting, but may not end up building an organization. Tomorrow, it would be easier for someone to jeopardize your position by just doing the same at lower price than yours. Remember, the market out there is too flat and you definitely aren't based out of a low-cost region.

I would advise you to plan your business, design your business model, utilize contemporary technology to build your go-to-market process, adopt appropriate tactics, and deliver the tactics through pragmatic strategy. In my more than a decade experience I've seen businesses either taking a wrong turn or not turning at the bend early on. Don't fall in the trap called money, but raise your business around values.

Do feel free to reach out to me for any specific input that you may be looking at. I am just a buzz away. All the best!!

Answered 4 years ago

First thing you need to get your portfolio completed, and make sure there is something recognizable.

Get some experience from sites like

these sites are full of outsourced teams that do the same work cheaper - but at a rubbish quality

Freelancers from the US are regarded as premium rate and premium quality simply from being from the US. Another Option would be to partner with a quality outsourced company that has a strong portfolio ie making apps for companies like Mc Donalds - and have them be the source behind your development. I have a couple of contacts that would probably be perfect for that actually - they don't cost the same as typical outsourced companies but the quality speaks for itself.

Once you have the portfolio, a small design team working on Mock Ups is all you need to get your sales.

Answered 4 years ago

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