There comes a stage when all startups hit a wall–the business is a couple of years old, is scaling well and has ample seed funding to start exploring new avenues. Everything is working great and then comes the big question, “How to move your product to a new level? What features to add that connect better with users and gain better market share?” Developing a business software application is usually considered the most challenging aspect for budding startups. Should an in-house software development team be built up or should third-party alternatives such as outsourcing be utilized? These are questions that every startup faces at some point.
When deciding to outsource a start-up has many expectations from the provider; an outsourcing product development company, who can enhance the idea better and define specifics, an expert tech team, an expedite delivery and the value add. The on-ground reality can be completely different. Let us have a quick look at some of the expectations vs. realities of software development for startups.
• Requirements defining:
A start-up will have a great idea, enthusiasm, and funding as well at times, what it may not have is a related experience and enough resources, hence choose to outsource.
The expectation from a software company that they choose is to document the idea, give it the right shape, define processes around its execution and help traverse the journey of software development in an organized way.
• Technical expertise:
This is an essential skill that a start-up would like to see in the software vendor it chooses as it is important for the vendor to be able to cater to the expanding requirements of its products with evolving technologies. Working with one vendor who can take care of end-to-end technical requirements is what a start-up looks for, rather than a multi-vendor approach.
• Expert developers:
Software development includes diverse responsibilities, for e.g. implementing new features, analyzing requirements, and fixing bugs. Start-ups expect that their hired talent has development expertise, including exposure to programming and desired qualities of software engineering.
• Quick turnaround:
Developing product in-house can be a challenge for a start-up as skilled developers and moreover enough developers, and an array of expertise for a timeline delivery can be a roadblock. Comparatively quicker delivery of the product becomes easier with an established software company with an expert developers’ team and tried and tested models and automation processes, helping them to go live in a quick time period.
Startups expect the developed software to be technically robust and at the same time be user-friendly for better market acceptance. A simple and attractive user interface that is not difficult to navigate and easy to search the required functions.
All start-ups diving into software development for the first time will have the aforementioned expectations. That said, reality varies from expectations (to large extents) during many phases of the complete software development life cycle.
Start-ups believe that their software requirements are pretty well defined and would not need much alteration, but they forget to consider that business requirements can be pretty dynamic. Moreover, since startups are themselves on a new journey, well-defined requirements are very early to foresee. As startups scale, so does their business, which means the inflow of more projects and thus changing requirements. The ground reality is that this statement is true for most startups. Therefore, though the opening structure is well defined, over time, most startups grow and their requirements become myriad.
So an outsourcing software development company needs to look at the product from all aspects; consider the future scope for enhancements, give thought to market acceptance, and be agile to address the changing requirements to enhance the product.
• Meeting Pre-Defined Timelines
Contrary to expectations, meeting timelines can be extremely difficult for startups because of the changing requirements. Startup owners always aim for cost optimization: work is hectic and resources are few—a common startup scenario. Therefore, the pressure to meet deadlines is exceptionally high. In reality, an unorganized or rigid vendor may not be able to meet with fast-paced working culture in a startup.
Choosing to outsource product development to an organized software vendor like Pratiti can help plan the project better and stick to the timelines. We empathize with the needs of the startup and are flexible giving the ease of scaling the team, as required.
Read our E-book on guide to successful product development to understand how we help bring structure and organization to a dynamic software development process.
• Keeping projects User-focused
Though startups initially start with the dream of making a user-centric product, with time and the tasks piling up, it is only natural for startups to focus on the “features list” rather than on customizing and modifying the solutions to address the customer needs. Therefore, application development becomes a “checklist practice” rather than with the aim of creating a solution that caters to specific client requirements.
A right development partner who has the experience and empathizes with the customer will have the foresight to understand what the end users want and what the market will accept, and then plan the development accordingly.
• Best practices and standard processes
Every software development project should have a well-defined blueprint and follow best practices to ensure the final output is as close as possible to the desired application. Thus, requirements should be carefully documented, At Pratiti we do this with product definition. We understand the developing a new product is a journey as the market is dynamic and any idea matures over a period of time. Hence we provide the best craftsmen to craft your tech journey.
Know how we recently helped a startup traverse the tech journey for a post-acute healthcare product.
It is a well-established fact that startups encounter several inconsistencies between their software development expectations and the actual reality. However, there are several simple steps that can help bridge this gap. Outsourcing the development to a reliable software development company like Pratiti can ensure these hiccups are avoided and the best practices are followed since day one.
After successful 5 years stint in a corporate role, Nitin is back to what he enjoys most – conceptualizing new software solutions to solve business problems. Nitin is postgraduate from IIT, Mumbai, India and in his 19 years of career, has played key roles in building a desktop as well as enterprise solutions right from idealization to launch which are adopted by many Fortune 500 companies. As a Founder member of Pratiti Technologies, he is committed to applying his management learning as well as the passion for building new solutions to realize your innovation with certainty.