Validate Your App: Building the Prototype
In this episode of Startup Hustle, Matt DeCoursey and John Rake, Founder of GorillaBot Labs and Author of ebook, Validate Your App Idea, talk about the value of using templated frameworks, how to build your prototype, and why it’s important to validate your app before building it.
Covered in this Episode
With global funding reaching a record high in 2021, investors are clearly determined to help businesses grow. That said, investor standards continue to increase too. This is why founders have to step up their pitch by creating a solid presentation of their ideas. And it all starts with the prototype.
What is a Prototype?
A prototype is an initial creation of a product that shows the basics of what a product will look like, what the product will do, and how the product operates.
Benefits of having a Prototype:
- Saves time and resources
- Collect accurate feedback and data
- Attracts investors
- Streamlines product development
Building a prototype helps you validate ideas before you start the actual development process. John Rake walks us through the step-by-step process of building a prototype.
- John Rake’s back story (02:24)
- Fresh software builds will cost you more money (05:30)
- Using Framework or Template before building (06:28)
- The customer journey has a one-size-fits-all approach(07:30)
- The planning of the customer journey includes how they will use it- iOs and Android (09:25)
- 2 developers often do not work simultaneously perfectly. (11:25)
- Look at the differences in approach before building (12:28)
- Validate your app Free playbook (13:40)
- Do you have to have a live app to validate it? (14:51)
- Matt’s activity tracking idea that nobody uses (16:10)
- The data you need from the prototype (16:47)
- What you need to do before creating a prototype and how to build it (18:20)
- Why you need to create it to validate it (20:43)
- Getting feedback from prototypes helps you improve the app before building it (23:15)
- Building anything that matters is hard. (24:51)
- An MVP is not a complete product (27:24)
- User experience: the number of steps to accomplish any type of goal or outcome (31:01)
- On hiring a consultant (35:35)
- Common red flags on hiring contractors (36:44)
- When you’re trying to launch an app or a software idea, it’s never done. (37:44)
- If you hire an elite developer, another developer can take on the project. If you take on a cheaper developer, they would most likely rebuild the app than fix it. (39:45)
- Difference between affordable and cheap developers (42:05)
- Experienced and Quality developers (44:06)
With the customer journey, you need to think about what the customer actually wants to do from their perspective. It’s not what you want them to do.John Rake
You need to know what’s going to get the customer to actually register, get them to use it, get them to trade money in some way. You need to actually give them a thing that they would want to trade money or immerse in an experience that they understand to be real in that way.John Rake
If you’re not putting time or money in, it’s hard to take you seriously.John Rake
What you’re building is like a child. It requires attention and maintenance. And if you abandon it then it’s going to either grow up very wild and feral or be taken away from you in some regards.Matt DeCoursey
The following is an auto-generated text transcript of this episode.
And we’re back! Back for another episode of Startup Hustle. Matt DeCoursey here to have another conversation I’m hoping helps your business grow. Now in regards to this conversation, this is part one. It’s a quick 2-part series where we’re going to talk about validating your app idea and testing your app idea. These are really popular subjects that come up off-air for me. So I decided to bring in an expert to talk about both in a new captivating 2 two-part series. So you will see these in the feed, back to back now.
Before I talk about who I’m going to talk with, today’s episode the Startup Hustle is powered by fullscale.io, because hiring software developers is difficult. Fullscale can help you build a software team quickly and affordably and has the platform to help you manage that team. Go to fullscale.io to learn more.
With me today, I’ve got John Rake and John is a fellow founder and author. He is the founder of GorillaBot Labs and you can go to gorillabotlabs.com. There is a link in the show notes that makes that even easier. Once again, a link to Full scale as well, who’s powering yet another Startup Hustle episode. Here, live in the Startup Hustle studio in downtown Kansas City, Kansas, John Rake, welcome to Startup Hustle.
Hey, Matt! Thanks for having me man, really excited.
Yeah, and this has been such a popular topic and I mentioned off fair. So I get a lot of people that go to fullscale.io and fill out their information. And we schedule a call and they’re really early stage and they need to figure out some of it. Like how do I validate this? And I try to do my best to give my tips for that. But I’m looking forward to combining those with yours, which originally came up. You wrote an ebook and were kind enough to share it with the world or close enough.
Yeah KC yeah
Well if you’re a member of the Startup Hustle Facebook Chat, you got a link to it. Maybe more of a reason to join that group. Thank you, everyone, for paying attention. Now, John, as mentioned, we’re going to do a two-parter here. And we’re going to start with validating your app idea. But with that, let’s get a little bit more about your backstory before we begin our conversation.
Yeah, absolutely. So I kind of hopped onto the KC startup scene back in 2015 or so. I’d done software for about 10 years total. What happened was I had an opportunity to go work for Sandy Kemer and the C2 squad. It was an amazing experience which really formed some sort of skills that I had early in entrepreneurship. So I basically made myself unemployable at that time. I just had an idea. I had to get out and I wanted to really help founders kind of build their own dreams and create impact into the world. Fast forward since covid started my own consulting business and I run through apps and founders all the time now and they just have the same problem. They think they’re ready to hire a developer and the hard truth is. They’re usually not
I run into that almost daily and I and I kind of shock people with it because. You know they say hey I’m ready to go I’m ready. Let me build a team at full scale, and I say you’re not ready for what we do yet and they’re like why and I was like hold my beer. There’s a lot of different reasons now I think part of the surprise comes from like there’s literally people ready to hand me money, and I’m like I’m not taking it. Because you got to do some stuff to be successful and like our business models all around like what a transparency yeah being founder-friendly and I’m not being founder-friendly if it’s a cash grab and I want to let you fail another thing too is we just don’t like failing right? So yeah, it doesn’t make you look good. Well and there’s a few things you talk about like validation. So let’s just jump right in. So like I mean this is a tough question to answer with any degree of brevity but you talk about like the steps that you need to take to validate an app idea right? I mean is it fair enough to say that you could just start by writing a little something down.
Oh yeah, you should probably start with pen and paper everything we’re going to hit so many topics in this series. All of it boils down to trying to find an easier way to do it before you whip out the wallet. Yeah, that’s basically well…
I talk to folks and they’re like hey I’m ready to do this I’m like okay did you pick out a template and like I want it to be original. I’m like it still will be yeah just like based for Mvp level stuff. There’s like $300 commercial use templates that have all the framing and plumbing in there. Yeah and that’ll save you like 5 to 10 grand.
And probably have a so a more solid framework meaning like if you just have to build everything custom just don’t yeah, don’t just don’t is that this a fair way to say it right?
Yeah, you don’t realize how much you’re costing yourself because the developer on the other end is just gonna say yeah sure and let’s build it. Yeah. And the next thing you know you just got charged None grand for a thing that you didn’t even really care about
Well and that’s another thing too when we bring in and new like ah we don’t do a lot of fresh software builds at Gasco we really kind of help you scale your team but with that. Tell anytime we’ve had a fresh software bill and I’d say whether you’re using us or using someone else be prepared to be underwhelmed in that first month because the framing and plumbing thing like it takes a while you don’t get to build walls in a roof and like a cool kitchen and like pick your paint collars and stuff like that. No. Before you build the framing and the plumbing.
Yeah I mean the analogy is perfect. It’s like HDTV. You turn it on. They don’t show you the six-month construction process. They show you 3 pictures. Yeah, right? because it’s not sexy to watch all that. But that’s the truth, and
That’s the thing, and it’s it’s tough sometimes to understand if you’re making any progress or to feel good about it. Yeah, and you just don’t see anything yeah because those aren’t the sexy parts that’s not like yeah that’s not like things actually going. So so you do actually recommend that people use some kind of framework. Or template.
Well yeah, I mean in terms of validating or building. Yeah I would say yes for both so the ebook is the validation framework and then when you actually go through that and you’re ready to hire a developer I strongly recommend you work with people that don’t reinvent the wheel. Yeah, it makes no sense.
Yeah, yeah, and that’s well. So and that can go 2 ways because there’s going to be 3 types of people. Well probably 3 types of people listening this one people that haven’t built anything and have an idea to people that have tried to build something and haven’t done it successfully or None actual like traction type. Software companies that have processes, people and resources to now spin out. Whatever they do now I think the larger but the larger sample size is going to be in and 1 the none and the none group. Yeah, probably so now. When it comes to building apps and doing a lot of stuff you talk about like well the customer journey is there a one size fits all approach?
More or less. Yeah there. It usually is. What I like to kind of tell people with the customer journey is you need to think about what the customer actually wants to do from their perspective. It’s not what you want them to do. That’s a big problem people run into. We kind of assume that the client or the customer coming in wants to do what we want them to do so you need to really think about beginning to end and that doesn’t even include your app. So how do they learn about your app like people don’t search the app store and just randomly install shit anymore. They haven’t done that for a long time. Really. So do they see a Facebook ad do they see an email. Do they see an ad on a podcast? That’s your none step then they go to the app store they download registered go through that whole process from start to end of what they want. That’s the customer journey.
Well unlike the field of dreams just because you build it does not mean they will come.
Yeah that’s the hard.
In fact, it’s probably overwhelmingly fair to say that they aren’t going to come unless you do something to promote it or hype it and the app store is not a friendly place to do that? No I mean it definitely plays favorites to older apps. And stuff like that. There’s a whole like science and SEO that goes with that and gaining that original that initial traction like dude. Do you go? are you an iPhone or a Android iPhone. Okay, so if you’re in the app store. Is it fair to say if you see an app with 2 reviews you’re like maybe later?
I would argue even further I probably never would even find that app. Yeah, right? Yeah, so but yeah, it’s definitely not a good thing.
Yeah, so okay, so when there’s definitely not a one size fits all I think there’s something I want to squeeze in here too when you’re talking about like the. Planning and the customer journey all right? So if you’re old enough to remember ten years ago when so many software companies and just things they either had like an ios app or they had an Android app and they often didn’t have both. And then they were building 2 different products and the world of technology over the last several years has really kind of solved that with cross-compatible platforms. You had things like Xamarin that aren’t as popular now as it would be. You had Ionic, which was angular’s version also not gaining a lot of traction, and then kind of the elephant in the room react-native right now which seems to be really really popular at least by the request that I get from people wanting to build stuff and then up and coming stuff like Flutter.
So but the thing is you got a well if you look back at the height the habits of highly effective people. They began with the end result in mine right? and you got to do that. So the thing is like cross compatible is I’m shocked at how many people I talked to that have never even thought about it.
Yeah, they just don’t know it’s possible because to them. It’s that’s a difference of like the implementation of a thing versus the product. Yeah, they view it as different so they assume I need to hire 2 different developers.
Well, and that’s the whole purpose is if you do that if you build a separate so we’re talking about the code that you use to build your app. Yeah, and you have really there’s two platforms. There’s Ios and Android and if you just go in straight and build and you’re not using the cross-compatible codebase. You’re going to end up building two different products and let’s talk about why this is important to know because that means that’s two different things to update. That’s two different things to improve. It’s two different things to maintain and oftentimes. It’s two different developers that need to do that. So double the cost half the time of getting it done. And shit you got a babysit.
Yeah, and often people think that because it’s 2 different developers. They can work simultaneously perfectly and the answer is absolutely not managing 2 people is not the same as managing one.
No, and then all and they got to communicate to each other and they’re and then your apps they’re gonna wait. No matter how much you don’t want them to, they’ll be different. So what these cross-compatible code bases. You do is they so and here’s another thing that people don’t understand they spit out a version that’s mostly ready right for either environment. So like it’s like react-native doesn’t just give you instantly like what we find is. You often have to have a little bit of experience with IOs or Android to really gets you really close.
Yeah, the person using your application at the end when you’re using this cross-platform. They’re not going to know it’s cross-platform they’re going to expect it to be Android mode. Whatever they expect that. So with the button the right place the text in the right place if they if it feels off. It’s gonna feel weird to them,
so you look at the difference in approach there. you’ve got 2 to the first case you’ve got None different people building you 2 different products or you could have 2 people working together on the same thing. Accomplishes a more efficient and better outcome in the end. Oh yeah, absolutely and that’s ah so yes, cross-compatible I think if you’re building from scratch. You need I talk to a lot of people that are getting away from their old app code cause they’ve realized oh wow yeah and a lot of crap to deal with here.
There’s a weird kind of curve where’re in the beginning, cross-platform is a no-brainer and then when you get to the scale of like your airbnbs. You actually see them go backwards. Yeah, but that’s like worry about that when you get there and you have 100 employees yeah or or any users right. Yeah traction.
So so a couple things is and once again with me today I’ve got John Rake and John Rake’s the founder of guerrilla bot labs he does a lot of work with founders to consult and help you build go to gorillabotlabs com I also want to point out I’m stealing your material here.
I gave it to you.
Yeah, yeah, in regards to the conversation we’re having, so this isn’t you know this is your outline art. Can we share the ebook? Yeah, yeah, yeah, then there’s a link for that in the show notes too.
let’s talk about that for a none you put that out there just to help people outright?
Yep, how’s that going. Ah, I mean that’s just the way I like to view business like I want my I want my free stuff to be so good. You want to work with me. You’ll pay any price
and that’s the key I mean I think that because let’s be realistic. You put this stuff together. You have the playbook there. But I mean these were known things. Oh yeah, this is not really better I
I explicitly say where I got the inspiration in the ebook. Yeah, and that’s
I love that. That’s I mean that’s like why we do this podcast. That’s why we’ve published hundreds of blogs at fullscale.io. I mean that has a lot to do with it and while we’re at it before we continue finding expert software developers does not have to be difficult, especially when you visit fullscale.io, where you can build a software team quickly and affordably. Use the Full scale platform to define your technical needs and then see what available developers, testers, and leaders are ready to join your team. Go to fullscale.io to learn more now.
What we mentioned earlier that like a lot of people aren’t ready for a developer ready for something like Full scale, that’s kind of what you help them prepare for.
Yeah I mean I think that’s pretty fair.
Yeah. Right? So do you have to have a live app to validate your stuff?
Um, no I mean so we were talking a little bit earlier about implementation for what you do in the code versus what the user sees and what they expect and understand the honest truth is no, you can fake most of this in a weekend or 2 and not pay a developer 30 or 50 grand whatever like it’s just gonna it’s gonna be faster. It’s gonna be cheaper.
So get a lot of people that build stuff and I’m like why isn’t it in the app store. They’re like well I don’t know if it’s ready yet. Oh and I ask him I’m like is anyone even going to see it. Yeah.
The answer is obviously no and they have no real feedback. It’s all something.
That’s the point I mean like literally it’s hard. It’s not like you’re just going to be at the none of the list on the on day one like put your stuff out. There. Let people use it. You have some like. Wildly successful people in life that will be quoted like if you don’t look back at your none release with absolute terror, then you held onto it for too long. Yeah, put it out there get the feedback I have been so have you been guilty of overbuilding shit in the past
this is the hardest lesson of my life I would have called myself a perfectionist five years ago had overcome that it’s terrible.
Yeah, so that feedback will prevent you I did that with gigabook there was like right before we launched it, and this was years ago I was positive because I felt that my own personal history and needs. Yeah had to have a high level of accountability like marking like when you had made a phone call or it was like all sales-based stuff. So I built a really sophisticated like basically a tracking like activity tracking feature in there and then no one uses it? Yeah except for me. Yeah
and instead of doing something different than everyone was asking for. But I didn’t even know they were asking for it because we waited to push it out and then when we pushed it out people like oh I wish we had this or this I’m like well if I would’ve known that sooner I could have actually saved time save money. Yeah because resources are finite so all right? So why do you need a prototype?
I think we laid it out pretty good. There. You need a prototype because your whole goal before you have an Mvp and we can get into why people don’t actually have MVPs when they think they do is you need actual data. You need feedback. Your goal is not to make money right away your goal is to prove something works and the prototype helps you get to a stage where you can gain feedback and weeks not months and it doesn’t cost you thousands of dollars
when I talk to founders that have an app idea and they want to get funded. It’s a different approach pattern. Some investors have an appetite for App only companies and some won’t touch them. But the None thing that will get attention is users yeah users you look at like Snap I have a funny story about snap I was in ah seven years ago I was in New York City and I went to a meeting with a guy named Kurt Mcdonald that was in times square. And you know here I am like times squares times square I go up to this meeting. They had this huge office I was like who’s across the hall for me like I don’t know this. Ah, this new app they’re called Snapchat, and like what do they do? It’s like I don’t know they’re like messing they’re making glasses or doing something weird and like that was like before anyone had ever heard of Snap.
Ah, with that companies like that are more concerned about driving in users and daily users, and that’s what gets the attention.
Yeah, of course the other way around now. Go to talk to a single angel investor and tell them you want money but you don’t have attraction yet. Yeah, get laughed out of the room all right?
So if we’re going to create a prototype What do we ah you know well what do we need to do before that it’s kind of the same thing with validation like have some plan. Yeah, I mean you got to start with a plan, right?
You need to understand you know the problem you’re solving, which is kind of a pre-recorders that I don’t. I just kind of assume you have a good problem that you’re going to be solving. Um you need to understand the customer at a decent level. And I don’t mean like general demographic stuff like what are they actually interested in and what do they care about what it motivates them then you need the customer journey which we talked about a bit before and honestly at that point you’re ready to kind of sketch it on some paper, get a comfortable feeling of what you think you need to build screen-wise and find some prototyping software that works for you. There’s tons of amount there.
I use proto io for everything, and I recommend that to most students that come through the the kind of like client coaching sessions that I have. And the reason I do that is because it’s simple. It has templates and you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. But I mean Adobe has great ones.
if you want to be super simplistic. Something like Canva even works.
Yeah I’ve literally used keynote in Apple before yeah. It’s an image you’re faking an app. You’re not building an app.
Yeah, and and with that you’re just trying to It’s a pseudowire frame. Yeah, and like we’re going to go from a to b to c to d to e f to g hopefully hopefully
and the key here is it must look real and it must feel real.
Yeah well there and some of them and if you want to be more advanced with. Prototyping software like you can actually make it clickable. You can create a customer journey. It’ll show you like I click here I go to this screen I click here I go to that screen I do all that and now from a developer standpoint in my opinion when you have something like that your developer’s going to hit the ground running. Because developers are carpenters in so many ways like they see a plan and they if they’re doing their job. They’re building it the way it’s supposed to be but also looking for critical issues that your plan may not have yeah counted for yeah. And that’s some of the stuff that comes up now. You’re not going to always know what those are? Um, yeah, so all right? So the kind of the follow up is you know if why do you need to create it to validate it.
Why do we need to create the prototype itself? Your goal is obviously to build an app and make money well to do that. You need to know what’s going to get the customer to actually register, get them to use it get them to trade money in some way in that for that regards, you need to actually give them a thing that they would want to trade money or immerse them in an experience that they understand to be real in that way. So you can either build it or you can do a prototype and fake it. Well, I say prototype is what you need and the reason why is because it’s just going to be cheaper and faster than a developer. We don’t need to get into super specifics but I generally give people the estimate of if you want to build an Mvp -ish thing minimum three months minimum 30 to fifty k and that’s like on the cheap end of like freelancing stuff.
Well, how many people actually want to do that with a risky idea right.
But if you’re not willing to put skin in the game then a lot of people are going to wonder why? Yeah, everyone says go out and get an investor but the none question investors will ask is often. Do you have any skin in the game here? Why should I trust you? Yeah, well, it’s why should I trust you now the thing is if you’re like a broke 20 year old yeah that’s 1 thing if you’re not and you have no skin in the game then that’s gonna be a huge red flag.
Yeah, if you’re not putting time or money in It’s hard to take you seriously.
So. When you look at apps in general. So we’ve gone through a few things. You know we’ve talked about you know the validation how you can prototype it the value of using like templated framework because that really will say be 5 to 10 grand. Yeah right there I mean and that’s simple and and and don’t fool yourself. Your idea isn’t so unique that you can’t customize some existing framework
I would argue you don’t even want to be unique. Yeah, right?
Yeah well unique requires training for the user. Yeah, I mean do the stuff that people expect you to do and some of that involves fast and easy sign in and sign up. Like make it so I can sign in with my google account or my LinkedIn or something SSO, single sign-on. Yeah, so I can click a button and get into the app if you make it difficult for me to get into your app or to get it set up, I will not use your app.
That’s a really good point about the prototype because you’re going to see them actually click the buttons and you’re going to literally see them get frustrated with things. They don’t have to tell you you can just watch them hate it. Yeah yeah, and that’s the thing is I’m such a nut about onboarding. Yeah people that listen to the show are literally thinking right now. Oh no.
You look at all the products that you know and are familiar with like Twitter was one of the the none truly like well-known like. Like micro onboarding, it like took 2 seconds it was like enter your name. Enter your email, and then they wanted like a basically like that’s a None characters or less boom and you were in and you were on and that signs people up if it. And where people fail. It’s like well I want to validate an email I want to get None things I’m on my phone dude I don’t want to type this shit in piece by piece get them in the app and then you can ask these questions later if you need to
I have these conversations routinely with serial entrepreneurs. It’s in the crazy. Crazy. Yeah, so if you’re feeling like you don’t understand or this is confusing or you make these mistakes Trust me, you’re not alone.
Yeah, yeah, it’s probably 1 of you you mentioned the not alone thing that’s probably 1 of the stronger comments that I’ve received like. Regularly over the years people like man I love startup puzzle because you get, you’re not afraid to talk about what you suck at and I’m like well I hope you benefit from that and they say I think the thing I benefit the most from is feeling like I’m not the only person that’s frustrated with a lot of this stuff on a lot of days. Yeah, building software is hard. Building apps is hard building anything that matters is hard and if you’re not into doing hard things. This might not be for you?
Yeah, so part of it. So when you think about validating something and you mentioned some people build I want to talk a little bit about how some people build an Mvp but well they think they are and they’re not so I actually went through this after about a year and a half of building Gigabook. The lead developer I had he said hey man let’s talk for a minute and I said what’s up and he said. At this point, we had stacked a bunch of stuff on top of a bunch of other stuff, which made it really complex and he goes. You keep talking about building a platform but I need to tell you that’s not really what we’re doing here. So when you talk about a platform and it’s something that we could duplicate, morph, change. Update like it was this was back. Before everyone had really switched over to MVC or oop type stuff so we would try to fix one thing and break 4 other thingsand so some of that you know you look at like I mean just simple validation of is this standing on the kind of foundation that we want it to.
Ah, but you know like when you look at so that’s one form of validation. But let’s get into like why some people are building an and Mvp and some people aren’t, um,
Can you clarify a little bit?
So I think people go into an app idea whether it’s web or mobile. It’s so many times, and they’re like, okay, there’s 6 things that I want this to do, so I’m gonna start building all 6 of them. Yeah let’s try to be A plus at one of them. Let’s just start there. What’s the most important problem you solve? Because if you have to split your attention and your effort your resources across 6 different things. You’re well. It’s the same thing I mentioned with like part-time help if you have part-time attention usually equals a fraction of the result that you want not 50% like way less now. That’s why I like hiring that’s well at Full Scale our developers only work for one client because I want at a time because I want them to wake up with the problems of that client. Yeah, their mind, and that’s what they’re going to solve. But I mean I think the main thing is. You mentioned an Mvp is not a complete product.
No and nor it’s not a complete product, and it’s not your one point zero. It’s not your none release like that’s they’re not synonymous terms. An MVP is you can put something into the market and people will give you money for it like that’s generally what I consider an MVP. And so if you’re taking this thing if you’re not comfortable taking your idea to like an investor or pitching it or something. You definitely don’t have an Mvp. We’ll just start with ad
And Mvp minimum viable product. I prefer a minimum lovable product.
That’s a good way to put it too like but
that’s what it needs to be It’s like and that’s where the most straightforward thing and be aces at it and so yeah, I’ve been talking about Gigabook but I’ll compare the 2 so gallantly came out at the same time. The Gigabook did that’s a multi-billion dollar company. They’re doing pretty good Gigabook is not but you know so one of the things when it came out we were like god this is just the simplest thing ever. But they got real good at it and that was the None thing that people needed so like call Lee is just a bridge to a Google calendar. It’s really all it is, and it’s still almost all they do, but they’re really good at it where Gigabook was inherently complex really customizable appealed to like I mean a whole bunch of other stuff, and if I look back at it. We would have been really smart to be.
Really really good at one thing and I think apps really need to go there too because you don’t have the big screen for a user to work on. It needs to be like I mean mobile compatibility and web compatibility are different.
Yeah, it constrains you in a pretty good way. Because the screen space makes it so you can’t just jam everything on there. Although some people will still try. But yeah I really consider the MVP. When you design this thing and I know many of you will or you’ll be sketching it or whatever you’re doing in your spare time because you don’t you’re not building the code. You don’t have that so you’re doing everything else. You can. You’re going to be putting so much effort into features that you have no idea if people want and that’s fine when you’re. Just drawing a sketchbook for 15 minutes when you go to give that to a developer that every word you say is like a thousand dollars yeah Yeah
I mean and that is an opening too is like I mean once again, your developers are going to well if they’re doing their job. They build what you tell them to build. Yeah.
If you if you’re confident and you say you want a feature. they’re not going to push back that hard
yeah and that’s the thing because they’re not necessarily it’s not really their job. Well no and that
well let’s talk about that for a none because you hear the term you hear UI/UX yeah, what does that even mean because I think most people use the term but they don’t.
Oh machine learn ai crypto a lot of terms out there. These?
Yeah, oh yeah, we did an acronyms episode once but before I realized that that was a really bad topic to do with Matt Watson yeah Yeah, if you want a good laugh. To find the acronyms episode it’s like it’s like episode 120 or something.
Yeah, ah, UI/UX is a term you’re going to hear a lot and it just means user interface user experience UI I consider to be the design. The art the painting on the wall and the user experience would be. How a customer actually interacts with your product I personally view user experience far more important than UI yeah, um, but I think people like the UI because it just looks good. It feels sexy.
So one of the things I’m going to talk about when it comes to user experience is that’s back to onboarding yep so there’s ah there’s kind of ah old business school type formula that the number of steps to accomplish any type of goal or outcome should be multiplied by itself. You want to talk about the complexity of getting someone to use it and doing it successfully. So if you have a thousand people at your organization and you want to roll out a new point of sale system. This is a good example, but the same thing applies to apps and processes and anything so let’s take a 6 step process that so 6 times 6 is 36 if you take a 3-step process. And people are going to think, oh well, the 6 step process might be twice as hard to teach because it has twice as many steps. Not true. It’s actually 4 times harder because if you take this is like a complexity score.
So 6 times 6 is 36? Yep, that’s your 6-step process and now you take a 3-step process 3 times None is None divide 1 into the other and that is actually and it just holds water like oh yeah, a very well-known supply chain formula. It’s a training formula. It’s an onboarding formula.
Well, how many times have you had someone say let’s put another developer on it I want to two x my speed. That’s not the way that not the way it works same problem and so…
So but I have found that looking at it that way. So if you have a None step process for training or onboarding. You will have 4 times less success than 3 steps and you’ll see this reflect in so many all of it. All of it. That’s there’s I mean this is why Amazon probably has as billions of dollars into like the one-click purchase.
Yeah I just swipe that thing all day
So you know part 1 of part 2 there’s a link. To John Rake’s Ebook outline and with that a reminder that John Rake is the founder of Gorilla Labs. Go to http://gorillabotlabs.com to learn more about his services and maybe hire him. Yeah, well that’s the thing, and you know and John Rake can get you ready for a team at full scale. And you know that’s where I kind of want to round out this first installment.
So first off, you don’t need to pay someone to create a prototype or a mockup or any of that. There’s a ton of so like you mentioned proto io Adobe has some things like. You can get in there and look someone out. There’s thinking I don’t know how to use either of those guess what neither did we before we tried them the first time. Oh yeah, get in there and figure it out
pick one that has a really great tutorial education system that is actually gonna give you videos and watch that’s why I recommend proto the house.
A small number of steps to help you accomplish anything.
Oh my god they’re gonna be so overwhelming. The none time you get in there. You take a break, go get a coffee
and then they aren’t. Yeah I mean that’s basically how it goes you got to lay it out and get you now this is so we’re being ballers on a budget here now. Yeah, if you have some resources you want to accelerate the process. That’s where guys like you, yep come in and help and lay it out like what’s your what are some of your comments about what that process looks like for different people
in terms of like hiring someone to do it?
I go to gorillabotlabs.com and I reach out and I’m like, hey I got this idea. I heard you on Startup Hustle, you sounded somewhat like you know what you’re talking about. So let’s get into that. But what does that process look like? I mean, what should someone expect when hiring a consultant?
Well, you should always expect an opening consultation right? that’s. When you’re dealing with more expensive products if someone’s not giving you a couple hours free just to learn about you. That’s probably a red flag. Um, at least for me I really view it as I’m not just going to take your idea at face value and assume it’s really good. And I really don’t think anyone should. But there are people who will just take your money and build it and that’s okay, but we really need to validate the idea because what I don’t want you to do is runoff launch this thing into the app store and then you just vanish from Google and you turns into a digital paper weight in two years that does nothing.
So we’re all about validating. We’re trying to get you in understand it. We’re going to put you through the ringer a little bit so you actually I will take money to build your prototype I don’t prefer to do that. Um I will always recommend that you try to do it free first because the amount of people I’ve seen hire a consultant wouldn’t they have no experience in that job and just get total crap on the other end is shocking.
Oh it’s what it used to be shocking now I think is it’s fair, correct it. Yeah like that’s bad though. Yeah that’s not a good thing. You shouldn’t have to expect the world of contractors to suck. Yeah, they.
So anyway, we’ll just move on from that rant.
But actually, I don’t think we should. I think I should actually mention a couple red flags that like that could come up like you mentioned so I love your approach because I think that founders and people that are building stuff should be involved in all the steps. That’s why having so you know ownership.
Got all these people that call me and they’re like well I’ve got this something. Yeah, does it suck and I’m like well None off, that’s not my job to tell you that and I’m like well tell me about your experience and they hired so for me red flags for people that are inquiring about our services. They say things like how much will it cost and how long will it take to be done.
Okay, if you’re trying to launch an app and a software idea. It’s never done. That is never done. your expectation and your business model need to revolve around the fact that. What you’re building is like a child. It requires attention and maintenance and if you abandon it then it’s going to either grow up very wild and feral or be taken away from you in some regards if yeah,
if you don’t have a maintenance plan at least a few months out you’re going to be in. Deep dod do and about a year now with
now I tell anybody that’s building a web app. It’s never done apps actually on some level can have a level of finality sure. But you still need someone to maintain it. And see that’s it, and I tell people straight up I’m like that’s not I can’t if you don’t want to keep someone fulltime at full scale on your project because we don’t do developers part-time.
Yeah, so now I actually fundamentally agree with that. You can’t split time as a consultant. Yeah
I agree. it’s it’s it’s a challenging thing and then another thing too is like you look at well what people ask me a lot. They’re like well you’ve got all this well I had so much demand for my services right now I don’t need to sell part time stuff. Also it’s just a shitty way to do it because if both clients end up growing up. Yeah, and then how do you split the baby. And then and then you want the morning time to overlap with yours that person can’t be on 2 calls at the same time It’s just not the right way to do it but just know so here’s the thing is this is what happens a lot is people hire they find they hire people to build something and in it’s short term and then they build it and then that person’s gone into the vapor of the world and the universe. Yep and now later you need help with that and to the untrained and the inexperienced they think any developer can just get in there and just fix the problem and know what’s up and that’s not the case.
Right? How much time we got left I can rant a while I know I give well.
But I think it’s important we like to like throw a little bit of failure on how to avoid it in every episode because I think they’re going to save more money from that than anything else, but those are orphaned products. Yeah. That point and it’s hard to take care of them because as a developer, can you get into my app and fix what I need fixed like in 2 minutes
if you hired an elite developer. You can probably find another developer to take over the project if you went cheaper on development and I’m not going to say how you went cheaper but you can probably imagine there is no way in hell a new developer wants that project. They’re going to look at it and go I could rebuild this in a month yeah I’m just going to suggest we rebuild it and
and whenever I hear a developer say that that what I really hear is I don’t understand. What I’m seeing and how it works. Yeah, so in some cases, that’s like what you mentioned it can go two ways one it’s dog shit and just needs to be rebuilt. Yeah or two I don’t ah get any of this, and it’s easier for me to tell you to rebuild it than it is for me to figure out how to fix it.
Anyway, these are all not good things. You’re at because you’re creating redundancy in your software development lifecycle, meaning you’re rebuilding things that you didn’t need to rebuild, and so the rule of thumb is if you have to and this same thing goes from like switching teams to another team. It takes a developer a couple weeks a week or 2 to even good ones to understand the code. Yeah and like get it and you know so anyone that’s like yeah, can get right in and fix it be wary break on the their side of it.
What did you mess up? Oh, they don’t know how do you even know.
And then some of it too is there’s a lot of people in general that are like oh if I can see this is the difference from our mentality I can mention we’re turning none of people away. Yeah because you’re not ready because the thing is I don’t want to I don’t want you $30000 down the rabbit hole and you’re like wow this is crap. This is not what I want. This is not what I hope for. This is not what I needed like any of that stuff and I mean these are the things that you have to avoid. But that’s what happens when you create orphan products. We normally don’t talk about this on the air. But we’re being delivered beverages right now. Thank you and trash. Thank you Jessica quite nice. Yeah I know she’s assuming that we’re still talking about important stuff. Yeah, but no, you mentioned that and I mean this is why I’m not a big fan of like finding that Lucy Goosey contractor that’s in Bangladesh that look like you mentioned there’s a big difference between cheap and valuable and that’s the print affordable and cheap are way different.
Yes, yes, um, it it. For those of you who are concerned about outsourcing versus not outsourcing. It’s not a uniquely ah problem with just outsourcing. You can find plenty of local freelancers who will do just as shitty of a job. Yeah, for a lot more in the way charging more too.
Well I mean that’s and that’s the main thing like I mean that’s the whole thing we do at Full Scale. So if you need help hiring software engineers, testers, or leaders. Let Full Scale help. We have the people and the platform to let you build. You know I’m so old that I’m on like 80 point font on here too I just end up my glasses. So it’s downhill once you get my edge just say you know. Now what’s not downhill is the experience of building and managing a team of experts when you visit fullscale.io. Look all you got to do is go to Full Scale.
You answer a couple questions on our get started page and you let our platform match you up with fully vetted, highly experienced team of software engineers testers and leaders at Full Scale. We specialize in building long. Term teams that work only for you learn more when you visit full scale io. Do you know we only hire like 1 in 30 candidates?
Not bad; I mean that’s yeah bad out. No I mean like in terms of quality
That’s how specific we are. Yeah, and that’s like part of it so you know one thing that as we exit part one and part 2 and come right back. So this comes out on a Friday next one’s coming out on a Monday you don’t have to search. He’s gonna be back to back in the feed. It’s also linked to John Rake’s ebook about how to create this as well as links to gorillabbotlabs, fullscale.io and who knows maybe a couple other things. You never know oh and you go to the show notes you’ll find out they’re secret good yeah, it could be hidden and surprise.
Now you talk about experience and and quality. There are a ton of people out there that. What they’re doing ah find them I mean I know that sounds like super easy but find them and you know you ask like you know if you talk about validation and I think the thing I want to say is we kind of like do the founder. We normally do the founder freestyle here. So we’ll. Kind of run right through this but sure I mean really in the end like when I as the founder of a company that provides Dev Services you’re the founder of a company that provides similar services that are quite different at the same time. But as I was making fun of my age earlier. But with that comes a lot of experience and I have really learned to appreciate guys like you.
Fifteen years ago I just wanted to do it all myself figured out myself I’m like why do I need to pay someone else like. It’s it’s like the idea that people complain. They’re like my attorney’s five hundred bucks an hour you’re not paying for that hour, you’re paying for all the hours prior to that one where that person learned a whole bunch of shit.
Yeah, there’s a relationship with time and money that is a struggle for some people. I had overcome some of that but it’s. It’s value man focus on the value focus on what it’s worth to you? Whatever that looks like
And time does matter. Oh yeah, I mean time definitely matters and you know the thing is as you mentioned cheap compared to affordable
I got ah I got groceries delivered the other day because I didn’t want to spend the half-hour because I did the math on it and I was like yeah. I could just work times more valuable than that,
And that’s the whole thing so you know people that are experts and know where to hit it with the hammer. They build stuff a lot faster than the guy that’s like where’s the nail. Do you want me to hit this nail with the hammer? Yes, please. You want me to hit this next nail with the hammer. Yeah, let’s do that one too. How about? do you want me to hit this none now with the hammer because if you are working with people that have no fricking clue. But that is the equivalent of what that’s gonna sound like.
it’s gonna feel bad.
I feel like this is a good place to end come back for part 2!
This Startup Hustle podcast episode is powered by Full Scale. Looking for the best and most experienced software developers? Find them with Full Scale! Build and manage your team of tech experts by connecting with Full Scale.
Check out our amazing Startup Hustle partners, who can help you scale your business.