In today’s block i’ll pick up from last time. So I have an idea, but now what?? Here’s how I started.
Sketching and the POWER of powerpoint
My day job has taught me that in order to decent software you need to do your homework. I started by defining what I wanted to build with some simple notebook sketches. I took my phone, dropped it down on a piece of paper and circled around it. With the shape of the pone in mind, I added boxes and figured out how many “screens” my app would need. I knew I wanted the app to be helpful to parents, include some sort of “check list” and to have a PANIC button.
The PANIC button was actually the start of the idea, coming from that feeling I had with our son and the flight we try not to talk about anymore. In that stressed out moment, all I wanted was way to let everyone else on the plane know we’re not a*#$* parents, and we REALLY are trying everything we can.
After about 3 – 4 iterations in my notebook, I had pretty much figured out how I wanted the app to work. Given a small budget I realized I need to simplify and simplify until I was down to the minimum the app could do, but yet would still have some value. Once I had things figured out I turned to Powerpoint so I could use fancier drawing tools, but also so I could outline more about what each screen did.
With my 8 page power point deck all ready it was now time to find a developer I could afford.
Finding a Developer
I didn’t have the time to learn to code, so I set out to hire someone who knows what their doing. I’ve used outsourcing sites like oDesk in the past with mixed success, but this time I turned to good ‘ole craigslist to see if I could find someone local. I created a post and talked about the basic function of the app and that I needed something simple=quick=easy=cheap.
As people replied to my gig, I sent them a copy of my mock-up power point, along with my follow-up questions. Over the next week I probably got about 20 responses. I sent the same follow-up questions to each, asking them to give me a guess development/cost estimate based on my drawings. I was also sure to ask about their experience level, if they were a team or a freelance dev, and for them to include a portfolio of work.
The estimates were all over the place from $500 -$7000; from a couple of days, to a couple of months. I have enough experience in development to know I was asking for weeks not months. In order to fit within my budget I knew I needed someone who could complete the gig in 2 – 3 weeks max.
I settled on an eager developer from the Philippines that had good communication skills, a solid pitch and a decent portfolio.
Next up, the pretty version of the design