A startup starts from an idea, but in the modern world, it’ll barely survive without any code. So, you’ll need to organize startup software development as soon as you define your idea. There are several important steps in this process, from the concept to the final release of your product or service, and we’ll overview them. Then, we’ll review several problems that may arise during it and end up with talent recruitment options for your team.
You have the idea. What’s next?
Which kind of software development do you need? It depends on the end product or service you want to obtain. This will deliver the desired change to the world. Currently, there are more than 27 million developers around the globe working as agency specialists, freelancers, or entrepreneurs. Also, below are the statistics of a multi-billion software development market divided by segments. Business intelligence, which analyzes data and helps in decision making, supply chain management to build routes and decrease delivery time, customer relationship management, and many other decisions are present here.
Your business idea is based on the value it’ll deliver to the world, so the software choice will depend on how exactly this value will be delivered. Do you need to proceed with a lot of data? Generate a lot of content? Communicate with people? Or manage many various resources for knowledge-intensive manufacturing, such as in fields of biotech or robotics? Based on it, choose several software service segments and then focus on finding the most suitable decisions for you. That’s, in short, what you should do after you formulate your idea.
See a typical startup journey below to focus on how your idea forms and then becomes a dream. What is missing, what people cannot afford, how can I change the world for the better? These questions anticipate the idea, and you may also use them to polish it and make it clear.
The best end form of your idea is a prototype which you may show to others. It’ll bring to you trust and understanding, motivating talents to join your team and investors to give you money. Lastly, apply the benefits of cross-platform development and progressive web applications (PWA) to ensure that customers may access your services.
Development: MVP and more
Your startup journey’s first significant milestone after the prototype is the MVP (minimum viable product), on which you’ll ground your software development process. As you see on the diagram, after the prototype is ready and polished, you can start to build the beta version of your company and register it. Let’s overview several software development models, which may apply for your startup.
- Agile model prioritizes communication and quick accomplishing of short-term tasks based on the startup’s mission and vision. It’s very flexible, time-saving, and motivating, but due to its “chaotic” nature, it requires clear documentation and recourse allocation to work properly.
- Lean model is all about time and resource optimization, so it requires planning everything and using any resources only when a task and its objective are clearly defined. It greatly optimizes the limited startup resources but may lead to employee dissatisfaction and communication flaws.
- Waterfall model is based on a clear top-down approach: there is a plan with tasks, content, and production that should be accomplished/released in time. While it speeds up development, it’s unsustainable for large projects and less error-proof than the two other models.
Say, you want a design studio: we intentionally chose the quite popular example which doesn’t require a lot of computation or science/tech knowledge. The MVP will be a small website oriented on some innovative decisions in design. It can be an unusual style for books you plan to sell or improved usability and functionality of websites and apps you plan to develop. Focus on technological decisions, such as AI and automatization, to enhance your project, and then slowly scale and expand it. See below a beautiful subsequence, summarizing everything we’ve talked about here.
After the MVP is ready, you should test it before any further software development. Search for like-minded people, communicate with potential users, and study as many usage cases as possible. With that, you’ll refine your product, making it successful.
Searching for investors
Financing your project becomes essential from the moment you’ve started your prototype development and think about purchasing services and hiring people. You can search for investors on various websites and connect with them to present your idea. Start from LinkedIn, where you can write to many of them directly. Be sure to point out clear deadlines, monetization schemes, and how many hours/day you dedicate to your project to give them an understanding of when and how they’ll return their investments. If you can minimize your expenses by making activities online, using AI tools, or in any other way, present it, too.
Possible release problems
When everything is ready, your product will face your customers. Many problems will reveal only at the release stage, so you must be prepared. A good venture with MVP will enable you to uncover hidden issues in your startup’s software development and solve them before they may ruin the whole deal.
While you’ll inevitably face several of the problems below, anticipating and handling them may greatly reduce your expenses. Also, be sure to include these problems in your testing processes to reveal them as soon as possible.
- Security issues include privacy breaches and risks of hackers. Test all your services for these breaches, and pay special attention if you’re developing something connected with healthcare, finance, or robotics. In custom healthcare software development, it is essential to prioritize security testing to mitigate privacy breaches and hacker risks, given the sensitive nature of healthcare data.
- Scaling your project will probably cause some problems, as more users and data may overload your computational capabilities and reveal some flaws in your code. Consistent testing will also help you prevent scaling issues.
- Usability is all about UX design and freedom from bugs and flaws. Again, conduct usability testing periodically.
- Team communication includes mutual understanding, a clear task calendar and workflow, and efficient idea/feedback exchange. If you ensure that everyone in your team understands you and each other, you’ll greatly improve your chances.
- Low demand is a usual issue if you’ll enter a niche where competition is high or you don’t meet the expectations of your customers. It’s the worst case, actually: you’ll not return investments and may lose not only money but trust. To prevent it, be sure to understand the market, communicate with people, and be in touch with its changes.
If you’ll start from MVP and try to test and scale it first, you’ll see all these problems in a much lighter context, so coping with them will be much easier. After that, you’ll continue the software development for your end product without such severe issues.
Team recruiting options
Finding and onboarding the right team is the primary question in startup software development. Let’s overview four strategies for this.
- Search for like-minded people to be your business’s equal co-owners and build an idea with you.
- Hire people for your company to create a team of trusted specialists and pay them a salary.
- Connect with contractors to form agreements on how they’ll help you complete your project.
- Outsourcing development/design agencies is a good compromise option: they’ll develop a product or its part, and you’ll pay them a fixed sum of money.
All these options will probably be combined: while you may do business with several peers, you’ll certainly need an employee staff for your company, and some development tasks may be reassigned to contractors or outsourcing agencies. In any case, make sure that you understand each other and that your expectations meet on both sides: it’ll lead to mutual benefits and minimize conflicts.
Summary and conclusion
As you see, software development for a startup is a relevant and diverse theme, as you’ll certainly need some code to realize your idea. Be it a mobile app for anything from yoga to real estate, a design studio, or an online shop, you’ll need some web and mobile services to promote yourself and realize your functionality. Focus on building the prototype, test and present it to attract investors and like-minded people, and then build a minimum product based on it.
These actions will build a strong basis on which your startup’s successful launch may be conducted.