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Developing An App – Episode 3 – How Much Does It Cost?

26th June 2017

As the saying goes, this is the $1m question and in some cases a significant amount more! Lets consider Airbnb. A world famous app that at the current estimates cost in excess of £600m to develop increasing every day. This is excluding all other costs such as marketing, maintenance and support. Most companies or even entrepreneurs will not have this level of funds available to them when they wish to develop their idea or mobile services for their customers.

Some might say that a responsive websites are a good alternative solution. These are websites that automatically resize to the screen size the website is being viewed upon. If you are on a desktop the menus could be on the left, when the screen is made smaller (maybe on a phone) then the menu moves to the top and is accessible under a button. Responsive websites are not always the best solution for web or functional design. What works best on a desktop with a mouse and full keyboard is not what works best on a phone where a thumb is being used to navigate.

I don’t have £1m, so how can I start my app?

Most companies or private entrepreneurs start with smaller apps and grow their mobile presence over time. There are more and more smaller businesses starting with an app that is labelled as MVP. A Minimum Viable Product contains, as its name suggests, the minimal set of features to get it off the ground. Once revenue is being generated this is used to reinvest to add more features as their budget allows. You can also use this approach to your advantage where you can ask existing users to participate in a survey at each development stage and establish what new features would be more beneficial to them. This can then guide development and give your customers what they want and help you grow. Just remember the big players like Airbnb, Starbucks, Facebook and eBay all started off much with smaller apps than they have today from an initial limited budget. As they grew they added more features as budgets allowed.

Coming in Episode 4: How can I obtain additional funding?