Developers · Mobile Apps

Keep outsourcing development or look for a developer and give them equity?

Chris Ross Con-Founder of SafeSubs

Last updated on June 20th, 2019

After a year of hard work we finally launched our app. We ended up outsourcing development locally to a sharp developer and I couldn't be happier with the end result but it put a dent in the pocket books. We now are in the process of launching the app and getting users. It's going pretty well, but I'm already thinking of changes and features that I would like to add. Part of me wants to leave it alone and see if the idea has legs before investing more development money. Part of me wants to get it right and keep tweaking and adding features. The original plan was to partner with a developer and invest the money into marketing. Now I’m back to the old school method of grinding the marketing out with little investment.

I think it would be easier to find a developer partner now as most of the time consuming work is done. I’m torn on this and I’m looking for advice. Has anyone had issues finding a developer, proved the concept by paying for development, and THEN found a developer that could come onboard?

Pravin Uttarwar Serial Entrepreneur and CTO

June 21st, 2019

Finding a developer only on equity is bit difficult, mainly kind of all rounder who can work on ios,android and backend api, as he is equally responsible on development he might demand equal stakes assuming product idea is awesome and marketing plan is strong. Being in this field and working with similar startups like yours, this is the problem every startup faces, so now I am working with few companies on a model where startups hired developers for MVP and the agreement is such that after certain period of duration these same developers are transferred to client on their payroll, this way your cost after some period will be less, second you have same team who knows product better so maintaining it and adding new feature is easy, otherwise most of the time changing team caused lot of issues to startups in terms code quality, If you have not checked quality of your product code yet, then I would suggest to use tools like Codegrip or Sonarqube to scan the code and get quality report in few clicks. Happy to discuss further on Linkedin

Paul Garcia marketing exec & business coach

June 21st, 2019

I would say this to any new product launch, don't add more. Wait until your users tell you, ask you for, or demonstrate what else is needed. Trying to read their minds will take you in wrong directions most of the time. You're excited, but don't put in another dime towards development until users are excited too.


Budgeting for development is just part of the process. You can't get equity back, so be good at the first thing, and let further development be demand-driven, and funded by the users who are excited with your first set of capabilities.


Customers DO NOT buy features. They buy benefits. When your users define what changes or additions would benefit them enough that they'd open up their wallets again, that's when you add to your software.

Mohammed Ali CEO/Founder @ Proclapp

Last updated on June 20th, 2019

Quite alright,...we have an app that is currently under development, though it could be completed in less than a month from now. Mock-up and wireframe designes were done by us, but the development was externally paid for. We have to hire the services of a more experienced developer to give us what we want, at least to be averagedly competitive.

That being said, we are currently looking for some local developers to partnered with. That would be cost effective for us as we are looking forward to scale fast.

Max Katz Experienced CTO

June 22nd, 2019

It's a tough spot to be in: The problem is most good developers would rather either be paid (handsomely) for their time or work on their own projects. Poorly-skilled developers or new developers who can't get paid handsomely for their time might take an interest but may not have the technical skill to produce a good product. Worse: A poorly-skilled developer may take a well-developed project and make so many mistakes that development times slow to a crawl even for skilled developers brought in to replace him. Even if you do manage to entice a skilled developer to join your cause, they're liable to lose interest over time and you're back to square one with finding a new developer.


If you can afford it, it's always better to hire a developer. If you can't, your best bet is to find a skilled developer who's passionate about your project, rather than doing it in hopes of some big payout. And that's going to be tough to find because nobody will ever be as passionate about your project as you are.


So if you have a reliable outsourced development resource, stick with them. Find out if your project has legs. If nobody's biting and you can't afford further development, don't throw more money at it in hopes it will suddenly improve. People will put up with a lot of pain / missing features to make use of your project if it's something they want.