“Seeking an iOS engineer to build an MVP for my startup. Applicant needs to have 3 years of experience. Role is a paid part-time job”
I see posts like this on a weekly basis. I appreciate the fact that people would like to get their alpha app built. The problem is that building anything functional, pretty, and usable isn’t easy. Even with an MVP where you can cut corners it still is complicated and time consuming to build an application, especially a mobile one. And people who are skilled at building mobile apps aren’t just chilling neckid on their couch waiting for the next opportunity (except for me). iOS developers are in high demand and good ones tend to have jobs making good money.
So what DO you do if you want to build an MVP? Here are you choices
- Hire a freelancer from a freelancer site – You can hire a freelancer from one of these sites. Your mileage will vary greatly. Probably your cheapest route, but you get what you pay for. Chances are you will get a piece of crap.
- Hire a local design firm – These companies specialize in building apps. It’s easier to get a better product by using a firm than a random freelancer. You can do research on their portfolio, have live meetings with them, etc… And if they screw up you can hunt them down and smack them (just because they are local doesn’t mean they are good at what they do).
- Hire an outsourced design firm – This is a company somewhere outside of the US that specializes in building apps. It will be harder to guarantee quality like you can with a local firm, but an outsourced one will probably be cheaper.
- Learn to build yourself – If you have the time it is worth it. You know, to actually understand the ins and outs of your product. But most people don’t have the time and learning can be tough.
- Build a disposable mobile web app – It’s a lot easier to build a web app that kind of works mobile than it is to build a native app. There are a lot of responsive ui frameworks and templates to get you going.
- Find a tech lead that believes in the product – This might be tough because your product is probably dumb. But finding a tech lead will be a long term investment that will help you go from MVP to real product to $$$