How can I find a good [ app developer, web designer, lawyer ] - fill in the blank?
Many founders set their focus early on funding - perfecting their pitch and slide decks in hopes of landing that key investor. After all with a massive bank account, you could hire the best in the world, right? So what will you do until you land that huge investment? You bootstrap. And that means you make the most with a very limited amount of outside funding (if any at all). Even when you do get an infusion of cash, the hiring of the best may drain that fund quickly unless you are in the right geographic area. This is where a team or freelancers comes into play. What are the benefits of hiring from freelance pools?
No Geographic Constraints. Have you ever tries to hire a developer in Silicon Valley? How about Oklahoma? Neither hiring push will be a picnic due to a lack of available hiring candidates in your price range. Silicon Valley presents a feeding frenzy for developers - which occasionally drives the epic rates. Oklahoma simply does not have enough science and tech people to fill the needs. So what now? You could relocate your company. Move your life (and day job) to a place with better opportunities; or you could stay put and freelance the resources you need. Freelancing resources opens your hiring pool to the global community.
Ability to scale your team and organization. A common problem with building and organization is hiring people you don't need yet (or at all) or not hiring the type of skills you do need at each stage of development for both the idea and the organization. A startup is like any other project where resources must be applied "just in time" - too early and you burn cash, too late and you miss delivery deadlines. With a freelance staffing model you are able to hire the people you need for each tasks and phase of your growth and nobody gets their feelings hurt when the job is done and it is time to move on.
Finding the best partners. With a wider pool of possible resources, you have a better chance of finding that stellar, long term employee or partner. There are no rules against hiring or partnering with a freelancer for the long-term. If you click and think you have a new BFF, then why not. The freelance model allows both sides to find that perfect fit through one or more trail working engagements.
So why doesn’t everyone do this? Because it can be hard…
Global work can be crazy. What if half of your development freelancers from the Ukraine are speaking Ukrainian and the other half Russian - and did you even know that was possible, it’s the same country right? How do you plan a lunch design meeting at noon on the US West coast when it is already 3AM tomorrow for your graphic designer in the Philippines?
Traditional Management Does Not Work. The traditional management styles of observing workers, status meetings, and top-down direction do not work here - and are not what most professionals want anyway. You need to be willing and able to correctly relay your vision and trust in someone to get the job done well and on-time.
Co-located collaboration is not easy. One nice aspect of having your entire team local and in the same office is the ability to pile into a room, eat snacks, laugh, and brainstorm on the walls and whiteboards. You won’t have this ability with a geographically dispersed team.
Finding the best partners. With a wider pool of possible resources, you have a better chance of finding that stellar, long term employee or partner. There are no rules against hiring or partnering with a freelancer for the long-term. If you click and think you have a new BFF, then why not. The freelance model allows both sides to find that perfect fit through one or more trial working engagements.
How will I save this project?
Projects go bad for many reasons, especially software development projects. The three most common problems that prevent successful execution of a software development or system transition project are:
Losing sight of objectives. New ideas, features, and markets will begin to appear from day one but the teams building your product must stay focused. Creating and following a strategic plan is critical.
Incorrect sizing of the build team and organization. In other words hiring people you don't need yet (or at all) or not hiring the type of skills you do need at each stage of development for both the idea and the organization. A startup is like any other project where resources must be applied "just in time" - too early and you burn cash, too late and you miss delivery deadlines.
Misunderstanding the software industry. There are hundreds of frameworks, technologies, and methodologies out there - do you know which to deploy and when? Frameworks or development technologies are in a constant state of change. Companies that create developer tools (Oracle, Microsoft, etc) are under constant pressure to improved the tools developers purchase and with that improvement comes a change in frameworks. Add to this the regular implementation of open-source frameworks from individual developers and you have a framework market that can seem impossible to navigate. What are the considerations for long-term support of the product or service?
Finding the right people for your organization or project team is a critical component of success and it gets harder every day. XGEN Applications holds extensive expertise in developing teams utilizing the global pool of freelancers. We have direct experience in execution of projects using both full freelance teams or hybrid teams consisting of core business personnel mixed with the right freelance resources, at the right time, to keep project costs low and help the local team succeed.
We specialize in rapid product development and Minimum Viable Product (MVP) implementations with the end goal of getting your idea to market as quickly as possible to begin market testing and refining your idea for success. Depending on the structure of your startup, we can be your build and implementation team or even join your business as a full technology partner.
In the first few years of a new business, the vision, goals, and objectives are very easy to define and the team is small and focused. What happens when you get a bit bigger? How will you keep larger teams, autonomous divisions, or multiple product lines from competing for resources? Above all, how do you retain that creative, innovative spark of that small circle with a burning mission? The answer is through a multi-year strategic plan that everyone can believe in. A plan that relays the overall vision to all corners of the organization while still allowing each unique area to push themselves toward that common goal. We love this part! Let us help you bring that excitement into your team!
We provide custom project planning and management services for software development cycles ranging from small mobile applications to large-scale, multi-platform enterprise systems. We are capable of planning and executing projects under multiple disciplines such as traditional PMBOK as well as various Agile methodologies.
Many founding teams have a single focus on getting to market and achieving rapid growth - that is great! In these early days, the team is small and you fishing each others sentences. At some point your close-knit band of technology pirates may need to take on additional crew. How will you teach them your team processes and how you like it done and how much of your time will that take? Whether your client base has outgrown your team footprint and you need to expand or you are being asked to demonstrate your processes and capabilities for due diligence or a board audit, we are here to help you build a collection of lean, repeatable processes to reduce your team on-boarding times and help your board see that you know what you are doing.
Software projects don't always execute as planned and project contracts don't always deliver as expected. We can help you recover an out of control project by assessing the current state of the project (time line, issues, and risks) and recommending a recovery approach or taking over project execution completely.
When you get to the point where people rely on your team or your service, you may need a much different team structure and maybe some new rules for how you play the game. You may have started with a one-person operation where your developers controlled the production environment; but inevitably you will need to work with (or even run) your own large data center with the proper change controls to ensure maximum up time. Let us help you establish agreements and shared processes between your development teams and your data centers for optimum efficiency when releasing code while maintaining the service availability your clients desire.
Let's get started.
Use the form below to contact us about your project or the area where you may need help.