7 Steps to Building Rockstar Apps

In this talk, Drew Gorham explains the steps involved in outsourcing app development, the various tools that one can use for it and the platforms one can use to look for and hire good freelancers to get quality work done.

Drew Gorham

Drew Gorham is the founder of App Factory, a mobile app development agency, which focuses on catalyzing early-stage ideas into successful MVPs. Over a four-year period, he helped 30 software startups build their product from “napkin sketch” to “launch” using App Factory’s fully-distributed team of developers and designers.

Drew Gorham

How to Build the Thing

Balance graph

The sweet spot of perfect balance between a product which is cheap, good and fast is not possible.

The Steps

1. Talk to customers

2. Write user stories

As a <type of user>
 I want <some capability>
so that <some desired outcome>
example user stories

3. Sketch it out

  • Sketch wireframes with pencil and paper
  • iPhone stencils
  • Balsamiq Wireframes
  • Beg, Borrow, Steal
  • Hire a graphic designer

4. Build a product spec

  • Elevator pitch at the start
  • Why you’re building an MVP
  • Which platforms (iOS, Android, web)
  • Any notifications?
  • Explain each screen
  • Hide an Easter Egg

5. Hire a rockstar freelancer

  • Low hourly rate doesn’t mean cheaper
  • Find someone who’s build similar apps
  • Experience trumps geography
Platforms where you can find freelancers

6. Hold daily standups

  • Daily Standup 3 Questions:
    • What did you do yesterday?
    • What are you doing today?
    • Are there any blockers?
  • Project Management:
    • Track user stories in Trello
    • Daily Standup Meetings (~5mins/day)
    • Demo day 2x/week (Tuesday + Friday)
    • Your job is to remove blockers

7. Provide great feedback

Final Thoughts

Drew concludes by discussing that one should never restrict to text, calls, or emails to explain their requirements or their expectations. Multimedia, such as videos and screenshots are the most interactive and efficient ways to make the developers understand your needs.

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