So how do we work?
Building good software is hard. Really hard actually.
So designing and building great software on ultra-short timelines presents additional challenges for even very experienced developers. Our success building kickass iOS apps in 7 days for a fixed costs stems from our crystal clear process, something we like to call MetaNeer’s 7-day App Development™… if we can remember to call it that. After a client reaches out (email us: firstname.lastname@example.org) and we learn about their needs, we decide whether the client’s project and personality is a good fit for what we do.
There are over ten-thousand minutes in a one week period and although this sounds like plenty of time to execute on something amazing, we’ve all had weeks vanish before our eyes. A major part of our secret-sauce is to have a plan upfront and to stick to it (while still rolling with the punches along the way). That’s why the first two steps are dedicated to making decisions, the second two steps are dedicated to execution, and the final step has some partying in it. 🙂
Step 1: Design & Define
We start with the client’s vision and turn it into a clear app feature list and mock-ups. We’ve received a lot of inputs from clients – anything from pixel-perfect illustrator files to “we need an app that shows users a list of their prescription medications.” What we do is take these various inputs and insert them into our process.
Purpose: To understand the client’s vision and agree on a precise specification for the app.
Step 2: Architect
The completed feature list contains precision but is not yet in a very technical language. At this point our Architects translate the precise spec into a technical spec. Once translated, all the hard technical decisions can be made up-front and hundreds of detailed development tasks are created. Here we’ll also tackle any high-risk development tasks – anything that might kill the project if we fail to deliver upon.
Purpose: To translate the precise specifications from the design step into technical, actionable development tasks.
Step 3: Build MVP 0.8
Enter the dumb brain! The tasks are set, several rounds of tough decisions have already been made, priorities are known, and now it’s time to execute. While we sometimes call this a “code-monkey” phase internally, this is when our developers get sit down and crank out the very valuable code that makes an app work.
Our internal Quality Assurance (QA) team follows along, reviewing code and the current state of the app to catch any issues as they enter the codebase. At the end of several days of hard-core coding the client receives the very first realization of their idea. We deliver as much of the finished product as we possibly can so that we can spend the next day or so adapting to the client’s feedback and tweaks.
Purpose: Crank out code to quickly get the app back into the client’s hands.
Step 4: Build MVP 0.9
Dumb brain continued. We take client and user feedback and do our very best to integrate as many improvements as we can. Throughout this period we shift our focus from developing new features to polishing the app and fixing any bugs we’ve discovered.
The development team isn’t making any new decisions, but simply executing on the decisions and priorities that we’ve already made. Once we push MVP 0.9 to the client, we’re almost completely focused on crushing bugs and not on rolling out new features.
Purpose: To act on client feedback and add polish the app.
Step 5: Ship MVP 1.0 & Party
After the previous step, we’ve identified all of the fixes that we need to make so that we can execute on them and hit our client’s deadline. The Quality Assurance team tests things again and again so that the final version of the MVP is as close to perfect as we can make it.
After we’re all feeling good, we ship the app.
It may seem ridiculous to actually include a party in our process but we’ve learned that’s it’s essential for generating momentum for the client and launching the app on the right foot. And you never know who will show up to the celebration – your future investor, your growth hacker, or your new CTO.
Purpose: To crush bugs, wrap up loose ends, and celebrate.
Money Money Money
You’re probably wondering what a premium service like this costs. Well it’s a tough question. Apps can cost a lot of money. Savvy Apps posted this article on How Much Does an App Cost in Feb 2015 and we agree with the bulk of their thoughts. We’re not your standard dev shop that takes months to turn around decent-quality apps – we only make kickass iOS apps – so we need to know a bit more about your project so that we can give you a sense of price. The largest factors are 1) the number of sprints we need to build the app 2) the number of people involved in the sprint, and 3) your deadline. We can ship your app to the App Store 10 days from right now, but that typically means that we have to push another project back or marshal resources. The sooner we start to have a conversation, the less expensive your app will be!
tl;dr — we make kickass iOS app in 7 day sprints for a fixed cost… and then we celebrate!