If you have an app idea, but you’re a non-technical entrepreneur (meaning you don’t know how to code yourself) — or — you don’t have a technical co-founder, how do you build an app? There are definitively options. You could learn how to code (for free in many instances) or you could use a service like Kinetise to build an app with no coding knowledge required (and there are plenty of similar services if you search for them). Or you could approach an investor with your idea to secure some funding which would let you actually hire a team of coders — check out this interview with investor Seth Levine of Foundry Group for some tips on getting your startup funded and meeting with investors (skip to minute 3:43 in the video if you’re in a hurry). But there’s another really great option: hiring the best developers on a freelance basis.
In the past I wouldn’t have been super-excited about this option for several reasons. What if the relationship soured or the developer took a full-time job and there was nobody else who understood the original code? How do you keep a developer on-task and make sure a project reaches completion? How do you find the best programmers in the first place? The list goes on. But the three resources I’m about to show you take care of (or drastically minimize) those issues.
If it were me — if I had an app idea in my head and I wanted to bring it to life in a polished, professional way — I wouldn’t try to learn to code myself and I wouldn’t try to use an app-builder. And chances are slim that you’re going to find an investor for your app unless it has “unicorn” potential (will be worth over $1 billion); and the chances are probably even slimmer if you don’t have some initial traction (or a pre-built app, in other words). Seth Levine (in the interview I linked to above) noted that of the 4,000+ pitches his company hears every year they only end up taking a second meeting with about 400 of those and only end up funding around 8! So, if it were me, I’d look into the services below which can connect you with amazing coders who can build your app. Yes, it’ll cost you in the thousands of dollars — building a quality app simply isn’t cheap if you don’t know how to code (if it was, apps would have far less value because the barriers to creating them would be so low). But it’s FAR less expensive than hiring a full-time developer (without funding you’d never be able to afford it). And the quality of the app will be FAR superior than something you could have built yourself. I think the options below are also excellent for designers who can envision an app but lack coding skills.
If you end up using any of these services, I’d love to have you return to this post and leave a comment about your experience!
Hire an elite development team in minutes.
If you want to work with the top 1% of programming talent, want a project manager and need a FAST quote then you need Gigster. Gigster provides an instant quote so you can get started in 10 minutes or less, features affordable, guaranteed fixed pricing and provides weekly checkins with your project manager until completion. I love the pricing page which gives you examples of what it would cost to build popular apps like Instagram, WhatsApp, Spotify or Airbnb (among many others); you can even see how the pricing might vary based on a relaxed, normal or rushed timeline.
Launch your app in 10 days for $10k.
If you have a limited budget (you know, if you’re a startup entrepreneur) and (or) are looking to get your app developed fast, then you should check out Tenrocket. Tenrocket focuses on the core of your project — your MVP — and helps you build a functional, focused app in just 10 days. It works by bringing your vision to the company, picking a simpatico developer who you can establish a long-term relationship with and getting your basic app built. There are no product managers, designers or account managers (which all helps to cut costs) and you don’t have to have a design to get started (but you can — and if you don’t they can provide some slick templates).
Hire the best freelance developers.
Hirable takes a different approach to hiring talented freelance programmers. You can find and then follow top talent and see their status: hirable, hirable soon or busy. You can search for developers using criteria like skills, location and availability and get notified the second a developer you are following becomes available. You can also opt-in to weekly emails on the newest and available talent. When you’re ready to hire your developer just click to send a message to get the ball rolling.