Inhouse Developers vs App Development Company – Part #4

Over the last 11 years, I’ve worked as both an app developer building innovative apps for startups and large organisations working on game-changing technologies and I’ve also worked for a number of app development companies as a consultant advising startup (and corporate) entrepreneurs alike. This guide is a collection of my thoughts and things I’ve learnt from working on (building, designing, advising on etc) countless mobile apps and web-applications. This guide give you the information you need to understand the difference between hiring an inhouse app developer vs hiring an app development company.

=== Guide Articles ===
Part 1 – Guide Introduction
Part 2 – The App Development Team #1
Part 3 – The App Development Team #2
Part 4 – Hiring an Inhouse App Developer #1 (you are here)
Part 5 – Hiring an Inhouse App Developer #2

Hiring an Inhouse App Developer #1
As I mentioned in my last article (on the ‘App Development Team”), you get access to a number of specialist disciplines when you work with a mobile app development company: User Experience Designers, Visual Designers, Backend Developers, Front-end developers, Project Managers etc. Each knowing their domain of expertise with great depth.

In the long term however, hiring a mobile app development agency to build a mobile app or web application gets expensive and the developers building your application are often not culturally aligned with your startup.

So while an app development company can get you up and running fast and give you access to a kick ass team of specialists, building an inhouse team is often the suggested long-term solution. However, hiring an inhouse mobile or web app developer from day one has some big issues you should be aware of, let’s look at them now.

Issues with hiring in-house developers too early:

Pulling a Zuckerburg
There’s no getting past this one. If you’re pitching your idea to app developers who build apps for a living, keep in mind that they may not need you. In fact, if your idea is so good that that developer could make more money by building the app themselves without you, then they will.

Ideally you should approach staff when they can achieve more by working for you than they can by working for themselves.

Allegedly this is what occurred between Mark Zuckerburg did to the Winklevoss twins.

If you work with an app developer like myself to build a working mobile app or web application, then you could have a working application, customers, revenue, a brand and PR exposure all before you start hiring inhouse staff.

Ideally, you’d then hire an in-house app developer and work with your app development company to train-up your new employee.

– Hiring difficulty
– Career goals
– Leap-frogging Developers
– More equity, earlier

– Lack of access to specialists