Why you need more than just developers to build your product?

Posted by Karan Shah · 11 Sep, 2020 · 3 Min read
Why you need more than just developers to build your product?

A great product isn’t only code — it is a culmination of a lot of things done right, so much so that I feel that it has a luck factor involved in it. You need strong leadership with a team with the right skill set and the right mindset at the right time to make it work. I know that’s a lot of rights, but unfortunately, that’s how it goes.

At SoluteLabs, I’ve worked with a lot of founders/CXOs, personally led a lot of projects, and have seen a lot of products grow. Some flourish, some get users but don’t meet MRR targets while some can’t even afford to pay their hosting charges because of the influx of users. It’s truly humbling to see entrepreneurs push through tough times, but there are times where I would want to tell people to course-correct, and I can’t reach out to them.

. . .

As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, as a founder — you need to do your homework before you reach out to a vendor such as SoluteLabs. You probably reached out to a vendor instead of building your team because:

  • You either want to create the MVP and don’t want to commit to paying someone full time for the long haul.
  • You can’t wait to slowly build a team of good folks because that is too slow, risky, and unless you’re not from the tech domain, very difficult (sometimes more expensive)
  • You lack the technical knowhow/co-founder who can build on the same.

Either way, unless you’re a sizable team — chances are that you probably won’t have a lot of roles filled in or will likely have someone donning multiple roles. I won’t lie — we too juggle some roles, but with team size such as ours, we’re very optimized.

A Good Product would need:

  • Good Designers: Not all designers are created equal. You would probably have someone do the UX, someone else do the UI, and if you're building a SaaS product and like mascots, someone else entirely to do the illustrations.
  • Good Developers: Obviously, you need someone to understand the product since every single screen or interaction isn’t necessarily documented. You will need someone who understands the same. Developers are also split between backend devs (NodeJS/Ruby on Rails,etc), HTML/CSS Devs, Frontend JS Devs (React/Angular/Vue), AI/ML Devs, DevOps, Mobile Devs (Flutter/React Native/Native,etc) and possibly more
  • Good QAs: No matter how good the developers, their vision of the product is constricted to just theirs. You always would need a second pair of eyes on the deliverable. This can be taken care of by the PM, but it would not be a wise choice if one is considering financially.
  • Product Manager: You need someone who has a bird’s eye view of the product being developed and prioritizes what needs to be built in which order.
  • Scrum Master: Someone who makes sure that things are running on time and makes sure that there are no impediments to any team member

Being on this journey for the first time, people make the mistake of building a team with only developers or hiring only developers from an agency. Unless you can take on other roles, or have others on the team, who can take on these roles effectively, look for an agency that can help you with the entire package.

While it’s best to get people who are dedicated to just one project, sometimes the costs won’t allow for the same. In such scenarios, see if you can get someone allocated partially and don’t penny crunch these efforts.

A product is more of a thought process than the actual code

A well thought out product reflects the time and effort put into developing and creating such works. So, the next time you look forward to building a product — be it a side project, MVP or your next big idea — remember to look for other roles in your team.

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