Building an enterprise startup
Boydlee Pollentine, Tipsy & Tumbler Ltd
a broad range of skills
- Industry Knowledge
- Technical Ability
Don't pretend to know what you don't. The right team of people is absolutely critical.
know your market.
Don't fool yourself
- Every business has its own Key Performance Indicators. Find it & master it!
- Take a deep dive into the business work flow and understand the pain points & profit centres.
- Too often you’ll find solutions that merely presents data from ERP systems with some basic communication elements in the App. THIS IS A POOR SOLUTION & POOR BARRIER OF ENTRY!
Not EVERY industry is ready
We are living in a very exciting time. When you start thinking of the power an Enterprise Mobile Solution and the potential efficiency gain, almost every business and industry could benefit from it.
Do you research…some industries may not be ready to adopt, such as industries with working environments that aren't conducive to mobile use or have poor network coverage (oil rigs, etc).
Complex system - simple usage
Understanding of the KPIs and pain points will allow you to build a complex / sophisticated solution, but with Simple UI/UX
GET OUT THERE AND SELL IT.
An enterprise solution is not twitter or facebook or pinterest
- You need to have a plan to generate income and be profitable
- No point building the greatest app in the world if you do not have the ability or channel to market, sell and be profitable
- More targeted sales strategy rather than mass advertising.
- Online popularity does not equate to actual sales
HAVE A HOOK.
don't sweat the small stuff.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT INFRASTRUCTURE
FREE & OPENSOURCE
Make sure any open source products you're using have a good track history (i.e. active on GitHub) or if provided by a company have support channels.
Eventually, all good things come to an end and that includes "free" API's and services. Beware!
SaaS products can help you get off the ground but be careful of being permanently tied-in.
Cloud products can help you get off the ground quickly and effeciently.
Don't go for lowest common denominator. Support and service is just as important as price.
choosing the right technology stack
beware - subjective!
Almost certainly half the audience is going to disagree with me, but here we go anyway...
the choice of technology stack should be governed by three things:
- How long the technology has been around, and who else is using it.
- Your level of comfort and understanding of it.
- How easy it is to get support and developers capable in it.
beware the easy road to Scaling
or why we now completely avoid all variants of Mbaas, Baas, etc.
your solution is not scalable if:
- You have an arbitrary API call threshold imposed upon you,
- You cannot provide advanced searching functionality
- You can not dynamically generated "apps" or database containers
- You're completely at the whim of the MBaaS provider when it comes to backup and restoration processes.
There is no point building a lamborghini only to find you can't drive it.
choosing a database
beware the Nosql bandwagon.
Is the client / users going to want to do reporting?
Is the client / users going to want sophisticated searching?
what we got right
titanium application development has meant less cost, less maintenance and features are updated on a 1:1 basis
A solid build process is essential
especially if you're building a white-labelled solution. we branch all college apps in git so they can be easily merged whilst retaining individual assets.
in an enterprise, integration with third party software and services will be a necessary
API's, API's, API's!
- Be prepared to have to get creative with integration
- Be prepared to wade through some pretty shit software
- You will be more prepared if you have taken the API FIRST approach to development.
maintaining what you've built
bug fixing, Maintenance
Make sure you have resources available who understand the product from the inside out. Maintenance and bug fixing are paramount. Your solution is likely to change and the codebase grow so documentation is a key factor.
Get a good support line working early. We use Freshdesk for simple ticket submission and tracking which only costs a few dollars a month.
client relationship building
you (or your client) will need to handhold those initial customers and be prepared to spend a lot of time helping with product direction and integration
Perfection is a good trait… but in building an app
THE Mobile industry moves too fast to wait for the Perfect App / Solution
- Break up your concept into phases for development and rollout
- Let your pilot clients help make your product better
- Address the core KPIs, leave the bells and whistles for later
- Don’t build everything in house. Leverage others technology
By Boydlee Pollentine