Episode 6: How to choose a Software Development company

24 Sep 2014

In today's episode, we talk about how vendors and clients can communicate pre-sale, so clients can find what they're looking for in vendors easily and vendors can help reduce clients' buying risk. We also talk about Brian's choice of an iPhone 6, the near future of Android L, expectations of the next Nexus phone, and the pros and cons of forking.

Focus on the problem

Does the vendor understand the problem? Can the client describe the problem concisely?

Be up front and honest about ownership.

Where is the client's data? Who has rights to it? Does the vendor restrict the client in ways they don�t want to be restricted? Who retains ownership of source code and other assets developed during the project? Does this arrangement meet vendor's and client's business objectives?

Discuss past experiences and areas of expertise.

Is the vendor familiar with the client's situation? If not, do they have the expertise and past record to demonstrate they can learn?

Identify communication styles.

Is the vendor accessible? Can the client call them up to chat? How will the vendor communicate project status and progress? How will you? How frequently? How involved can the client be in the project?

Be open about the unknowns.

Is the vendor willing to talk to the client before they make the decision to pursue a project? Is the client willing to put in the effort to answer their questions?

Be transparent about cost/price expectations.

Is the vendor's preferred project size a good fit? Does the client know how big their project is?

Don�t take everything at face value.

Can the vendor justify why a project is big or small? Can the client justify why every piece of the project is necessary?

Build the right team.

Does the vendor have the team to pull it off? Does the client? Is this the vendor's core competency, substantially similar, or totally unrelated?


Can the vendor develop in your technology of choice? Do they know when they should or shouldn�t? Do they push too hard toward a different technology in the wrong circumstances? If they're not familiar with a piece of technology, is specific technical knowledge more important than other aspects?

Links mentioned in the episode