Agencies have some nice advantages especially if you have no experience working directly with programmers. They typically have a project manager who will interface with you, established processes, and existing relationships with multiple vendors (developers, designers, marketers). You’ll have access to a CTO, architect, designers. They can easily scale up or down without going through a lengthy painful talent search. This allows you to stall in the middle of the project if need be and pick up again afterwards. As soon as you pay, they can start.

Unlike an in-house team, they can be held accountable on a different level…


An often overlooked option is to find a team that very specifically specializes in exactly what you need to build. Most often this option is overlooked because such teams are hard to find. Such teams need to have 2 key attributes — a targeted focus in marketplace development and real world experience in it. These teams, when they exist, are often booked long in advance and don’t typically advertise on a big scale.

But if you are lucky enough to find a good, vetted team that specializes in just what you do, you can be certain you will realize benefits…


Having your own full-time, fully flushed out in-house development team is great — if you can afford it. As most funded startups have limited funds, the question then becomes at what point does it make sense to bring on a full-time in-house team such that you maximize the bang for your buck.

The big challenge

In short, it is “Time & Money” that is the big challenge. You need to get to market, if not first, as soon as possible and funds are typically not unlimited.

Long time to market (Yup, about a year )

Marketplaces are simple in concept and complex in execution. There are many moving parts all of which…


There are few off-the-shelf platforms that have a nice set up with many features. And there are certain scenarios in which these are a perfect solution. If what you are looking for is a small local marketplace with no intention of selling it down the road nor scaling it, and your business requirements fit default functionalities or require very little customization, then this is a good way to go.

For example, if you have an urban farm community in your town and you want to facilitate the urban farmers exchanging goods and have no aspirations that this will become a…


Great idea

Every successful business starts with a great idea. Now is the time to enroll friends & family and start putting together your seed money. VCs want to see that you can enroll others to invest and that you also have skin in the game. If you won’t invest and you can’t raise initial funds for your idea, why would a VC invest?

Wireframes

Wireframes are like the blueprints of your dream house. They show exactly what will be built. They show VCs how you intend to serve your users. Now you know your idea can be a reality.

Brand

How important is…


A great idea

Every successful business starts with a great idea. Congrats! You got that. Now what?

Well, if you are not a company with a significant budget then it is time to enroll friends & family and start putting together your seed money. As great as your idea is, investors will want to see more. VCs want to see that you can enroll others to invest in your idea and that you have skin in the game. If you won’t invest and you can’t raise initial funds for your idea, why would a VC invest? Would you?

Peter Byrnes

Co-founder of Campus On Fire & founder of Brooklyn-based design firm Lúgh Studio

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store