How much does “Uber for Dogs” cost?

We built a tool to help you budget your next app dev project!

Wendy Dean
Jan 2, 2019 · 4 min read
Image for post

It’s 9pm, Friday night. You’re reclining on the couch, sipping some wine (red, not white) and kicking back after a long day. As you’re flipping through Netflix, a revelation comes to mind.

“Uber… for DOGS!”

So you set out to make this amazing new app, that will change the future as we see it. Only one issue — you can’t do it alone! As you search for a team to develop this killer app, you find a devshop based in some Eastern European country. They make you a dozen promises and you’re inclined to believe them, up until the point they quote you at a $2 million development cost.

Is it reasonable? Are they billing you fairly or robbing you?

Budgeting is difficult for startups that are working with new technology — the costs associated with development are vague and vary greatly depending on different combinations of features. Negotiating a fair price for your app can easily turn into a nightmare: unless you have extensive experience or research on industry prices and development costs, you’re running blind straight into a maze.

We’re all too familiar with this issue. Even software development professionals are plagued by the difficulty of properly budgeting, as software projects continue to run over budget more often and to a greater degree than any other project.

Image for post
A joint study by McKinsey and Oxford University found software projects go 66% over budget on average.

However, times are changing and we now have better statistical tools to compute a more accurate budget. With the rise of artificial intelligence, specifically machine learning methods, it has become possible to more accurately calculate development budgets at a fair level.

Image for post

After collecting data on hundreds of thousands of app development projects of all sizes undergone in the last decade, we were able to develop an AI model to predict the budgeting cost of most (> 97%) mobile application projects. The tool has helped us budget internally and has saved us hundreds of thousands of dollars in cost overrun.

How Much to Build An App is a web tool that will accurately calculate the cost of your project.

Image for post

It begins by asking you a series of questions related to your project:

Image for post

Your answers are then converted into a data model that represents different factors related to cost. Powered by a comprehensive engine, we take into account the different tasks and costs involved with each feature, from design to development and deployment.

This information is then passed onto our AI model, which predicts the cost relation:

Image for post

As you answer more questions, our AI model adjusts the cost of your project in the top right to reflect development tasks:

Image for post

And at the end, you’re provided with an accurate estimate of your development cost in an email, along with a breakdown of the cost involved. Separate AI models also calculate a time estimate and provide a risk analysis involved with running overtime on app development projects.

Image for post

The tool has helped us and countless of our colleagues avoid cost overrun and properly price their project. We are constantly updating our dataset with new projects and costs related to new features, and hope that this tool will help you budget your next app development project!


Everything Startup

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

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