Lean app contracting lets you
Build Super-Apps!

Every app development shop out there claims to be lean and agile. So why do their contracts rely so heavily on up-front planning for scope and cost? Ditch the outdated contracts and use lean methods to build super-apps instead.

Build Super-Apps With Lean Contracts

Lean contracting allows you to put your money toward the right things at the right time.

Most other companies base their contracts on a scope of work to quote a price for your app. This outdated practice still makes sense to most of us because we associate more features with higher prices. "The more you want, the higher the cost", right? Except that pricing is about effort, not about how much scope there is. Lean methods for development stress the importance of learning in the early stages so that you can work out the details of scope as you go. This lets you put your money toward the right things at the right time.

So how can we accomplish this?

It’s true that long-term costs for mobile & web apps are unpredictable, and can range from $50K to $500K (or higher). That is a huge margin, but the beginning stages of a product don’t have to be that unpredictable. Based on over 20 years experience with software, we know how much effort goes into building an app. So we've come up with packages designed specifically for startups.

Foundation Pricing

Lean App

Foundation

Gain confidence in your idea with planning & validation so you can move forward.

$950

  • Prove business viability
  • Prove technical feasibility
  • Validate plan with potential customers
  • Lays the foundation for a successful MVP

The first step in building an app is to build the foundation. This is the process that not only defines what should get built, but more importantly why and for whom specifically we’re building the app. Your successful MVP needs to find that elusive intersection between the three factors shown below:

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To verify that you’ve found the magic spot, you need to collect email addresses from people who want your solution, and are willing to pay the price you have in mind. Don’t start writing code without doing this!! Furthermore, you’ll need to understand the technical ins and outs of your proposed solution. Before writing code, you need to focus on answering three specific questions:

  1. Do you have a viable business idea?
  2. Does your solution appeal to enough people?
  3. Is the solution technically feasible (within your budget)?

At BOUNDLESS, we help you answer these questions with our Lean App Foundation service priced at $950. Using Lean methods is the most effective way to make sure the money will go to the right places at the right time. We’ll first send you a kit which outlines the process so you can get started, and then we’ll walk you through the details so it gets done right. Here are the benefits you get with Lean App Foundation:

Business Planning

Discover your company’s purpose, understand why it matters, and learn how it gets used within the context of your startup. Then, crystallize your business idea with our customized version of the lean canvas for apps, and see a clear vision with all the important decisions on a single page.

Customers & Validation

Identify where your target customers and early adopters are coming from and how you will access them to seed your marketing channels. Learn about the wrong way and the right way to interview target customers, get a script for in-person interviews, and discover resources to conduct online surveys.

Technical feasibility

Get a handle on how the solution will come together, and craft a plan for any tricky technical pieces with advice from the experts.

Lean App Foundation Highlights

  • Avoid a lengthy plan & use the one-page template
  • Identify the key components of a plan
  • Crystallize your idea with an easy-to-use document
  • Step-by-step docs
  • Blank forms & suggested resources
  • Discover your target customers
  • Understand early adopters
  • Learn how to find your customers for feedback
  • Prepare for interviews with a step-by-step process
  • Learn how marketing ties in before you start building
  • Follow along with examples to make the journey easy

After you’ve validated the plan with potential customers and defined a feature roadmap, you’ll be in a position to start coding work (which we can help with too). This foundational stage is terribly important when building an app, and it doesn’t have to take all that long if you know the right questions to answer.

Foundation Blueprint

Lean App

Blueprint

Find funding, business partners, or customers with marketing materials designed to sell your idea, and poise your startup for MVP development.

$5K

  • Build on Foundation with a solution design
  • Show technical details with feature roadmap
  • Screen mockups define the look & feel for landing pages, pitches, & demos
  • Next step to funding & business partners
  • Defines the blueprint for a successful MVP

The blueprint for your app is where we build a roadmap for the technical implementation, and produce the look & feel to define the “mood” of the app. Just two or three screens with some basic branding can generate a lot of excitement for the idea! We do this with our Lean App Blueprint service priced at $5K. Here are the benefits you get:

Solution for a budget

Define all the features and prioritize them for development within the target budget. Create a technical roadmap so everyone is clear on which features should be done at what time. Keeping lean methods in mind, we define just enough to begin development of an MVP, but not so much that we fall into a waterfall development mindset.

Marketing material

Define the look & feel with screen mockups and basic branding that can be included with landing pages, pitches, & demos. We always recommend that only basic materials are developed to communicate that a young startup has moved past the “napkin” stage.

Demonstrate traction

Understand what constitutes traction for investors and other potential business partners. Collecting email addresses for your app is a good way to start, but you need to find people that are willing to spend their time or money to demonstrate real traction!

Lean App Blueprint Highlights

  1. Avoid a lengthy business plan & use the one-page template
  2. Step-by-step docs
  3. Use blank forms & suggested resources
  4. Discover your target customers & early adopters
  5. Learn how to find your customers for feedback
  6. Prepare for interviews with a step-by-step process
  7. Learn how marketing ties in before you start building
  8. Define a roadmap with features and a budget to move forward
  9. Create basic branding and screen mockups
Foundation Pricing

Lean App

MVP

Get paying customers, and gain undeniable traction with the launch of your minimum viable product (MVP).

$20K - $50K

  • Launch a minimal version of the app
  • Test usability with functioning concepts
  • Make the app shine with graphics
  • Launch a production quality product in
 the app stores
  • Get paying customers and undeniable traction
  • Serves as launchpad going forward

One of the most difficult things to do with web & mobile apps is taking that first step because a lot of information needs to be organized and documented. As it turns out, the most effective thing to do when getting started is to throw out all the details! Focus on the one or two things that are most important, and set a goal for your vision. What’s the most important problem we are solving with the app and for whom? Distilling a project down to those two things is a bit more difficult than it sounds because we love to imagine all the great things our app will do. But that’s where our experience as an app developer really helps. As a vigilant partner, we’ll keep the short and long-term goals grounded, and get things moving quickly with your MVP.

Need Something Custom? We've Got You Covered

What if your app is the exception and not the rule?

There are a number of different features which directly affect effort, and therefore directly affect price. Most of these things can initially be done manually to reduce up front cost, but sometimes the complex things are part of your core offering and must be done early on. In these rare cases, we help you come up with a different plan that meets the goal. If the packages above don’t quite fit the bill, we also work on an hourly and daily basis. We can put together a custom package for your app that hits the mark.

Custom Options

  • Hourly rate of $150 / hr for consulting or other small tasks
  • Daily rate of $1000 / day for custom packages

Things That Directly Affect Price

The long-term investment needed for each app depends on a lot of factors, but some things in particular are likely to increase the cost.

Server Side Automations

Server-side
Automations

User driven actions are fairly straight forward because we can rely on the user to do something first. If the server must do something on its own, we have to maintain schedules and make sure that scheduled actions happen at the right time. These kinds of systems require more effort to design, build, and test.

Advanced Graphics

Advanced Graphics
or Animations

We can do a lot with clean and professional looking colors, icons, and fonts, but sometimes apps need customized graphics and animations to complete the package. More graphic design means more effort.

Store Sensitive Information

Store Sensitive
Information

Whenever possible, we store credit card info, medical data, or other sensitive information with secure and reliable 3rd parties. If the system we build must store this type of information, it will take more effort to ensure it is secure and PCI-DSS or HIPAA compliant.

One Shot

One-shot & Other
Critical Operations

The critical nature of operations plays a big factor when estimating effort. Every application needs to function well and be reliable, but some are particularly important. These may require multiple checks, fail-safes, and audit logging to make absolutely sure that things are working as expected.

Processing

Processing Large
Amounts of Money

Apps that handle large amounts of money are automatically critical. These apps need good ways to track down inconsistencies with monthly reports when they don’t reconcile as expected. Audit becomes terribly important when the dollars per month start to rise!

Hardware

Hardware Components

When we need to consider specific hardware as part of a development project, efforts associated with simulators and communication protocols can quickly increase cost. If your plan includes BLE devices or other proprietary hardware, your plan should also include a much larger budget.

Building Apps In Phoenix For Over a Decade

We've been helping entrepreneurs like you build great apps for a long time.

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At BOUNDLESS, my co-founder and I have over 35 years of collective experience building software. We’ve helped many startups clarify their ideas, find workable solutions, and build their apps. We would love to talk with you about your next great app and how we can help.

Good For You! Your one step closer to launching your next awesome app! We'll start things out with an email or a phone call.

Use Lean methods to plan and validate your app idea before you build it.

Over 50 pages of step-by-step instructions on how to develop your idea and validate your business plan before you spend time and money building your app.

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