Save Money Before Hiring Programmers

by Robert John Stevens, September 19, 2016

Programmers can quickly become very expensive: Given their cost and time estimates, a good rule of thumb to determine the final cost is to multiple by pi.

Validate your idea before hiring programmers. BYU’s Business Management 472 will teach you how. The course’s book “Startup Marketing Essentials” by Gary Rhoads, Michael Swenson and David Whitlark can be located at Older editions were called “BoomStart: Super Laws of Successful Entrepreneurs.”

BYU Dr. Nathan Furr’s, “Nail it Then Scale it” is another must-read book that will teach you how to work with your customers to design a product they’ll buy and use.

Create wireframe mockups of your screens. There are many tools for this including Balsamiq ( which you can learn in minutes. Spend a month with your customers testing and perfecting your black and white designs so they’ll focus on your solution rather than its artistic appeal.

Then add full color to your screens and re-test. If you are artistic use a tool like Photoshop, Illustrator, Adobe Muse or PowerPoint. If you are technical use HTML5 and CSS 3, and a framework to make it look good like Bootstrap, Google Polymer or Angular Material.

The more you can do to prove your idea and work out the details with your customers, the less you’ll pay programmers.

Programmers prefer detailed specifications. Uncertainty and change requests will just cost you more money.

Dr. Dallan Quass’s roadmap for an interactive design is:

1. PowerPoint prototype with clicks going to different slides,
2. Angular, HTML + JavaScript
3. Rest server
4. Hook up prototype in #2 to a server in #3