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Discussion Starter #21
Dylan seems to be on the dev side. I am on the business side, so here is what I worry about when building an app:

When you depend on an API integration for your app to function, remember that support and escalation paths need to be nailed down early. Where-ever possible, I will house data internally and draw upon it, vs. depending on a third party who has other customers and revenue models to keep an eye on as well.

Prototypes are always best started with pen and paper. Draw, scratch, re-draw, test. One page per step in the workflow and then test it on someone--anyone. Then translate what comes of it to the PC and link them together in a low-fidelity mock-up.

As far as simplicity--read Eric Ries' Lean Startup and introduce yourself to the idea of an MVP, or Minimum Viable Product. The idea is to build only the necessities, test, fail quickly if needed, and decide next steps.

Make no mistake, this is a complicated process, but it's a very fun and lucrative complicated process.
After doing more research, I don't want to rely on API's for my app. I am not a very graphically creative person so sketching a prototype has been really difficult for me so far, though I am forcing myself to make it. When it comes to the MVP, I haven't had the chance to pick up the book yet, so I cant say much about it. Though to make this app what it ultimately should be, there isn't much I can cut off from the current plan, IMO anyway. Would you (or anyone here for that matter) be able to give me a rough idea of how much I should expect this to cost? The backbone of the of the app is very complex, and Id like the U.I. to be as simple to use as possible. I want to at least launch it on the android and Ios devices, with a website, and a cloud based software. Though Im trying to think of a better way to make it cheaper/easier for others to integrate on the business level.
 

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Dylan seems to be on the dev side. I am on the business side, so here is what I worry about when building an app:

When you depend on an API integration for your app to function, remember that support and escalation paths need to be nailed down early. Where-ever possible, I will house data internally and draw upon it, vs. depending on a third party who has other customers and revenue models to keep an eye on as well.

Prototypes are always best started with pen and paper. Draw, scratch, re-draw, test. One page per step in the workflow and then test it on someone--anyone. Then translate what comes of it to the PC and link them together in a low-fidelity mock-up.

As far as simplicity--read Eric Ries' Lean Startup and introduce yourself to the idea of an MVP, or Minimum Viable Product. The idea is to build only the necessities, test, fail quickly if needed, and decide next steps.

Make no mistake, this is a complicated process, but it's a very fun and lucrative complicated process.
ADR3NALINE FIX bring up a very relevant point, APIs aren't static, they are continually being developed. The only APIs we rely on are usually for fulfillment and payment processing ( and some job printing ). Plan carefully.

In response to the Founders Card, I only recommend it as its a group of people doing just this, founding apps and companies. They give out invites to lots of closed events ect ect. Great for networking if thats your deal.

His idea about prototyping ideas on pen and paper is good too, most of our apps start as sketches, unless Im coming up with the idea then I usually just get to coding... You may want to look into learning a little bit of code too help progress things along. I'd recommend https://pragprog.com/book/rails4/agile-web-development-with-rails-4

its written by David Heinemeier Hansson, inventor of ruby on rails. Take a look at his car collection if your unfamiliar. I got to see his koenigsegg parked out in calabases... fucking ridic!

By the time you finish the book you can build custom shopping apps with Ruby on Rails, this is important because a shopping app has most of the components you'll find in a custom web-app.
 

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Never underestimate the power of JavaScript either.

Ionic: Advanced HTML5 Hybrid Mobile App Framework
https://github.com/rogerwang/node-webkit

The following are some tools that let you turn javascript apps, like Backbone.js and Angular.js ( My Preference ), into apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS and Android. One set of code and a whole lot less cost.

Just some food for thought :)

https://slack.com/ is a great example of an app built using these technologies. All their apps are based on HTML5, CSS3 and jQuery/JavaScript
 

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I just want to clarify some terminology here. The alpha is actually before the beta, and it is a test typically amongst the developers.
We've run it both ways, oddly enough the split in terminology usually occurs with what coast the developers I'm working with are on. My east coast team never uses alpha, my west coast does. Web needs more concrete standards :p

if you want a good read, for anyone in tech about the insanity of tech, check this article.

Programming Sucks
 

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Discussion Starter #25
ADR3NALINE FIX bring up a very relevant point, APIs aren't static, they are continually being developed. The only APIs we rely on are usually for fulfillment and payment processing ( and some job printing ). Plan carefully.

In response to the Founders Card, I only recommend it as its a group of people doing just this, founding apps and companies. They give out invites to lots of closed events ect ect. Great for networking if thats your deal.

His idea about prototyping ideas on pen and paper is good too, most of our apps start as sketches, unless Im coming up with the idea then I usually just get to coding... You may want to look into learning a little bit of code too help progress things along. I'd recommend https://pragprog.com/book/rails4/agile-web-development-with-rails-4

its written by David Heinemeier Hansson, inventor of ruby on rails. Take a look at his car collection if your unfamiliar. I got to see his koenigsegg parked out in calabases... fucking ridic!

By the time you finish the book you can build custom shopping apps with Ruby on Rails, this is important because a shopping app has most of the components you'll find in a custom web-app.
I'll look more into the Founders Club then. How would I go about getting involved with them? I wouldn't mind learning how to code, seems like it would be fun to know anyway.
His car collection is beautiful! If I had that kind of money, mine actually wouldn't be much different in terms of super cars.

Never underestimate the power of JavaScript either.

Ionic: Advanced HTML5 Hybrid Mobile App Framework
https://github.com/rogerwang/node-webkit

The following are some tools that let you turn javascript apps, like Backbone.js and Angular.js ( My Preference ), into apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS and Android. One set of code and a whole lot less cost.

Just some food for thought :)

https://slack.com/ is a great example of an app built using these technologies. All their apps are based on HTML5, CSS3 and jQuery/JavaScript
I was actually looking into slack for communicating with my team (if that's the route I end up going). But I had no idea that's how theirs was formed. I wouldn't mind this route for mine. Though I'm not sure how it would do with the complexity of the app. Or does that not matter in programming?
 

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Most of the platforms I posted do suffer from The Law of Leaky Abstractions ( google it ), the tldr; is that abstractions aren't perfect. If your application isn't a game or requiring advanced graphics processing you should be ok. LinkedIn's mobile app is built on phonegap. Informational apps are really most limited by the speed at which your server can receive and pass information back to the application.

Anyone can join founder's club, you just have to pay their yearly dues or whatever, they do provide lots of perks, discounts etc.

Im warning you, dont get on their mailing list unless you intend to join... it took me almost a year to finally stop getting the emails.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Most of the platforms I posted do suffer from The Law of Leaky Abstractions ( google it ), the tldr; is that abstractions aren't perfect. If your application isn't a game or requiring advanced graphics processing you should be ok. LinkedIn's mobile app is built on phonegap. Informational apps are really most limited by the speed at which your server can receive and pass information back to the application.

Anyone can join founder's club, you just have to pay their yearly dues or whatever, they do provide lots of perks, discounts etc.

Im warning you, dont get on their mailing list unless you intend to join... it took me almost a year to finally stop getting the emails.
Luckily my app is not a game and wont be demanding graphics wise. It is a utility/productivity app meant to make life simpler, easier to manage and more productive. Thanks for the warning about the news letter! Assuming I'm looking at the right website, do I have to contact them to join? I cant seem to find their sign up page on their website (if there is one).
 

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Would you (or anyone here for that matter) be able to give me a rough idea of how much I should expect this to cost?
We'll need to understand what the app is looking to accomplish. You never know, it could be rather simple, or it could be a massive undertaking. PM us, or describe a mythical product that mirrors the functions but doesn't give it away?
 

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Discussion Starter #29
We'll need to understand what the app is looking to accomplish. You never know, it could be rather simple, or it could be a massive undertaking. PM us, or describe a mythical product that mirrors the functions but doesn't give it away?
For some reason I'm not able to PM. I am willing to bet that its because I haven't been around long enough yet. I am also willing to bet that it will be a massive undertaking.. I'll do my best to describe it. The user would go on the app, (after signing up/in like any standard app) choose from a menu for which product, service, action they would like, it would go to a second menu to provide more info (like options), or change current info (if request was already put through). the final screen for the user would be a payment/confirmation. Each of the products/services pages will need to be tailored to their purpose. The next stage, the info would be relayed to the corresponding supplier of said product/service, through the cloud based software (or any better suggested way) for them to carry out. In some cases some products/services tie together into a package. The app will need a system to allow payments, a live chat, scheduling system, and a bunch more things along those lines. Basically it will be a middleman that helps everyone in someway to where they want it around.
 

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The user would go on the app, (after signing up/in like any standard app) choose from a menu for which product, service, action they would like, it would go to a second menu to provide more info (like options), or change current info (if request was already put through).
The majority of this is taxonomy--a daunting but inexpensive step. Keep in mind it requires constant monitoring and involvement if the product suppliers are adjusting SKUs, putting things on backorder, offer odd options for customization, etc.

Each of the products/services pages will need to be tailored to their purpose.
Tailored in a sense that the products are customizable, or the items that are suggested are tailored based upon demographics/past purchases?

The next stage, the info would be relayed to the corresponding supplier of said product/service, through the cloud based software (or any better suggested way) for them to carry out. In some cases some products/services tie together into a package.
Depends how automated you want to get. Full automation requires that you build interfaces that interact with each and every one of your suppliers' inventory mechanisms ($). A simple order output that someone picks up on the other end (email fulfillment) can be very simple. I'm not sure what industry this app speaks to, so I won't make an assumption on the route you'll be forced to take.

The app will need a system to allow payments
Easy. Lots of plug-in options.

live chat
Easy. Lots of plug-in options.

scheduling system.
Not sure what you mean by this one?
 

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This will quickly become a lot of work if you have a lot of different products/services that all need tailored options. It's mostly just getting all of the information into a data file that the app can use to create the customization form. If you can't scrape that data from somewhere, and you have to enter it all manually, you will be quite miserable because data entry is time consuming. If you're paying for someone else to do it, you have to trust that they do it right. If they make a mistake, your app will have an issue. If you do it, you have to try to not go insane.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
The majority of this is taxonomy--a daunting but inexpensive step. Keep in mind it requires constant monitoring and involvement if the product suppliers are adjusting SKUs, putting things on backorder, offer odd options for customization, etc.


Tailored in a sense that the products are customizable, or the items that are suggested are tailored based upon demographics/past purchases?


Depends how automated you want to get. Full automation requires that you build interfaces that interact with each and every one of your suppliers' inventory mechanisms ($). A simple order output that someone picks up on the other end (email fulfillment) can be very simple. I'm not sure what industry this app speaks to, so I won't make an assumption on the route you'll be forced to take.


Easy. Lots of plug-in options.


Easy. Lots of plug-in options.


Not sure what you mean by this one?
Its not really an E-commerce like setup. I seriously wish I could describe the whole thing in detail on here and not worry (if I could, you'd get it right away).. But I'll continue to try my best to explain it. Because its not like an E-commerce system, I dont have to deal with SKU's, but an inventory system for only one part (I believe there might be a plug in for this). This app will work with many different industries (roughly 5 or so), so when it needs to be tailored, its so that it gives you the right options and information based on its role on the app. Each thing will be customizable in its own way, so that page will give you all the options necessary. I would like everything to be as automated as possible. With the exception of the feature that will require the inventory system, the automation should be easy. I cant think of a way to describe the scheduling system without giving too much out right now.

This will quickly become a lot of work if you have a lot of different products/services that all need tailored options. It's mostly just getting all of the information into a data file that the app can use to create the customization form. If you can't scrape that data from somewhere, and you have to enter it all manually, you will be quite miserable because data entry is time consuming. If you're paying for someone else to do it, you have to trust that they do it right. If they make a mistake, your app will have an issue. If you do it, you have to try to not go insane.
Gathering the data wont be too difficult from what Im thinking (with the exception of one feature, which I have a feeling will be the most difficult one of all). As for entering it, I'll have someone do it so I dont mess it up myself. Each feature will have its form that would work just about anywhere (geographically speaking) as the information is pretty basic.
 

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