Can it be built?
Should it be built?
It's your job to find out before building.
Paying to have your product built is the wrong thing to do first. As a startup founder, you optimistically look into the future and convince others that your vision is inevitable. Unfortunately, that same trait allows you to fall into traps that can cost you frightening amounts of time and money. Life is short—let's do this smarter.
Schedule a 15-minute, free consultation call with me. We'll talk about your startup idea and progress to date. We can dive in on identifying the riskiest parts of your business and begin brainstorming experiments.
We'll cobble together something to start testing your core hypotheses. Our goal isn't to make something perfect—it's to learn as fast as possible. If no one ever uses your product, no one will care about how it was built or how it looks.
Tools we might use:
We'll launch an experiment and track the most important metrics to validate or invalidate a hypothesis. We can't fail because our goal isn't for the experiment to succeed, but for us to learn from the outcome.
The learning from one experiment will inform new ones. We'll repeat #2 and #3 until your business is de-risked enough that the next right thing to do is build a working version of the product.
I will build your MVP (minimum viable product) or help you outsource it. Variables here are my skillset in relation to project needs, your ability to contribute, timeline, budget, and scope.
Your first 15-minute consultation call is free. After that, my fee is $200 per hour and you only pay for time completed (in minutes). You are in control of how much or how little of my services to use. This is a collaboration that will require your input and direct action.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Do you want to help me test, or help me do?
Testing is doing—it's doing it right. Doing without testing is doing it wrong.
Why should I trust you to help me?
I've been a full-stack developer and designer for over 18 years. I've done everything from album artwork to environmental design for restaurants to coding HTML emails for Pinterest. As a Product Designer at Zapier, an integrations platform that connects over 500 SaaS apps, I learned how scrappy founders can use existing solutions to test experiences with paying customers. I have the skills and experience to help you move ahead with your startup. See my work.
Why do you charge hourly?
Do you want to spend $10-50k building something that attracts zero users? I don't. I'd much rather you spend as little as possible to learn if something isn't going to work so you have more budget remaning to figure out something better instead. I want to help your startup succeed, not extract money from you as you fall into the dead pool.
Different startups require different work to progress. That means we're working with unknown scope. The smartest approach is to keep things modular to only do work that moves your startup forward. It also puts you in control of spending and allows us to course correct at any moment.
I really want to build my MVP! Why shouldn't I?
If you were a developer and could build on your own product, that could be a reasonable strategy because it might be the fastest way to find out if anyone wants it. If you're hiring someone to build your product, then you aren't in that situation.
Your time and money is finite and the life of your startup depends on how many iteration cycles you can go through until you reach product/market fit. The pain in building something no one wants is proportional to the amount of energy you put into it. If you blow your budget on 1-2 iteration cycles, you are definitely not maximizing your chances, and it's going to hurt if you don't get lucky.
Lean Startup techniques, even when they sound completely logical, are difficult to put into practice. You are closest to your startup and getting an outside perspective can be exteremely valuable. Which hard questions are you not asking yourself?
Why are you offering this service?
When I get requests to "just build" an app without any initial testing in my consulting work, I want to help founders avoid the most likely outcome: building something not enough people want. I want to learn what makes early startups work as much as you do. Cobble is my experiment in attracting the clients I want to work with most by fully applying my expertise in an efficient way.