How to Pick a Rails Consultant
written by Steven on June 04, 2012
We get a lot of people who ask us to help them build a great app. Most of these folks don’t have the technical background to figure out who to spend their money with. When you are starting up you don’t have enough money to waste on a bad first effort—once your money has been spent, it’s gone forever. If you don’t have a solid, bug-free product at the end of development you’re doomed. We’ve taken over projects for lots of people who started with someone else, but they either couldn’t finish or gave them something so buggy/ugly/hard to use that their business was in jeopardy. So how do you choose wisely up front?
Ultimately, you have to pick the team that you think is most likely to succeed. I think the single clearest factor is to look at what they’ve done before. I’m not talking about what version 1 products they’ve made and launched for other people; almost anyone can get something out that looks decent. I’m talking about consulting companies that have their own products—there are very few of these.
Building an app that is a sustainable business, which will grow over time is very hard. Making things so good that people are happy to pay for them is also very hard. Many consulting companies have launched products of their own only to abandon them shortly thereafter. Why? Because it’s a lot harder than you think it is. Writing the code and doing a nice design are the easy parts. Building a profitable company is hard.
There are only a handful of consulting companies that have their own products, and of that handful the number of them who have products that are more than 1-2 years old is even smaller. My advice is to look at consulting companies that have successful products of their own and pick one of them to build your product. The list is short for a reason.