by Sharon Housley
The following are some of the more common mistakes made by ISVs and software developers…
1. Lack Of A Plan
Many software developers start out simply by writing an application to make their own lives easier, and often don’t really have a “plan” to turn that idea into a business. But they later decide to do just that, and like any other business, a plan is necessary in order for a software company to succeed. Create a development road-map, a marketing plan, and a business plan, all of which lay out goals, feature priorities, and a time frame for accomplishing specific parts of the plan.
2. Failure To Conduct Market Research
Market research should be conducted to determine the feasibility of an idea or product before you invest too much time in it. Failure to conduct adequate research could result in the development of a product for an already-saturated market, or the development of a really great tool that simply has no market.
3. Designing For Beauty Rather Than Functionality
An application should be designed with both aesthetics and functionality in mind. There is no doubt that first impressions matter, but functionality should not be sacrificed at the expense of aesthetics.
4. Failure To Listen To Market
What a software developer considers as important can often be very different from what the market thinks is important. Software developers need to listen to what features and functionality the users of the software want and need. Failure to listen to those market demands can often be the death knell of an application.
5. Undervaluing Marketing
Marketing is critical to the success of any software application. Simply believing that you have developed a great application will not generate sales or income. The application needs to be announced to the world and marketed so that potential customers are made aware of its existence. Do not make the mistake of skimping on marketing!
6. Failure To Thoroughly Test
Beta testing is critical. Application testing should not be rushed. There is nothing worse than a “buggy” application. Take time to thoroughly test your product — releasing an application before it’s ready for prime time can do great damage to the reputation of the product, as well as to the reputation of the company behind it. And once you get a reputation for releasing software that is unstable, it will be very difficult to entice others to try your products.
7. Failure To Plan
Failing to plan for the future, and writing the software in such a way that it can not be expanded or localized, can damage the future of a software application. Design the software for expansion, scalability, and for the ability to be localized.
8. Failure To Spend On Hosting
Website and file hosting are a necessity, and need to be reliable and stable. The speed of file downloads can also influence sales. Services that offer “Free” hosting may seem attractive on the surface, but at the end of the day, you get what you pay for. Adequate, stable, and dependable hosting is worth spending money for.