Starting a company is exciting, intimidating, and requires considerable thought about the desired marketplace. When the company, like 4DA, is a technology focused entity, additional concerns become a primary focus. Adding to the complexity is when the market is healthcare and its many concerns around HIPAA, PCI, and EHR concerns.
There are many variables that influence direction of a company, as well as the ability to enter a market rapidly. Is time to market crucial? How about funding for the tech skills needed to support the product vision? What are the skill sets that already exist on the team, and should they be utilized for the initial effort?
When I founded 4DA, my background was in technology. Having served as developer, architect and technology leader, I was comfortable with a full range of technologies and designs. However, it quickly became apparent that there were some skills I lacked – such as mobile app development. My initial app was amateur but functional. I spent months developing the Scriptio prototype which helped develop the backend. I chose the Nativescript-Vue framework because I enjoyed the language and it supported both Android and iOS. However, my artistic limitations became obvious and I had to admit nobody would want some thing so unprofessional looking. I also realized that once I started testing Android that not all hardware features would be supported.
Pulling on my experience, I deployed a AWS solution consisting of Postgres and Elastic Beanstalk with a Spring Boot application. This was put together over a weekend and its REST API allowed the Scriptio app to function enough that demonstrations could be made. By putting together something I knew would never be released to the public helped product validation. This allowed rapid development since our concern was more about “can we” rather than trying to enter the market.
So this takes us thru prototype stage, but what about getting your product ready for production and consumption by millions of users? Is it better to update the prototype to be “production ready” (whatever that means) in the interest of time, or is it better to build out something cleaner and more scalable ?