Some interesting articles – I’ve had a lot of experience using externl agencies to develop apps , this articles outlines why that model doesn’t often lead to a great product:
The End of Client Services
…it’s very hard for a design studio to create digital products on a contract basis because the messy timelines and continual course corrections that are required to launch a truly effective software product are anathema to the way clients like to be billed. No matter what a design studio promises, it’s very likely that in its first iteration a digital product will take longer to complete, will cost more, and will be less effective than originally promised. The most critical time for designers to be involved in a digital product is all the time, but it’s perhaps most important for them to stick around after the launch, when they can see how a real user base is using it, and then amend, refine, revise and evolve it. But it’s at just about this time that most studios are preparing invoices and shuffling their staff on to other clients’ projects. – Khoi Vihn
And this article is a call out to designers to ditch their own studio or freelance dreams in favour of joining (or starting) a start-up in this new app landscape:
Dear Graphic and Web Designers, please understand that there are greater opportunities available to you.
The internet, at this time in history, is the greatest client assignment of all time. The Western world is porting itself over to the web in mind and deed and is looking to make itself comfortable and productive. It’s every person in the world, connected to every other person in the world, and no one fully understands how to make best use of this new reality because no one has seen anything like it before. The internet wants to hire you to build stuff for it because its trying to figure out what it can do. It’s offering you a blank check and asking you to come up with something fascinating and useful that it can embrace en masse, to the benefit of everyone.
Your press checks are bullshit
Your personal logo is bullshit
Your employer is bullshit
Your studio is bullshit
I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t start your own company. I just think that for a lot of designers, from what I’ve seen, this is jumping the gun. Unless you have a friend who is an engineer, it is going to be difficult for you to find someone of quality to build something for you, the professional landscape for those people is just too competitive right now for much of that. But I guarantee you’ll develop relationships with engineers if you go work at a startup, and from working relationships good conversations brew and companies are born.