The Objective Blog

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Accurate vs Expensive

June 18th, 2018 - by Brett Derricott - Salt Lake City, Utah

For over 15 years now we’ve been taking people’s ideas and turning them into reality. Designing and developing so many products has given us the opportunity to learn what it really takes to launch a product. That reality is often more than people expect.

When we meet with first-time entrepreneurs, it’s exciting to see the passion and energy they have for their startups. The optimism and confidence these entrepreneurs exude is a critical part of what it takes to brave the risks of starting a new venture! This optimism can, however, lead inexperienced entrepreneurs to underestimate the true cost of designing and developing a software product or app. It’s not just clients that fall victim to underestimating software projects, by the way!┬áIn our early years, we were often victims of overly-optimistic assumptions like most people are.

As soon as we have a fairly good understanding of what a potential client is hoping to create, we provide them with a rough cost and timeline estimate. When we present this estimate to a first-time entrepreneur, we almost always hear the same thing: “Wow, you guys are expensive!”

When we hear that, it’s tempting to think we need to find a way to be “cheaper”. We do want to offer the best possible service at the lowest possible price. If we can find a way to achieve a client’s goals for less money, we will always do that. We consider ourselves accountable to our clients and want to be good stewards of their money. We take this seriously and do all we can to be as lean and efficient as possible so that every client dollar goes as far as possible.

At some point, though, we can’t get much leaner. So if our estimates are frequently higher than what a potential client expects or hopes to hear, what might be the reasons for that?

  1. We’re trying to take advantage of the client and charge more than we should.
  2. We think the project is more complex than it really is, and we are therefore overestimating the cost.
  3. The project is more complex than the client thinks, and they are therefore underestimating the cost.