1. How entrepreneurs waste money on software
  2. Technical debt will run your business into the ground
  3. When is technical debt OK?
  4. You’re doing it wrong: Using “cheaper” developers
  5. You’re doing it wrong: Skimping on design
  6. You’re doing it wrong: Skimping on testing

This is the beginning of a series of posts to help you plug the leaks in your development budget. We’ll explore ways entrepreneurs and business owners waste money on software. We’ll also give you practical advice to avoid these mistakes and make the best use of your development dollars.

Why is software so expensive?

I get this question a lot. If you’re reading this, software development is probably one of the biggest expenses your company faces. To make things worse, development money is often wasted on things that don’t provide any benefit to your product or company. I’ve worked with many companies over the years and see the same mistakes over and over. The good news is, many of these mistakes are easy to remedy. You can minimize even the worst mistakes by being smart and proactive. I don’t have a magic elixir to make software development inexpensive – hiring trained professionals isn’t cheap in any industry – but I can help you get the best value for your money.

Who should read this?

The primary audience is entrepreneurs and small business owners, especially ones that rely on developers outside the company to create their software. My goal is to maximize your value working with freelancers and consultants. Think of this as a boot camp for tech leaders. This is also a great checklist for investors to make sure your technical team is looking after your funding.

Do only small companies waste money?

No, large companies are often the worst offenders but they may not feel the pain as quickly. The immediate effects of these mistakes can be masked by a larger budget and having someone in-house who understands your software. Unfortunately, this temporary mitigation often turns into a longterm catastrophe when those developers leave the company. Companies of all sizes will benefit by utilizing these tips.

But I’m non-technical

Non-technical does not mean lazy. The costs of software mistakes can run your business into the ground. Someone at your company needs to be on top of this. If you’re an entrepreneur without a technical founder, that person is you. I don’t understand exactly what my mechanic does to keep my car running, but I know enough to turn the ignition and make sure it runs like it’s supposed to.

What can I do?

Stay tuned. In the coming months I’ll point out some of the worst mistakes entrepreneurs and small companies make and tell you how to avoid them. Spend your development budget on the things that will grow your company.

Also published on Medium.