So you hired your team. They are a bit funny looking over Zoom, but you vetted them and are confident that they are ready to develop your big idea. What do you do now and how do you get along with a bunch of weird techies? More importantly, what do you need to do to keep things on budget and on time?

Whether you are working with your own internal dev team, outsourced to an outside firm, or you just found “a dude” to write some code, your project will not be successful if you do not know how to…

Firing your dev team is tough, but not impossible.

A year ago you decided you needed to create some custom code. It might have been a new startup idea that you had been nursing for months, or perhaps it was a new initiative at your company, but now it is just a mess.

The external dev team you hired is just not cutting it. Missed deadlines, empty promises, bad communication, or just outright jerkiness (or all of the above). Regardless of the reason, all you know now is that you are ready to move on.

The burning question is: How? These are purveyors of black magic. You have no…

Whether you run a small landscape company or a big, fancy technology firm, you need to get some “business” done to serve your customers. Inventory, accounting, tracking this or that, reports (sooo many reports)… there is a lot of glue that makes your company run.

Practically speaking, that glue is probably some form of software. The problem is most leaders aren’t into technology and have no idea how to start. So how does that glue actually get built?

It often starts with a conversation like this:

Boss: “We need to find software that does X, Y, and Z. Find something…

You need an app! The question is… which kind?

For the last 8 years or so this has been a two-sided debate: Native vs Hybrid. Recently (i.e. 2ish years), though, this debate has heated up (I am playing it fast and loose with the term “heated up”).

Why? Because we have a newcomer on the scene: Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). They have been around for a few years, but they have been exploding recently. In fact, you probably are using some and don’t even realize it:

In 2020…

Why did someone screw a light bulb into the ground?

You need a developer. Whether you are a new founder with an exciting idea, or a seasoned CXO who wants to do something new in your company, you know you need a dev, but you have no idea how they do what they do.

Don’t worry, you are in good company.

Black magic… Alchemy…. Voodoo… the act of making a computer actually do something is rarely understood. All the client knows is that they need something built and that requires a developer to work their magic. Often this uncertainty leads to a bit of intimidation and therefore mistrust.

If you…


This is part 2 of my series on hiring a developer. Interested in part 1 on sweat equity? Check it out!

You are ready to start building! You have done the work. You have the pilot customers. You have the research.

You. Are. Ready!

It is an exciting time, but come to think of it you don’t know anything about building software except that pros cost money. …

What happens when devs work out.

It is your birthday. You just turned 24!

Your college buddy, Philbert (You met in a business class junior year. He smells a bit earthy, but he is wicked smart), has taken you out after work to celebrate a bit and to tell you about his new idea.

It is brilliant. Its like Tender and AirBnb had a baby named Uber who grew up and saved all of the whales. You just know it is it is going to make millions… no!… BILLIONS! Philbert, you, and a few choice craft beverages talk about it for hours. …

Ready for takeoff…

When you are starting up a new business one of the early BIG decisions you have to make is what kind of runway do you want to take off on. There are really two options which I call Lifestyle or Investment. Before we get too far let’s me define a bit more of what I mean.

What’s a Runway?

Basically a runway is the time frame in which your idea is funded. If you run out of runway before your idea is self-sufficient, then, continuing with the analogy, you crash.

The future of scooters? (Image: Hillary Werner)

The Best App Ever

Imagine this. An amazing new app called “Money Machine”. All you have to do is download my app and I will give you $2 every single time you use it. No catch. Just free money.

Pretty great right?

If I made that app I am pretty confident I would have millions of users within weeks. I would have articles on tech crunch/verge/hacker news, and adoration from all of my users. I would have the ultimate “user acquisition strategy” because everyone would want to signup and use my app.

Now, do you think I would have any trouble getting investors? No…

According to a study in 2018, 42% of startups fail because of “No Market Need.” Another way to say this is “Poor Market Fit” or “The startup didn’t know who their customer is or what they wanted”. That second one isn’t quite as catchy….

Regardless of how you say it, it boils down to the fact that the #1 reason that a startup fails is because they built something no one wanted. How do you fix that? Easy. Don’t build it…yet.

I am not saying that you should give up on your dreams and get back to your day job…

David Baxter

David is the founder of Big Pixel, a UX and development firm. He specializes in giving tough love to startups and businesses. Learn more at

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