inaka

Latest blog entries

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Erlang and Elixir Factory Lite B.A.

A brief introduction about what was the Erlang Factory Conference in Buenos Aires for some Inaka team members

Jul 07 2017 : Euen Lopez

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The Art of Writing a Blogpost

The Art of Writing a Blogpost

Apr 11 2017 : Matias Vera

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SpellingCI: No more spelling mistakes in your markdown flies!

Feb 14 2017 : Felipe Ripoll

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Fast reverse geocoding with offline-geocoder

Do you need a blazing fast reverse geocoder? Enter offline-geocoder!

Jan 18 2017 : Roberto Romero

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Using Jayme to connect to the new MongooseIM REST services

MongooseIM has RESTful services!! Here I show how you can use them in an iOS application.

Dec 13 2016 : Sergio Abraham

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20 Questions, or Maybe a Few More

20 Questions, or Maybe a Few More

Nov 16 2016 : Stephanie Goldner

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The Power of Meeting People

Because conferences and meetups are not just about the technical stuff.

Nov 01 2016 : Pablo Villar

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Finding the right partner for your app build

Sharing some light on how it is to partner with us.

Oct 27 2016 : Inaka

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Just Play my Sound

How to easily play a sound in Android

Oct 25 2016 : Giaquinta Emiliano

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Opening our Guidelines to the World

We're publishing our work guidelines for the world to see.

Oct 13 2016 : Brujo Benavides

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Using NIFs: the easy way

Using niffy to simplify working with NIFs on Erlang

Oct 05 2016 : Hernan Rivas Acosta

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Function Naming In Swift 3

How to write clear function signatures, yet expressive, while following Swift 3 API design guidelines.

Sep 16 2016 : Pablo Villar

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Jenkins automated tests for Rails

How to automatically trigger rails tests with a Jenkins job

Sep 14 2016 : Demian Sciessere

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Erlang REST Server Stack

A description of our usual stack for building REST servers in Erlang

Sep 06 2016 : Brujo Benavides

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Replacing JSON when talking to Erlang

Using Erlang's External Term Format

Aug 17 2016 : Hernan Rivas Acosta

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Gadget + Lewis = Android Lint CI

Integrating our Android linter with Github's pull requests

Aug 04 2016 : Fernando Ramirez and Euen Lopez

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Passwordless login with phoenix

Introducing how to implement passwordless login with phoenix framework

Jul 27 2016 : Thiago Borges

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Beam Olympics

Our newest game to test your Beam Skills

Jul 14 2016 : Brujo Benavides

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Otec

Three Open Source Projects, one App

Jun 28 2016 : Andrés Gerace

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CredoCI

Running credo checks for elixir code on your github pull requests

Jun 16 2016 : Alejandro Mataloni

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See all Inaka's blog posts >>

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5 Critical Lessons of App Building

Stephanie Goldner wrote this on February 29, 2016 under android, app-development, entrepreneur, founders, ios, mobile .

Here at Inaka we’re in the business of making apps. While most may think that the meat of building an app is in the development, we’ve found that a large part of a successful project is the work done up front. Today we’d like to share a little bit of what we’ve learned with our clients.

1. An idea is not a product.

There is one thing all those who succeeded in the app game will tell you: while the product is born from THE IDEA, there are a lot of things that have to happen before said idea can become a full fledged product. Arguably the most important of them is having an outline that defines your product in detail before development has even started. This is not to say that plans won’t change once development has begun, but it needs to be defined up front. There will be significantly less errors and misunderstandings if you have a detailed blueprint in place right from the beginning.

There are a few simple questions you could begin with when you are sketching your product outline, start here and then drill deeper:

  • I want to build the next whatsapp - but what is the unique feature of my app? What differentiates my product from others (and which are these others)?
  • What features do I want, and what do I not want? For example, if you want users to be able to share their ideas, what form will the content be in? Will it be text/ image/ video? Will it be visible to all users or just to people who are connected?
  • Do I want users to connect with friends in the app? There are different ways of doing this - the most simple one is to compare users’ phone contacts, but your developers will need to know exactly what your preferred method is in order to deliver exactly what you want.
  • How many screens will my app have?
  • Can I produce a complete list of ALL the features and functionalities?

Depending on how much help you need, there are several companies that specialize in product definition and strategy to get you to the point where you need to be before we can take the shovels to the ground.

2. An app is an investment...

… and similar to any investment, you get out of it what you put into it. This doesn’t solely mean monetarily. It will also mean a lot of time, effort and love. Our most successful clients are those who live and breathe the business of their app. They understand that a successful app also needs a solid marketing and sales strategy.

You will need to invest time and money in user generation. You’d be surprised how many times people have a great great idea which is developed into a beautiful app - which no one downloads from the store. The client says: “people don’t like my app”, when the real problem is “people don’t even know that your app exists”. We can build you the best, most solid app in the world but ultimately the success of that app will be based on the work you do once it has been built.

3. Quality matters.

There is certainly not a lack of developers in this day and age. Everyone from the Silicon Valley hot shot to your neighbor’s 17 year old is pumping apps into the app store, but that being said, remember point #2: an app is an investment! If you don’t know about app development your best shot is to hire a firm you can trust or you might end up paying a lot more later than you did up front. What happens a lot is you will get a nice-looking app which crashes as soon as people start using it - or as soon as you get more than two users/day. We’ve had to fix quite a few of these. So remember to do your research properly when it comes to choosing who develops your app, and remember that ‘cheapest’ does not mean ‘best’.

To brag a little, Inaka’s sweet spot is that we provide a more reasonable cost than a Silicon Valley hot shot - but with the quality of a top global development firm. We have the client portfolio to prove it, and we’re happy to put you in touch with any of our clients for references.

4. Communication is Key.

This is a FUNDAMENTAL rule inside our organization which we came by the hard way. It also applies to communication with our clients. The truth is, unless you are 100% sure what you want from the get go, plan on making no changes, and have never heard of agile development then you need SOLID communication with the dev team you are working with. Building a product is like building a work of art. It’s very difficult to fully determine what it will look like at the outset, and the best apps are those that are molded to perfection throughout the process. Without communication and client involvement, this essential piece is lost. Just handing out the plan and waiting to get the final product in X days is not enough, you will need to keep in touch with your dev team. We've discovered that the best way to keep client-dev team communication flowing is to work around the client’s schedule and provide a quick and comprehensive update once or twice a week. Event if the client is not particularly technical, we want to keep them involved as much as possible - so we speak ‘human’ and lay off the technical jargon whenever we can.

5. You don’t want a YES man, you want an advisor.

Sometimes that means disagreement and conflict, but don’t let that get to you - it’s all part of the ride. You might feel more comfortable with a team that takes “the client is always right” approach, but in the end, if you’re taking a wrong turn, you are better off knowing.

On our part, we try our best to advise our clients on their decisions and to provide enough information for them to make an educated decision on all things related to the development of their app.

In the end, building an app may be a “get rich quick” strategy for some, but it certainly is not to be taken lightly. It should be approached the same way as, and taken as seriously as any other business venture. As with any investment, you are facing the possibility of failure, but then again isn’t that what makes being an entrepreneur so exciting?

We've shared a bit of our experience above, and we will try to delve deeper on some of these topics over the next few posts. In the meantime, if you have any specific questions, want to propose a topic, or have an app to build, give us a shout at: hello@inaka.net

PS: We’ll be touring the States in March and April, first stop is a talk at the Sqor Sports’ office in San Francisco on 9 March: ‘From idea to app development: a practical guide for founders’. Sqor Sports will also do an appearance, talk about their growth pains and answer your questions. If you’re in the area join us!