Facing Knowledge Asymmetry & Finding a Software Consultant

When looking for software consulting services, people unfamiliar with development often suffer from knowledge asymmetry—the situation where one party knows far more about the topic at hand than the other.

This situation causes feelings of uncertainty and fear of associated with caveat emptor (buyer beware). And the result can be a painful relationship that often has one side or the other feeling like they’re on the defensive.

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Creating Strong, Successful IoT Products with Holistic Development

Internet of Things devices are valuable because they bring together physical objects, apps, and the cloud. That’s also why they’re extremely difficult to build successfully. All the different pieces of an IoT system have to work seamlessly together, and they have to provide a smooth, successful user experience.

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The True Cost of Hiring Your Own Developers

I recently caught up with a technology entrepreneur whose startup had succeeded in creating innovative technology. He was justly proud of what they achieved, and he’s now partnered with a much larger company to sell and support their product all over the world. One important thing he learned in their three-year run? Building a software team is not what he’s good at. Read more on The True Cost of Hiring Your Own Developers…

When to Call in the Consultants

The decision to contract with a software consulting team is an important one. Bringing in a consulting team like Atomic Object when you don’t need one can be a costly capital mistake. Understanding when to bring that team in and when to let them go is equally important. I’ve recently been using an analogy that I find especially effective in helping potential clients make that call.
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When Should a Startup Hire a Software Consultant?

Atomic Object works with all sorts of companies, from technical startups to established traditional businesses to Fortune 500 companies. We engage each company differently, trying to structure the engagement to best meet the needs of the client.

Startups, in particular, have a number of cost/benefit questions to consider before engaging a consultancy like ours. Depending on the situation, working with a consultancy can be a smart move or a bad fit. Read more on When Should a Startup Hire a Software Consultant?…

Why Hire a Software Consultancy?

As any product company knows, software development can be difficult to wrangle. Huge buckets of features, short timelines, and fierce marketplace competition can make it a major challenge to handle a release in-house, prompting many companies to reach out to software consultancies for help. 

Sometimes, this call for help comes a little too late, with only the threat of missing a release convincing a company to justify the cost of outsourcing the work. In this post, I’ll explain why it’s worth your while to work with a software consultancy right from the start.
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Better Ideas & Better Team Fit with Pre-Project Consulting

Pre-project consulting. Sounds expensive, doesn’t it. Well… it is. But your project is worth the time investment, and Atomic is willing to pick up the consulting tab.

Getting to Know You & Your Project

When discussing your project with Atomic, you’ll meet with members of our Upfront Team — technical professionals with years of real project experience.

We’ll kick off pre-project consulting with a conversation that’s geared towards getting to know each other. We want to understand what your company does, your role in the organization, and the challenges you are facing. We also want you to be comfortable with Atomic and the our way of doing things. Read more on Better Ideas & Better Team Fit with Pre-Project Consulting…

3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Ask Us to Sign your NDA

Nondisclosure agreements are legal contracts that limit one or both parties from disclosing information covered by the NDA. They can be used to protect trade secrets, business plans, customer lists, sources — in short, pretty much any aspect of business. They tend to be short and are readily understandable by non-lawyers.

You may be surprised to find that Atomic Object usually doesn’t sign NDAs at the first stage of a potential relationship. We don’t do this entirely from our self-interest, we just think that you don’t really need one, and you’re better off without one. Read more on 3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Ask Us to Sign your NDA…

To In-source or to Out-source? 9 Questions to Ask Potential Teams

This post is revised and republished from Carl’s blog at Crain’s Detroit Business.

How should you build your next innovative product or service? One major consideration is whether to do the work inside your company or outsource it. I’ve identified some key dimensions of this problem to help you think through your choice. I’m assuming you have a project large enough to need at least a small team of people, that the stakes are high for you and your company, that time-to-market matters, but is not the overriding factor and that your company is large enough to have employees to consider using. Read more on To In-source or to Out-source? 9 Questions to Ask Potential Teams…

Beyond Domain Experience – 3 Qualities of Great Software Teams

Surgeon Simulator 2013

Let’s look at a hypothetical situation. You have a medical issue requiring surgery. While there are many surgeons that could get the job done, each one has their own level of ability and skill. Through their choices, the surgeon will affect overall “quality” of the operation — which procedure is used, cosmetic results, general odds of success, and how any unforeseen complications will be dealt with. The surgeon won’t have a complete picture of the situation until the operation is underway, and even then surprises are possible, so overall skill is essential.

If faced with this choice, how do you determine which surgeon to hire? It’s not easy when risks are (potentially) high and your technical understanding of the field is low. Your choice could have a potentially dramatic effect on the outcome, and there’s no going back.

I imagine that this is very similar to how it feels to be tasked with selecting a firm to develop custom software for your business.

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