Writing a Great Software Development Contract, Part 1 – Overview & Principles

If you’ve never worked through contracting for custom software development services, it can be challenging. Your existing templates may be rooted in business relationships focused on purchasing tangible goods or pre-existing software. Custom software dev contracts have unique considerations and require a slight shift in mindset. I work with Atomic’s clients and our legal team […]

Why Milestone-Based Payments Are Never a Good Idea for Custom Software

During two separate meetings with potential new accounts this week, milestone-based payments (sometimes also called fixed-bid payments) came up in conversation. One potential customer was interested in working this way; the other one had just been burned by it. These conversations reminded me of the reasons milestone-based payments are a bad idea when you’re building […]

Should You Build or Buy New Software? – It Comes Down to Cost vs. Control

You need a serious piece of software to help run your business—an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. Maybe you’re replacing what you’ve got, or maybe you’re outgrowing your paper processes. You’ve looked around, but you don’t see anything for sale that exactly meets your needs. And now you’re considering building your own.

How to Set a Budget for Your Custom Software Project

Software is never done—there are always more features and functions you could add. So how much should you budget for a custom software project? Some companies keep throwing money at the project without any budget at all. But they can miss out on early client feedback and end up wasting money on the wrong things.

Is Your New Feature Worth It?

When you’ve created a successful application, it is tempting to relentlessly add new functionality. You think that if you stop building, you’ll fall behind. New features bring in new business. They show your existing users that you are still active and adding value. However, it’s important to step back and consider how new features will […]

There’s No Such Thing as a “Massive MVP.” Build Releases Instead!

The idea of a “massive MVP” is an oxymoron. How can a Minimum Viable Product end up taking a team of up to ten people a year and over a million dollars to build? And yet, I’ve seen a number of organizations—usually enterprise companies—building massive MVPs. Clearly, there’s confusion between how the term MVP is […]