Development 101: What You Need to Know Even If You’re Not a Developer

We’re going back to the basics.

If you’re a developer, or even if you’re not, there are essential, foundational issues that need to be handled and planned for before you begin a development project.

big picture

Don’t focus on the big picture (well, maybe a little).

Now let me be clear. The big picture is important. Most projects start out because of a big picture idea, such as what you want to create, why you want to create it, or how you want the app to function.

But the danger of focusing on the big picture is that you miss the vital details of what makes the entire process work. Basically, you have an idea, but no plan on how to execute the idea.

Here are a few things that tend to get looked over in the big picture:

  • Sales – How will you generate revenue from your idea? This is a full time job.
  • Marketing – How will you market your product? Also a full time job.
  • Insurance – How much do you need? What happens if…?

Remember, you’re not just building an app, you’re building a business. A business that (hopefully!) won’t stay in beta forever and will actually bring in money. So the details matter. Every single one of them.



Upkeep. Sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it?

Well, it is.

As much as we would all like to create that perfect app that doesn’t need any attention, that’s just not realistic. There will always be something to fix, something to add, and something wrong with what you create.

There are always new features to add, a new bug that has popped up, or something that stopped working the way it was supposed to when you launched.

To account for all of these mishaps (and they will happen), you need to create a plan for handling them, including things like budget and process.

Speaking of money…


Do you know how much things cost?

Simple question, right?

But when you actually break everything down, do you know exactly how much you’re spending and where your money (or your client’s money) is going?

A lot of companies and developers outsource. However, you can just outsource your project and be done with it. There is a lot of work to be done on both sides, including having someone stateside who can maintain, upgrade, and even sell the product.

information architect

Seem like a lot to consider?

Well, it is.

That is why you need an Information Architect: someone who knows what questions to ask, what needs to get done, and who can scope your project to save you a ton of hassle in the long run.

Much like an architect lays out plans for a building project, information architects give you a comprehensive layout of your project on the forefront before anything gets built. From beginning to end, an information architect helps you build a complete scope of work. A scope that has all options considered, all issues addressed, and all steps accounted for.

Believe me, you’ll be glad you have everything laid out on the front end of your project.

Tune in this week to learn how to determine what you’re actually building and why projects often fail.

Jason Long

Jason Long is the founder and CEO of Brainleaf and an Information Architect and Managing Partner at CodeWright. A self-professed serial entrepreneur, he is always interested in new businesses, new ideas, and new ways to change the world. He has over 15 years of experience in design and development and has served in a variety of different roles ranging from designer to Information Architect to CEO. He spends most of his time focusing on the build and development of new ventures while trying to travel the world.