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In my time as a freelance iOS programmer I've come across two trends, true for both iPad and iPhone projects. Firstly there is a lot of contract work for apps that are preparing to look for funding and do not necessarily go into Apple's App Store at the end of the development cycle. Secondly there is a lot of contract work rescuing projects that begun life outsourced to off shore developers. Although Playfolly, a video social network mobile app, eventually has made it to the Appstore both of these are true for the work I did for them (see last year's Two Factor Authentication iOS Consulting for another example).

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App Prototype Developer

Going from prototype to market is a pain.

This article is aimed at product owners, project managers, budgets holders and business executives. Technical people are probably going to nod and repeat "Yes, I know" as they read it.

Whenever the intended audience want to create a large amount of emotional turmoil in the hearts and minds of technical folk they ask questions such like :

"Why is it that a prototype can be produced quickly and the first release to market takes exponentially more time?"

"Surely a good portion of the work was achieved creating the prototype?"


These sorts of questions are asked all the time and this thinking is quite often the seeds of later unhappiness. A clear majority of the time the prototype is used to create the first version, whether it is a minimum viable product (MVP) or not. Money and emotional investment has been spent creating a prototype and apparently an efficiency can be realised by using it as the start point for the next phase.

I propose the chances of easier early, and also sustained, success can be promoted instead by engaging with the exact opposite idea. Once the decision has been made to move forward throw the prototype away and create the first production version from scratch.

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