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How to form a team to develop your mobile app

If you’re a Product Manager, chances are you have lots of ideas, and your problem may be deciding on which one to execute against. If you’re interested in getting your name more out into the field and keeping your skillset relevant for today’s world, you may have considered making your own mobile app. Once you have your idea, you’ve done your market research, and you’re 100% on board to execute the project, you’ll need a team. What are your skills? Are you a technical Product Manager who can code? Or are you a visual Product Manager? Or an MVP Product Manager? What are your skills and where are you lacking? Projects are learning experiences, but I would advise to fill in your skillset gaps with others who excel in your areas of weakness… like the book First Break All the Rules advises: focus on your strengths and let others fill in your weaknesses.

For this project, I decided that I wanted to staff it with 2 developers so they could ping ideas back and forth to fill each other’s knowledge gaps; 1 designer; and one additional Product Manager/partner with whom I could converse to keep me level headed throughout the project. I know that with my projects, I tend to adopt them as children and get invested in them. With another Product Manager with whom I can converse, it will keep my ideas and mind in check. Now we are a team of 4 main producers on this project, and we have data miners in the Philippines gathering data for the app’s database.

Nothing really comes for free, so how do you structure payment terms so that your team is properly incentivized to do amazing things? Equity usually helps, but the plan here isn’t to build a company in hopes to one day go public or sell. Instead, we can structure based on revenue: X person gets Y% of app revenue over a 6 month period after release on a monthly basis, which changes if we schedule release 2 to be within the 6 month period. I chose this route and negotiated with each person based on time commitment and dollars (if any) invested into the project. If anyone was hesitant on this pay structure, I ascertained if it’s a financial issue or an issue of not believing in the potential success of the project. Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on how you view it), for all circumstances, the issue was a personal financial one and not a lack of belief in the project.

Now we have a team, we have contracts, and we’re ready to get started.  Stay updated with the blog to keep track of our progress, issues, and success stories for this project.

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