Why it is never a good idea to use low cost app development to build your brilliant idea

In South Africa, we have an Afrikaans saying that ‘goedkoop koop is duur koop’ simply, it means that saving money, can cost you money. Even better, one could say don’t be cheap.

When building your dream into an app, an IoT product or even a website or web portal, who you work with and how you work together is essential to the success of the app and product development strategy and success of your product. For many, the cost saving of their app and product development is enticing, but I would advise cautious in outsourcing anything, but the most basic app and product development to a company that is too far removed from the reality you are developing in. App and product development is a complex process and anything more then a few basic webpages or building blocks can go wrong and be costly if handled by ill equipped outsourced companies.

Polymorph has not outsourced code to companies outside of South Africa and the lessons learnt are in working with code built by companies outsourced to other countries.

Language | Time | Culture

Outsourcing your app and product development to countries that are divorced from your language, cultural, and work ethic can cause confusion between client and app development company, as well as matching user needs to client’s product.

An agreement on terms is essential, not only within the teams related to technical terms during app and product development, but also related to the user. Language matters is regards to requesting an action from a user and does the tone of the app work with brand.

Platform selection

Asking why the type of platform is chosen and for what reason must be investigated often and comprehensively. Many times, products are built because it is believed that it be monetised faster if it is developed for iOS, or that the most common mobile phone used is Apple, but this must be researched and checked.

Mobile is not a mini website

Mobile is completely different from a website. It is different in terms of its functionality, screen size and scope. Many people think that an app is a smaller version of the website, this could not be further from the truth. If you design your app as a mini website, the chances that Apple will reject the app are high, because an app is not a website.

The value of an app is that it is accessible on the go, it should be intuitive, touch sensitive, they take advantage of the devices hardware and information and they are customisable. Each app we develop is aimed at creating a new and user delighting experience.

What is your revenue generation plan?

For some it will be apparent from the get go, for example a banking app is an additional service to assist clients and should reap it’s monetary benefits in that way. However a fitness or health add might be a free to download app with some basic exercises, but as you up your training the app charges for new exercises.

This should not only be thought of continuously through app and product development, but also through the entire lifecycle of the app.

Test more often and test with fresh eyes

To gain a new perspective, one of the best ways to get feedback on your app or product is to place it in front of fresh eyes. At Polymorph, we recommend testing often with internal employees and just as often with users who have never engaged with the product.

Why? The reason is that one cannot see the wood for the trees. Think about it this way, you have been living, eating, and sleeping this product, you may have lost objectivity and are now focused on creating the best product you can. In that mindset, it is challenging to be as critical as one needs to to ensure success.

It is a worthwhile investment and will save you money in the long run when your app is something that delights instead of frustrates your user.


I cannot emphasize this enough. Your marketing budget should be as high as your development budget. Or you should have a definite plan for how to reach your clients. Do not underestimate this. Do not leave it to the month before. Make sure that your market is ready and waiting for your product launch!

In summary,

  1. invest your capital in a solid team to develop your app or product,
  2. select the right platform,
  3. Mobile  is not a mini website,
  4. know how you will generate revenue,
  5. test properly, and
  6. get a handle on marketing early

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