How do you figure out the viability of a project?

3 replies
First off, I know nothing about programming so the questions I ask are out of ignorance.

I've tested a dozen CRMs over the years and haven't been able to find what I want.

I was sketching out on paper some ideas for what I would want in a software and it seems (in my mind) that it would be simple.

I'm thinking I'd like to put the project out there on elance or odesk to get it designed but the problem is I don't know how viable it is.

Yes, it looks simple to me but I don't want to post a project and screw up my ratings if the project isn't even doable, or is way too costly, in the first place.

Can anyone point me towards resources that show what developers can do with the google suite of products (calendar, contacts, etc.).

Also, can anyone tell me the advantages of having a downloadable piece of software vs a software that is accessed online. For that matter, how is a software hosted online? Do I have to have my own server?

In any case, excuse the ignorance, thanks for the help.
#figure #project #viability
  • Profile picture of the author Michael Westgate
    I've done a few years of programming so will chip in with some points...

    I can think of two advantages of downloadable software vs software run online:
    1. A server to offer your product as a download should be cheaper than a server that runs the application (benefit to you)
    2. Downloaded software can work offline. A big plus point for your customers (I'm assuming here that the software can work offline therefore it makes sense to allow users to use it offline) because not everyone has an internet connection all the time

    Now if the application needs to syncronize with an online database, then to me that would suggest it should be an online app with the data stored online (a downloaded application with multiple users that needs to keep data in sync when going online will require a lot of work that isn't necessary with an online app).

    Whether or not you use your own server for users to download your application or to run it online is your choice or rather there are solutions that cover all options, which in turn have pros and cons. Ultimately the requirements of the project, budget and time constraints would give you potential solutions, of which we have none.

    For example, you can download software on a site like filehippo or on your own website.
    Depending in what language your application is written in, you can either develop and run it on your own linux/windows server or use something much more high tech. I would say the high tech option would be using something like to store your data and then the platform to create your application (that can use the data). A very simplified overview... See SalesForce on wikipedia and Software as a service on Wikipedia for more details. There are many SaaS platforms but the key principles are the same.

    I have worked with SalesForce and it is a more expensive option compared to hosting it yourself. It could easily be a few thousand more per year ballpark. But there would be a lot more advantages. Again, depends on requirements. You could then argue that you can bring all the advantages of a cloud based online solution to your own server but that will drastically increase those costs too.

    As for what Google can do, I would suggest searching on youtube for the product name and then either 'overview', 'developer', 'features', 'api', etc.

    I've never put a project online but would imagine there is a place for people to review proposals before committing to work? I've put together a number of proposals for web projects. If you would like to know anything else just ask.

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  • Profile picture of the author KirkMcD
    Nothing is as simple as the requester thinks it will be.
    When people ask for something, I usually say, "We can do anything you want. How much time and money do you have?"
    Time and money will be the two biggest constraints that will determine what can be done.

    Just post your project and see what kind of bids you get to determine whether or not you wish to continue.
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  • Profile picture of the author BenFromSoMo
    I just got done developing version 1 of my first self-produced app, and I really have to offer the advice of learning to do it yourself. In the long run it will pay off.

    Sometime in November I got the idea that I would stop dreaming and just learn the stuff because it will always be better to do it yourself.

    I had done static design, but:
    Two months ago, I had no idea how to write Ruby, what Ruby on Rails really was (Only knew it as a buzz word really), had no idea how to deal with databases, servers or anything else I needed.
    Now I have a good RoR site which uses a fair amount of JQuery, runs Postgresql and runs on Heroku and Amazon S3. These are all things I was not familiar with before.

    I literally just committed the code online for the first time and I know it is a bit buggy, so I don't want to put it up here, but if you are interested in learning more about the idea of just doing it yourself, you can PM me and I can show you what I have built and point you to everywhere I went to learn (fyi, is amazing)

    If you do any kind of blogging and want to try the next big thing, PM me.

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