This is a great article on how to build ‘enterprise level apps on a bootstrap budget.. written by someone who has done it himself!
What does it actually cost?
When we built DropSend, it was our first enterprise level web app and I had no way to predict how much it would cost to build. Frustratingly, no one would share their figures with me either. So we had to learn the hard way. Yuck.
In order to help you avoid this pain, I’m going to walk you through, step-by-step, the costs involved in building an enterprise web app, on a budget. I’m going to be 100% honest about what we spent so you’ll have a good idea of what kind of budget you’ll need to set.
What’s the big deal?
Why is it only recently that small companies (Carson Systems is only two full time employees and a set of 3 part-time freelancers) are able to build large scale web apps? Here’s why:
Broadband is widespread so your potential audience is larger
- Average people are comfortable with web apps (Gmail, Online banking, etc)
- Hardware is dirt cheap
- Open source platforms are virtually free
Definition of the terms
As I’m talking about "Building enterprise web apps on a budget", I need to define two things:
"Enterprise" – This is debatable, but I’d define it as a mass market product for 1,000+ users
- "On a budget" – Under £30,000
I’ve heard some comments about my £30K figure not being "on a budget". Please keep in mind that this article is aimed at small companies, not freelancers. Most small companies will be able to allocate £30K, over a period of time. It may be possible to bring an enterprise web app to market for less than this, but it will probably be lacking in quality.