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15 Software Development Challenges for Startup

15 Software Development Challenges for Startup

Are you going to start your startup, which is all about technical innovation? You will have to face many challenges.

These challenges can seem even more daunting when a non-technical person starts a tech startup. Market research and finding your niche are some of the beginner tasks. Software development challenges are one of the biggest obstacles you might encounter. This is a common stumbling block for many startups, even big names like Yahoo and Apple.

9 out of 10 startups fail despite a booming $2.8 trillion global startup economy. A startup founder must know how to manage the software development process effectively. This is not just about avoiding bugs or adding features to your innovation. The real thing is creating a product that truly resonates with your target audience and meets the needs of your target users.

Tech startups are growing more after Pandemic and it’s time to bring life to your startup by overcoming the common software development challenges for startup.

Tech Companies Growth After Pandemic
Source: https://startupgenome.com/article/the-state-of-the-global-startup-economy

A tech startup founder can find this guide useful as it will give a clear picture of the complexities of software product development and gain ideas on how to deal with them. You must be one of them, keep reading so that you can overcome these challenges and increase your chances of success with the right approach. 

Understanding Software Development Challenges

Software product development is a very critical process with a unique set of challenges. It goes beyond common problems like project delays and poor communication.

As a startup founder, you must know that these issues might not pose a significant threat to your brand and you have to focus on more severe concerns such as data security and creating hack-proof final software that will not have scalability issues. 

The other most important thing needed to develop a high-quality product in the tech industry is to choose the right tech stack. Now, this can lead to substantial costs in the future if not addressed during the development phase itself.

Overcoming these hurdles requires a clear understanding of the software development process by employing the right technology and carrying out with effective project management.

The Importance of a Clear Software Development Process

A solid software development strategy is the backbone of any thriving startup. Selecting the right software development process for startups is key to tackling the common challenges that many new ventures face. If you believe that bug-free coding is the real thing for your success, you are far from the reality. There is no doubt that coding is the very first step in the technical field but it should match with your vision. Coding by a skilled software developer who ensures that each line of code meets the technical specifications and aligns closely with the startup’s innovative goals matters a lot.

software development process

The ultimate quality of the software development is attained through adopting a right project management methodology for your startup. Those process will keep up towards the goal until the final product development is done.

The Top Most Software Development Challenges for Startup

Here’s what I’ve learned starting from the ideation to the successful launch. I was frustrated with using other tools that did not have a user-centric design. And, that’s exactly when I came up with the idea of creating a powerful solution to meet my requirement.

So, I started redefining the existing solution with much focus on the user interface and devised a design that perfectly matches the user goals and personas.

My learning can help you too, below I have listed out the problems in the order they will happen and have also provided the solutions to overcome those challenges.

1. Validating the Product and Idea

Some of the founder’s common questions were “I have an app idea, where do I start?“. When you have a startup idea in mind, the real challenges start from the validation of your product idea in the market.

It’s really tough to validate your idea without any startup products and wireframes. You should be clear and precise while defining what needs to be shared with the target audience. You may lack guidance on choosing the right features for target market users.

Poor validation or lack of market fit significantly increases the chances of your startup idea failing. Take a look at the following picture.

poor validation lead to startup failure

Sometimes you may wonder if it’s the right time to expose your unique idea. Will your competitors steal your ideas? and more such. Another challenge is to research and collect the right user’s feedback.

An example of a start-up failure like Quibi is good to learn and realize the significance of idea validation. This startup had content featuring stars and was also heavily funded but it shut down after just six months due to a lack of user adoption. It had invested heavily in a mobile-only streaming platform without fully validating the demand for short-form video streaming content.

Juicero also had the same problem with idea validation. It produced an expensive juicing machine that squeezed juices from pre-packaged juice bags. Consumers didn’t see the value in a high-priced device and the startup failed. 

Solution

You have to pick the important feature you are confident in and the one that solves a unique problem. Exposing your unique idea shouldn’t be a problem at all. People can copy your idea but not your vision. So, do not worry about exposing your USP.

For the initial market research, you do not need a visual presentation or a Minimum viable product development. Your main task is to prepare your queries and ask questions like how your solutions are now taken care of by your target users. 

Start by asking users how they are currently solving the problems you plan to address in the future. Then, ask if they would find it more convenient to adopt your solution if it could solve the same problems more efficiently. This will help you make the right decisions.

As startup founders, we can sometimes get overly excited and romanticize our ideas. This is a different issue that needs to be addressed at this stage. I’ll write a separate blog post about this later.

2. Building a Strong Development Team

Your startup executions completely depend on your performance as a team and the software developers are the real heroes. Many startup founders choose to outsource this specialized task of making software products to an expert industry leader like a well-known software development company. The reason is clear; they face challenges in finding the right team for in-house work.

You may have budget constraints and the standards of quality you want in the performance are also high. Many other factors are important when you finalize your software product development team. Make sure the development process is going as per the plan.

Solution

Check the reviews on Google about the performance of your development squad. You can negotiate with them to meet a mutual budget if the development costs are going high but never compromise on quality due to this. Ask them to deliver the product stage by stage.

3. Defining the Right Technology Stack

Not everyone knows about the trending technology stacks and the merits and demerits of choosing the trending technology stacks. You have to make sure they are using the same technology stack and not skipping when there are any difficulties.

Solution

Selection of the tech stack should be based on the product idea and target users while keeping the future plan of your startup product in mind. Choose the tech stack that best supports the devices your target users will use to access your product and ask them to keep all the software product development source files in closed private cloud access like GIT.

Choosing Right Tech Stack
Source: https://www.visartech.com/blog/backend-technologies-guide/

4. Finding the Core Features and Creating MVP

Founders who are not familiar with the concept of an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) may be unsure about how to approach it. They may struggle with choosing the right features for the MVP.

An MVP is a basic version of a product that is ready to be tested in the market before its official launch. The purpose of creating an MVP is to gauge user response and conduct market research.

Solution

The development process should begin with the MVP design, focusing on the essential features. It is crucial to delegate these features to a skilled MVP software development team for startups to ensure seamless execution and that the final results meet deadlines and requirements. The MVP should include the core feature that your product primarily addresses.

What is MVP?

5. Closed Group MVP Feedback Implementation

MVP will be the starting data point for startup founders to analyze the user base. It is critical to decide how to get the user feedback at this stage. You may not have access to the initial closed group community to guide you through this.

Moreover, you may have questions like how to handle the feedback online and how to make it accessible for the developers.

Solution

I would suggest that you need to start the process of collecting the initial close group members from the market research phase itself. Ask them to provide their email address along with your questionnaire.

Create a landing page, share it on social media and collect user email addresses from the contact form. You should have a minimum of 50 to 100 closed groups of MVP validation before your MVP is ready.

Customer Feedback Loop in MVP

Utilize platforms like BetaList to collect more users and use open-source tools like Trello for collecting user feedback so that those feedback will be accessible for developers.

6. Developing the First Beta

The challenges after MVP completion lead to the questions of how to incorporate the user feedback with MVP. How to prioritize them for the final beta? How to make sure user feedback is addressed?

Solution

Prioritize them based on two factors. The must-have ones are the feedback that is close to your USP (Unique Selling Point) and enhancing your idea. The second factor is the list of factors that make initial users feel confident about your idea.

The final list will be your product roadmap for the first beta version. Once the beta version is released, start contacting the MVP users by connecting them one by one and showing them how their feedback is implemented and make sure they are all happy with your first beta version.

7. Open Public Launch

How to do the first beta public launch successfully? How to gain the first 100 customers for your product? How to keep continuing the user feedback gathering? These are all the challenges you will have to face on your first beta public launch.

Solution

There are some online portals specially used for product launches such as producthunt. Get to know these kinds of communities and start building your networks as soon as you start developing your product.

Launch using producthunt

Be active on social media and other online communities. Keep collecting their emails in an email automation software such as MailChimp. Send bulk emails to all the users when you are ready for public launch. Start using online roadmap software such as the Aha roadmap tool.

7. Scaling the Product

Scaling in terms of new features and stability both are challenging tasks after your public beta launch. You should know what to execute first and how to prioritize the roadmaps.

Feedback will be flooding from different ranges of customers. You may never know how to address feedback along with issues and fixes that were raised along with the public launches.

Solution

Categorize the issues reported by customers based on severity. High-priority issues need to be addressed first. Whenever you release a new version make sure some high-priority issues are fixed, important feature requests are added and finally some trivial issues. Your server must be flexible and autoscaling when the user base increases.

This following video delves into the technical aspects of scaling your product infrastructure. However, as a founder, it’s important to understand how scaling works.

Apart from the challenges in the startup stages, some common challenges need to be attended to closely. Let us discuss them next.

Other Common Software Development Challenges

Overcoming software development roadblocks requires a combination of technical expertise and effective management with a clear understanding of the software development lifecycle. Robust software project management skills and adoption to new technologies are key to overcoming these challenges.

8. Adapting to Trends

The technology updates are constant. The most popular programming languages some years ago are history now. For example, Macromedia Flash was ruling rich internet applications once in web development and HTML5 has beaten the industry. So choosing the latest technologies based on the current trend is a big challenge for startups.

Solution

The tech stack should be the latest technology emerging between the last 3 to 4 years in the industry and compatible with all the devices your users are available. Make sure that the tech stack is easy for future upgrades with ease of finding developers online for that technology.

Also, founders should do extensive research on what are the tech stack adopted in the recent popular SaaS product in the marketing. In terms of methodologies, Agile is the most recommended one for startups.

9. Quality Control Challenges

Many startups fail because of poor-quality products because they have neglected quality control. They mostly rush in terms of time to market by compromising quality. Keeping up the quality assurance throughout the entire product development process is quite a challenging task.

Solutions

Found a strong quality control team that is aware of all the different types of testing like automated testing and regression testing. Define a testing process for them to collect all the issues and make an iterative development to produce a high-quality software product. This ensures that the software solution is secure and reliable.

Benefits of QA in Software Development
Source: https://www.apriorit.com/qa-blog/744-qa-importance-and-benefits

10. Coding Challenges

Making sure the code quality when there are a lot of software developers working together is very challenging. Keep a detailed roadmap with proper development planning and integrate every software developer with it. The smooth development of the product will be possible by identifying coding challenges smartly.

Solution

Selecting the right development team with hands-on experience in the selected programming language is the first step. With your initial technical discussion with the team try to learn and understand their quality control and code review process.

Get the details of what are all the third-party integrations needed to make final product development fit the requirement. It’s important to understand third-party elements, including their strength, how often they’re upgraded, and how they impact your ongoing expenses. Some elements may involve recurring costs.

11. Managing Change of Requests

Most of the time startups rush towards the most profitable customer requirements with the fear of losing potential customers. But it leads to a different challenge than working towards the business goals.

Solution

Design a strategy where you do not give your potential customers and keep the other process going in the same direction. Explore insights from different platforms and compare the change of requests from the potential customers will give you a gap study and try to satisfy all the customers from each channels.

12. Project Management Challenges

Project management is part of the development team and its processes. Follow the right standards consistently as your startup requires dynamic changes in the future. The other challenge is limited resources.

Solution

Keep a detailed discussion with the project managers about what methodologies they are going to use and how dynamic it is for future change of requests. Make sure each and every software developer in the team is aware of the selected methodologies.

13. Data Security Challenges

To understand the seriousness of the security issues, I have listed some of the real-time failures of startups and big companies that shut down their operations or paid a huge amount due to security breaches.

Yahoo Data Break

A data breach of Yahoo servers in August 2013 affected all three billion user accounts. Another breach in 2014 impacted over 500 million accounts. These incidents are among the largest ever discovered having personal details of users both encrypted and unencrypted. When Yahoo disclosed the breaches in 2016, they admitted knowing about the second intrusion since 2014.

HSBC Data Breach

Failure to adequately protect passwords and access controls securing personal data were reasons for the HSBC data breach. Security experts believe it was likely a credential-stuffing attack. This brute-force method involves cybercriminals using passwords leaked from other breaches with the assumption that users might reuse similar passwords.

Solution

Your product must have a hack-proof and firewall-enabled environment. One of the common mistakes that most startups make is making these security checks at the completion level. Doing this later stage brings more trouble to founders.

Make sure the security issues are handled from day one and if possible hire some cyber security companies for this task.

In case if you startup idea is about making an mobile application read our other article on mobile app security and privacy.

14. User Interface & Experience Challenges

Many founders are stuck on user interface designs. They may not be sure how to make it right for the target market users. Software developers know about the coding and UI designers may not fully understand your business idea and market fit.

Solution

Pick the right early users who know something about how the software works. Keep your communication with those people all the time. They are the right people who want your solution and know less about software. Their experiences matter when you redefine your startup idea.

15. Budget Based Challenges

Executing a startup idea with limited resources and budget is always quite a challenging task indeed. Keeping a record of your sunk cost calculations and keeping the development in the right direction is never an easy task at all.

Solution

It is good to prepare a convincing pitch deck for your startup and find angel investors for the initial development. There are so many online forums to support new businesses with a larger budget for fundraising. Keep yourself active on those forums. If you want to bootstrap your company, you should have microlevel fund calculations from day one.

If you watch this video by the technical expert Yegor Bugayenko, you’ll see how poor software development can lead to budget overruns and eventually cause your startup to fail.

Tech startups fail mostly because of software development incompetence

How We at AppKodes (a Top Software Development Company) Support Startups

AppKodes, an enterprise software development company in India, has worked with many startups with different technologies. Our development discussions include a highly skilled project manager and quality assurance manager with the support of a sales executive who will help you understand our expertise and decide your budget planning.

We understand the major role the software development lifecycle plays in the success of any startup. So we provide expertise and resources to help bring your idea to life by overcoming all the software development challenges discussed here in this blog.

Partnering with us will help you reduce the risk of any project delays and budget overruns. We have faced many product development challenges and helped many startups at various stages. Our effective reporting system will ensure your software development project is going in the right direction. We have different types of delivery plans and you can pick the one that suits you.

AppKodes reviews on Goodfirm

We are using flexible project management tools which will facilitate you to collaborate with our team and track the progress. We specialize in custom software development and Startup mobile app development with the facility to provide customizable products for any startup ideas.

We are ready to make your quick go-to-market product which ensures that every single task of your project idea will be executed with a professional touch.

Talk to our live sales representative now!

Founder of AppKodes. As a serial entrepreneur, I have successfully established five brands over the past 12 years. After creating a successful rank tracker for SEO agencies, I am currently dedicated to developing the world's first SEO Project Management software.

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