Development project

I’ve come to the end of a contract and rather than go find work somewhere else I have a software idea I’d like to spend six months developing. I think it’s a good idea and that if I had the time to set up my own company and develop a demonstration version, I might be able to get a major corporation to “buy out” the project - because to make it commercial I think it will require programming resources and financial muscle I simply don’t have.

I’d like to develop it in Xojo because I’m reasonably familiar now with Xojo and Xojo driven mySqL databases. But my worry is that a big corporation might be deterred because the demo version is not in C++ or whatever they might expect it to be in. Does that really matter if I annotate the programming thoroughly?

big companies often buy “ideas” and demos not “code”
if they like the idea then they may investigate further
but they will probably want to know what its written in at some point

been down this road more than once
if you get that far they’ll probably eventually have engineering staff ask a pile of questions too

It’s the functionality that counts. If you see a nice dinner table, you’re probably not asking with what kind of chisel/saw/hammer it is made. You ask how expensive it is and how it would fit in your room.
Same with software. Does it fill in a niche? Is it complex to operate? How many people will buy this? That are the questions that matter.

I don’t know for sure, but I think corporate IT departments may question any custom Windows app that does not use MS tools.

Less sure about how it would be the Mac side of things.

If you want someone to “buy out” the project and take over development, they will be very interested in the tools used thus far.

I can speak from experience that the language itself does not fundamentally matter to the end customer, but if the product is 100% reliable and stable, the only restriction I’ve ever been with third-party plugins that some customers simply refuse to have not its a open source and so could the idea of them leave you with problems in the future.

Right. But he’s not selling a product, he wants to sell the idea, and after six months development, I don’t think any buyer would want to start from scratch if they didn’t have to. So in this case, the language could make a difference.

Yep, this is the only scenario I can think of where the dev language would have an impact. Or if they wanted to maintain and add to the features of the product themselves, and probably wouldn’t be familiar with Xojo. As user-hostile as MS VS products are, they’re still more widely used.

Personally, I would look at this differently then decide if Xojo is the right tool for your project.

First, if you have an idea and no way to actually launch a product why do you need to spend six months developing it? If it is taking that long then it sounds like you will have a fully functioning product at the end of the six months, why not try to take it to market? There is a lot that can be done on the internet to market something for free or very little cost. Try Google AdWords and sign up for an account, you can see what kind of traffic you can generate with specific key words prior to developing or launching an ad campaign, or even developing the product. The nice thing is you can set up a small budget where it just turns off when your budget is met. During this marketing phase it’s possible that is when you will expose yourself to a company that wants to acquire the product or company entirely.

Your product and idea will be worth much more if you can prove it in the market place with actual paying customers. This is especially true if you can go into a market and disrupt it’s current players. Don’t underestimate the power of a nimble small guy going into a market, doing some disruption then getting acquired by the bigger guy so they can maintain their distribution and cost structure. Many acquisitions happen this way, both whole companies and products. How about they buy the product and contract with you to maintain it? Then you’ll accomplish two goals!

If your comfortable with Xojo, develop in Xojo and forget trying to figure out what someone might want if they acquire you, they may be acquiring for reasons other than what language it was developed in. Let’s face it, almost anything that can be done in Xojo can be done in other tools and vice versa.

Good Luck.

Thank you for those comments, which I’ll bear in mind.

If anyone is interested, the reason for my current strategy is partly that I’m over 60 and I don’t have the time to spend several years taking the project to market in a small way in the hope that it will be taken over eventually. Its a product for a market that few people, if any, realise is there. I understand that end users don’t care what language an application is written in, so long as it works. However, the market I’m looking at is an international one and thorough development of this application needs far more resources than I can bring to bear. It needs a programming team. I’m not going to go to any big corporation with just an idea since they’ll simply steal the idea and develop it themselves.

I can just about afford the time to spend 6-8 months on the idea without any income so that I have rather more than just an idea to present, although it’s true that I could have a good enough product in that timeframe to market in a small way, and maybe that would help. Although I like Xojo, I don’t see big corporations likely to use this language at the moment for developing a major product involving a team of programmers. On balance, rather than waste time getting up to speed with languages I haven’t looked at for several years, I think I’ll do it in Xojo and worry about possibly having to translate the routines into a different language if and when I get to that bridge. Many thanks.

Put some serious effort in a functional design. Look at it from an angle that somebody else, an architect, engineer or IT consultant can understand what your project tries to deliver. Sketch the screens, look at design and ease-of-use. If that functional design is satisfactory, start with a technical design. Platform, database, connectivity, security, handling of concurrent users, API’s, external frameworks etc.

Drill down to the parts your Xojo app would need. Constants, methods, screens.

Then look at the planning. Divide your project in logical stages. Try to measure what resources your project would need. How many hours coding? 100, 1000, 5000? I have about 220 * 8 hours available in a year. Try to look ahead for things like quality assurance, testing, documentation, training.

Really, I can’t stress that enough, really think it over.

Do not start off your ‘idea-of-the-century’ with the design of a database and a blank form.