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Build vs. Buy

Why should we pay for your service instead of just doing this ourselves?

Pat Wilson, CEO

Like I talked about in my last blog, Facebook is not something you can afford to ignore. With 735 million referrals getting sent to games alone every day you want to know, “How can we get our app as many of those users as possible?” So if you can’t ignore Facebook, you need a solution in order to seize the opportunity.

I get the question all the time, “Why should we pay for your service instead of just doing this ourselves?” and it’s one of my favorite questions to answer.

The short answer is: money. More revenue, less overhead…profit.

Bold claim, for a short answer, so let’s move on to the long answer!

Ask Some Questions

As an app developer, your biggest challenge is to build and monetize an app, and that’s a pretty huge challenge. Building apps is your business, that’s why you use tools that make your life easier. These are things like: TestFlight for beta deploys, ad providers to both get new users and monetize existing users, metrics services, app frameworks or game engines like Unity or Corona. These tools are critical to efficiently building apps, but building them is way outside the scope of your business. It takes time away from your product, and time is money.

Does your company have the domain knowledge required to build a solution that will work, scale, and is engineered to be expanded into what you need next? Knowledge is not cheap, it takes time to develop, and even more time to maintain. You can buy it by hiring, but that’s still money.

Your solution needs constant attention: security updates, server scaling, bug fixes, new features. It needs someone ready to deal with emergency situations, and an emergency situation is more than just “something broke.” When you make a big marketing push and/or get featured, you get a huge spike in users. When you’re talking about a solution for metrics and user acquisition…you can’t afford to be unprepared to instantly scale so you can capitalize on that opportunity. Maintenance is serious, it is a real concern, and it’s real money.

Fully-Loaded Cost

So you’ll notice I keep saying “money” and that’s not just to deliver on my promise to address my “short answer” from above, it’s also because you need to think about the fully-loaded cost of building your own solution.

It’s not just the time to develop the solution, the knowledge required to develop the right solution, or the maintenance. It’s hosting time, it’s the time that other members of the development team sit idle waiting for the solution, the hosting cost, the maintenance cost, the cost of the time of your marketing/user-acquisition people are wasting because they don’t have good tools.

Would you hire an employee without considering FICA, health-care, other benefits, training time? I would hope not, so why do so many people think-short the cost of building instead of buying?

The Final Nail: Opportunity Cost

There’s another cost: opportunity cost. All of the time and money considered in that “fully-loaded cost” should be billed-double because all of that time and money could be spent making your product better. You buy a solution instead of building it because it makes you more money.


P.S. If you need a solution for Facebook integration, call us.