Question: We’re planning on launching a penny auction project and are prepared for a serious investment, would it be wiser to invest in creating our own script or seeking a partner in a company such as yours? What would be the general risks?
This is a decision that should be carefully analyzed and to help the process we’ll try to draw up some important facts to consider.
The two main approaches for launching a new project are: hiring a Project dedicated developers group or buying the required technology from industry oriented software developers.
What we’ll do here today is briefly sum up some of the pros and cons considering the two approaches for a better understanding of what you can expect from either one.
Before we start I’d like to note that penny auctions require a high amount of niche focused technical competence to make sure that everything will work smoothly under high server loads that come with the growth of active clients, meaning that it’s not a project that your friendly web development company can manufacture on the fly.
1 Project dedicated developers groups – will consist of a staff of developers hired to produce and maintain the code tailored for a specific project in mind.
· Maximum control over the development process
· The end product is usually capable of supporting business growth and expansion
· Dedicated and competency technical support in case the script fails
· Dedicated development is expensive
· Dedicated development is a time-consuming process
· All know-how and all the features need to be obtained and created from scratch
· Expect many technical issues during testing, launch and first months of operation
· Technical support requires keeping a competent and well paid staff full-time.
General thoughts: It’s true that there is a fair amount of script distributors with poor reputation, and it is important to learn to avoid them.
In a discussion started in LinkedIn group Penny Auctions David Asselin fairly says: “developing an attractive, functional and bug free PA script would take so much money and so much time the industry will be completely different by the time you get your script up and running. There are a lot of terrible script out there but a few good ones…”
Fair point to say the least, just consider this: when relaying on your own script you gain control but loose speed, in order to stay ahead of the competition you’ll constantly need to keep a research and development staff that will think up new features, develop and test them, otherwise you’ll be forced to play “catch up” with the competition and that is not a sign of a strong and serious business.
Buying the technology:
· Control and predictability of the project launch time-frame
· When buying a professional product there will be no unexpected expenses
· High flexibility in implementing new industry trends as soon as they are out
· Professional products are capable of supporting rapid business expansion
· Professional support from outside your company
· You don’t really have much influence over the development process since you’re buying a pre-made product.
· Poor reputation of a lot of software developers
General thoughts: In the same discussion mentioned above Pablo Harry notes that “…most of the people who are running these scripts have no programming knowledge and the authors of the software can have backdoors where they can come in and manipulate certain things…”
And due to the poor reputation of some of the developers sadly it might be true in some cases but it’s a pleasure to note that, the industry is maturing, and swindlers and non professionals will slowly die out as the competition gets fiercer.
A while ago Softmedia together with Penny Auction Watch published an article addressing the possibility of backdoors and unprofessional coding that should show that there are standards that professionals tend to look up to. http://www.pennyauctionwatch.com/2012/04/responsible-development-of-penny-auctions/. And there are companies taking their products seriously
A Penny auction is a technology driven online business that requires constant investment of time and resources in keeping it up with contemporary online market standards. But even with such high dependence on technology it still requires the same attention as any other business in a whole number of fields: business development, marketing and PR, shipment and logistics, customer support and merchant relations and many-many more.
Being dependent on your own script might give you some control but it’s also a risk, a risk of not having enough resource or know-how to efficiently maintain all aspects of your project. And being constantly left several steps behind of the competition when it comes to keeping your platform up to date with the latest trends and innovations.
Consider the risks, consider the amount of attention that your clients will need and make a choice best suited for your goals and priorities.