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App development partnership: where and how to start

If you have a great idea for an app but need some help in coding look for a partner. In this article, we’ll tell you how to find app partners and make your cooperation as effective as possible.

Actually, there are plenty of developers who can create an app but need some help with sales, marketing or other concomitant processes. So if you are good in business this possibility is for you. Also, you can be a developer with a complex idea and need someone to make part of your work. A partnership is a good decision for you too.

Popular mistakes

First of all, let’s talk about most common mistakes or better to say delusions people have when they start working with mobile apps.

So you’re an entrepreneur or developer with a great idea for a mobile app. And you’re eager to bring it into life right now. Here are few things you shouldn’t do, if you don’t want to waste your time and money.

1. I can make an app by myself.

Well, you really do, but first of all, learn to code. At least half a year will be needed to understand the basics and be able to create simple MVP. Actually, it takes years of full dedication to become a good developer. And it is not the end. Mobile apps also need design, testing, maintenance… And at the end someone one must deal with sales and marketing questions. Seems a little bit much for one person, huh?

So why not to look for good partners and delegate them part of your work? They’ve already spent those years learning how to code and can start developing at once. At the same time, you can think about the business plan or concentrate on developing certain part of your app.

2. I can hire a freelancer from India.

Yes, you’ve probably already heard about cheap prices for Indian developers. Economical situation in the East makes some people work for really small salaries like $10/hour. You get the economy and they receive your money. However, there is a risk to waste hundreds or even thousands of dollars on the poor-quality product. Also, you lose precious time.

Remember, that you can’t get a good result for a song. Of course, you mustn’t hire the most expensive developers in your region too. Just seek for some offers with average price e.g. working with outsourcing companies in Eastern or Western Europe. They propose both qualified specialists and reasonable cost. At the same time, such companies can become good partners and take part of your work on themselves.

3. I will work with students.

It is not a secret that young people nowadays are very smart and at the same time they can work for little money. But it is not a secret for everyone, so that talented and even not very smart students get plenty of similar offers. They can peek yours but there is no guarantee that one beautiful moment student leaves your project because…Well, there can be many reasons, starting with a better offer and ending with usual laziness.


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And after all, remember that you’re planning business for a long period. So that best decision is to find a reliable partner. We’ll tell you how to do it the best way.

How to find app partners

How to become an app partner?

Before seeking for a partner there is one important thing for you to do. Think of your own value. There are tons of people like you with bright ideas and impassioned words. But it is not enough. The partnership means that all sides of the process work together and do something. Here are few tips of what you can propose to your potential partners.

  • Help in sales, marketing or project management. Usually, this part of the work requires special knowledge and a lot of time and in the conditions of harsh competition between various apps, it has very important role. Therefore you can propose developers to do it by yourself.
  • Brand. If your business already has recognizable brand use it in your offer. Selling an app with a good name is preferable that the application from a no-name developer.
  • Money. This not something original, but practice shows that people work better when they are paid for it. Don’t be jealous: good apps cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. So even little financial stimulation is a good idea.
  • Followers in social media. If your business has access to many potential clients developers would more likely be interested in your offer.
  • Coding. You can look for partners even if you are the developer. Sometimes specific work is needed so you may delegate that part to the partners while you’ll do the rest.

Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.

Steve Jobs, Apple Inc. co-founder, chairman and CEO

Places to look for app partners

Now we got to the point where you know what you are worth and want to go with that offer to some developers. Here are some places to start with.

  • Go online. Google is a good place to start with. After all, we do it each time when we need something. But to save your time here are good online resources to find developers like CoFounderslab or FounderDating.
  • Ask your friends. Some of them may know the needed person. However, remember developer companies usually are better partners as they can provide you multiple help from various specialists.
  • Get into the community. Try to visit specialized events to meet the right people or know more about the IT world itself.

By the way, ThinkMobiles also looks for partners. We are ready to help if you are one of this:

  • Software/ Hardware vendors
  • Business consultants or agents
  • Business coaches
  • Sales & marketing experts
  • Marketing companies
  • Digital agencies

Our example: WaspApp

Developing technologies that directly impact peoples’ lives is challenging and exciting. This time ThinkMobiles joined the VR therapy app development process. WaspApp helps people with insectophobia fight this disease. The VR application lets the patients immerse the truly realistic environment, where they can face and resist their fears.

We had a conversation on VR with our Partner, virtual reality coach Dana-Maria Faneker from CaptainVR startup (the Netherlands). That’s how the idea of WaspApp, unique VR therapy app, appeared. Not a long time after, this idea as a pilot app “Fear or Love” has won the 1st award in Samsung Best VR-idea in Startup Fest Europe competition.

How to find app partners

7 steps to choose the best partner

Now you’ve found a few possible partners and don’t know how to choose the best one. We’ll help you in that issue. Just go through this list f this seven questions and you’ll know the answer.


  1. Portfolio. First of all, you should look at the portfolio of app developer to estimate the level of visual design. Also, you should download few apps and try them on your own. This will give you an idea about the quality of the UX design and the app in general.
  2. Experience. Find out how long does the company work at an app market and how many apps it has. Remember that you need a partner for a long-term period of time. There is always a risk that talented but still, young teams wouldn’t withstand the competition and get off the market.
  3. Industry-savvy developer. It is a big advantage if a developer has some experience in the specific field yore app belongs too. For instance, it can be social, sport, educational or other types of app. If your partners already worked in that field risk of making mistakes from their side is much lower.
  4. Vision vs budget. Your budget must correspond your vision. Of course, you can dream to create new Angry Birds but how much will it cost? Everything in development depends on the time. And good developers will be able to scale your vision and balance it with your budget.
  5. Price. As was mentioned earlier good app can’t appear from the poor budget. So you must look not for cheap enthusiasts but for a solid and stable team with professionals that will be able to do the work well.
  6. Communications. Choose partners wisely. It is a good idea to find outsource partners in the time zone that fit well yours. Even if there are many kilometers between you’ll still need to communicate a lot. That’s why it is important to make your cooperation as comfortable as possible.
  7. Partners not providers. Look for the teams that are eager to become real partners. Those should be ready to share your ideas and work on their development. Hold in mind that partner will give you more support even after launching the project while usual contractors only do what they are paid for.

How to find app partners

Tips to offer app idea

When you find wanted partners it is time to convince them to cooperate with you. Don’t rush and prepare yourself properly. You can know more how to start an app business in our article.

As for the first serious meeting (or Skype talk), we would recommend you to prepare few things.

  • A business plan. If you never did this before just use Google and look for examples of business plans. Basing on it create your own detailed plan and present it to your potential partners.
  • A prototype. If you are skilled enough to create some prototype do it immediately. The prototype isn’t more important than the business plan, however, it works better. Words can be understood in different ways while a prototype shows your real intentions.
  • Transparency. Be as honest as possible. A truth is the main thing in any relationships. So you must give your partners access to all needed documents and describe your offer in smallest details.
  • Time to think. You shouldn’t be too annoying after the presentation. Wait at least one week before asking about their decision. After all, it’s business and people must learn your proposal thoroughly.

Besides prototype can work the other way. If you have a brilliant idea and a few developers willing to become your partners it can be hard to choose the right one. A good way to know more about their skills is to ask them to create a prototype. It can show their possibilities the best way especially if you are not a developer.

No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you’re playing a solo game, you’ll always lose out to a team.

Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn co-founder


Finding good and reliable partner is not the easiest process. In each case, there are some special conditions both sides must fulfill. However with a serious approach and enough time to think you can make the right decision and find partners for the next few years at least.


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Provide us with your contact details and we will contact you today

Thank you for your request.

Specialists will contact you ASAP.

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