As a startup, your focus at some point will be on growth. It is critical to understand that KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are the root of growth. Essentially, this means that before you move to grow, you must take stock of your performance and current future capabilities against your objective for growth.
Think of your business like a car and the growth stage as a new season. Just as your vehicle goes through a checklist, measuring its performance capability to ensure safety while driving, stockpiling the equipment you need, and ensuring any fine tune-ups and adjustments are complete before the changing weather hits, so too does your business need to go through a check-up. Here is a list of things to inspect and obtain before you grow.
To start, you must understand the technology you currently use and confirm that it uses a well-known and sustainable framework and database. You must also have a basic understanding of how much data you both currently have and will have in the future to ensure that your platform will be able to keep up.
Think of your server as the power, the engine behind the business. In order to scale up, you must be sure that you have several applications and database servers to perform the functions you need for your growing client base.
Ensure you have optimized your software
At some point in your growth, your server will not be able to solve the load that your growing number of users will create and it will take too long to perform even essential functions. Ensure you walk through the process and reallocate the load.
Part of this can involve evolving to a system of distributed architecture, where certain data is held in certain databases. You may even have a data lake – a place where everything is tracked and stored – just in case it’s needed someday.
Profile future developers
As you grow and bring on more developers, it is important to understand that the profile of what you are looking for will change. Any developers who join after the initial startup must be able to tackle anything involved with the future roadmap of your product. They may need specific data skills, or perhaps you need to consider support from someone with specialized skills to help grow your project, such as a data scientist. Just as you created an initial role for a developer, your future new business will also have additional new roles to match its needs.
The development process is key
There are two key steps that should be part of the development process: Evaluating how long it takes to turn ideas into reality and understanding the cost to develop new features. The latter should be a discussion between the founder and the project owner. There must also be a discussion with the technical team to evaluate what is possible.
Testing is key
Testing should be assigned to someone other than the developer who knows it less intimately, as they may find the issues your customers may face. You must ensure you have a pipeline – perhaps offshore resources – who can perform testing quickly to get new releases online quickly. There should also be unique tests specified and in place that cover all API.
To learn more about what may be required to test software, check out the related blog posts here.