Software Engineer + UX Designer + SaaS produt strategist. I help tech founders build their remote teams as CEO @ideawareco. 12+ years experience working with startups and fortune 500's.
I've run my agency (Ideaware) from South America for 5+ years now, from a small city. We have worldwide clients and do all of our work remotely. From my experience, it is possible to run a 7-figure consulting business from anywhere. In fact I would recommend it. Factors such as cost of living and talent availability are much more important than being in the center of Silicon Valley (and you can still have all of your clients there if that is your target market).
I would say they would start with a website, for a few reasons:
- You need to build a web platform for mobile apps to communicate with, you might as well build a frontend for it too.
- Responsive frameworks and technology is very advanced, you could go with a mobile-friendly approach and cover many devices & browsers from day 0.
- Easy to validate, gather feedback and tweak.
- Once they have traction and a large user base, start targeting specific mobile platforms and build apps for them. You take the guesswork out of defining what/if yo build a mobile app.
No reason whatsoever. Sacrificing all of your time (consequently trading that in for your health) is a very dangerous and unsustainable approach. I've seen many entrepreneurs burn out quickly because of this.
When I'm coaching other entrepreneurs, I always encourage putting yourself first (food, exercise, leisure) to be at your 110% for your startup and family.
I run a digital agency and a startup at the same time. I have a two year old and his little brother is on the way.
My way to do it is to set limits. I try to make a hard stop by 5pm, head home and be with my son and wife. I don't schedule any meetings after that until the next day after I drop him off at school.
Remember your calendar and to-do list is as busy as you let it be.
This is a great question and an important one as well. I would start by identifying:
Who is your target market?
How will they use your product? On the go? On their laptop or on their mobile device?
What kind of technology does your product need? Can it be built as a simple website or does in need to be an app (i.e. you need push notifications, integration with other mobile apps, etc).
On the other hand, how much time and budget do you have? Typically a responsive website is faster and cheaper to build than an app and will get you out the door faster.
Crowdsourcing platforms are mixed experience. Sometimes you'll get someone really great, other times you will hit rock bottom.
The key would be to find an individual or an agency that has both the experience and a name. We live in a service and relationship based economy, so aim for an individual or a company with a reputation to keep. They will likely go the extra mile.