That is unfortunately, a too common refrain one hears when one quotes for iOS jobs.
I’m assuming the that the race to the bottom in the iTunes app store (likely caused by popularity ranking – rather than a quality review ranking), where people pay 1 dollar or nothing for an app, somehow creates this metal context where the potential client thinks “hey if this app would sell for $1 then for sure it will only cost a few dollars to develop”
I personally think the iTunes App Store race to the bottom (and its equivalent – plummet to the bottom – in the Android ecosystem), where developers sell their content&apps cheap or give them away for free is going to lead to a lot of businesses/operations that never get out of the red.
There is enough wood on the fire (new developers digging for gold / buying lottery tickets) that its going to burn bright for a while, but it won’t last.
The whole idea that you give your work away for free and wave a magic wand/empower people and suddenly you have a business model that works – is in my view bull dust – to put it politely.
Digital is not some other dimensional fairy magic that it somehow doesn’t have to still align itself with real world economics. For similar reasons I think Freemium is a methodology which will fail 99% of the time. 1% is not enough to plan a business on, but thats a theme for another post.
Anyway back to falling off the chair.
What makes me scratch my head is that the client knows that they themselves will have to spend a month of man hours in meetings, finding copy and art, testing etc.
How is it that they think that the development of the app – the other 90% that they are not doing is actually going to take less time then they spend on it? A month of their work – and in this case 8 man months on the app and server side (4 months actual dev time).
So 8 man months for a knowledge worker at contract rates .. how much is that? Apparently ten times what they expected.
They expected it to be done (with compulsory Instagram features and Facebook hooks) in about 3 weeks
As usual there was the suggestion (after they got other quotes – some higher), that we trim it a bit. We replied unless we paid for scoping out properly and put in a draconian scope change rule – “no can do”.
At least we didn’t hear this time:
Hey you should give it to use cheap because lots more work will come your way! (Or at least some monkey we can easily exchange you with).