The founder of Devcinch:
How did you come up with the idea of Devcinch?
“I had already been contracting as a Senior Software Engineer for a while and wanted to start to try to work with a model that didn't directly trade my time for money.
After some thinking it became obvious to me that hiring software contractors is a process that could be improved. If you could pay a fixed monthly fee for a Software Engineer and you could cancel anytime, that might be quite appealing, and it would get rid of a number of pain points:
1. Contractors are expensive on a daily/hourly rate
2. It can be difficult to find the right contractor, hiring is hard
3. Most of the time you can't immediately cancel a contract if it isn't working out
4. In countries like the United Kingdom there are legal complexities that make hiring a contractor challenging (IR35)
5. Relationships might be short lived, the contractor might quickly find another role, or go permanent
Devcinch removes all of the above problems and adds some unique benefits.
I started to research what already existed in the Software Development as a Service space, and didn't really find anything. There are a number of options in the design space that looked to be successful, so I decided to try to make it work for Software Development. “
How did Devcinch get its first profitable customers?
“I already had a small group of trusted contacts who I have worked with in the past. Most of them have a CTO or Engineering Manager role.
I sent out an email to some of them that looked like this: "What is the number one problem for someone in your position that you would buy a fixed price package from a consultancy in order to fix?"
I had a few replies and two of them turned into Devcinch customers.”
How long did it take for Devcinch to get its first profitable customers?
10-15 days after launch.
What have you struggled with when building Devcinch so far and how has this shaped your business?
“The two customers I have so far are relatively large businesses, with existing technical teams, and well defined, preferred ways of working. It can be difficult to persuade of them of working to a model where they only measure the output, rather than the "hours worked".
As a technical person I've also found it quite difficult to market and I'd love to try to get some validation by winning customers that aren't existing contacts. “
What gives Devcinch that unfair advantage over new entrants into the market?
“I think experience is a big factor in managing to work with multiple clients at the same time, context switching isn't easy, and I believe you genuinely need to have a certain skillset to be able to be productive enough to keep customers happy.
I'm hoping to keep running Devcinch as a solopreneur, obviously this limits the maximum number of customers you can take on but it does mean that people who are impressed by my personal brand know they are working with me.”
What is your main growth strategy for Devcinch going forward?
“I'm not entirely sure I believe there are two main markets for Devcinch, early stage start ups without technical founders and with enough money to pay for a Devcinch subscription and well established tech teams at larger companies that just want a more flexible software engineering contractor.
Firstly, I think I need to choose one of those markets to focus on and have a content strategy that gets Devcinch in front of the right people.
I think it makes sense to also double down on existing customers, given the type of work I've been doing so far it is likely that they will continue to have many of the same problems that need addressing. ”
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