Dear Fellow Developers, this question is very much based on business advice but is tied into filemaker development.
I wondered how you fellow developers find the most profitable approach for your companies(s).
1 - Developing custom solutions for clients
2 - Trying to market a solution that is more off the shelf.
I must admit I felt the later was my direction but recently I have found the entire I.T industry at bursting point. It seems to be “all over the place”, I am in UK / N.Ireland so maybe things are different in your country.
Let me explain, I had an old product that managed cemeteries and there was little competition but with everything now it seems that there are just literally 1000's of people proving the same thing, some better, some worse, some cheaper and some for free!.
Every time I try to develop a product that I could resell licenses for I just find that it’s over saturated, in fact that’s an understatement. It’s more like so saturated that the Neighbours kids are doing it.
I getting fed up trying to compete with things that can be competed against and while before i frowned on "custom development" as a “pain” I am now thinking that this could be better as:
1 - I don’t have to compete against so many things as I am providing a unique product.
2 - I can retain this client for many years as it will be closely tied to my company.
3 - I don’t have to market products, document and spend £1000's trying to push it.
4 - I just have to market myself as a custom developer, whatever you need let’s look at it.
The flipside is that there may not be a need for much custom development (as there are products out there for everything) but in reality I don’t think this is the case. Custom is always a captive market.
Now in that case Filemaker is the winner, I can develop in c#, asp.net, ColdFusion and many more but I won’t deliver the product that works in anywhere near the same time. So quite simply.
“Why bother”, the client sure doesn’t care, they just want it to work.
So I was just wondering what your thoughts as developers were, I guess I’m fed up "killing dead things" so to speak.