In the world of tech, it’s really easy to fall for the fallacy that it’ll be cheaper to build it yourself. We’re creative people, we like building stuff, so we can lean towards that approach.
Sometimes it’s the right call, but really often it’s not. Luckily, there’s a few simple questions you can ask to help make the right decision about when it’s right to spend the money.
Is it a key differentiator? – If it’s an important part of the value proposition for you, then it’s much more likely to worth building yourself. If it’s something you just need to do to keep up, then there’s probably something you can just buy.
What’s the true cost of building? – Challenge the assumption that it’ll be easy. Exactly what needs to be done, how many people need to work on it and how long will it take. push back on the “Just a couple of weeks”, and dig in so you are shown the working.
What do you already have? – It might be expensive to put a whole new solution in place, but if you’ve got something that you can extend, that’s often a lot cheaper. Unlocking features in SaaS solutions is often immediate as soon as you choose to spend the money.
Are you willing to compromise? – If you buy something, you can’t full customise it to your every need. You need to accept that you’ll have to work within some limitations, and if you do, then you’ll get the value for what you buy. Bashing into the perfect shape is often more expensive than building fresh, so be really honest here.
So if the problem is:
- Not core to your business
- Really expensive to actually build out
- Solvable by extending existing solutions
- Something you can compromise on
Then it’s probably right to spend the money