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Does starting on a smaller & more manageable platform enable others with more resources to use your ideas & features with bigger markets?

I want to build an application that can change a slowly innovating industry and somewhat-rigid mindset. Given my skill set and my resources, it makes the most sense to make this a MacOS application (I don’t like or have experience with web dev), but distribution and potential reach would be much, much higher if I were to make this a web application. I just did some math with figures based on my experience as an SWE, and labor for the lifetime of the project (no maintenance/development afterward) would cost a lot more than I can spend. I also believe that it may be easier to make more money per user from a web application, but I’m really not sure about that, and the difference based on relative value (of the product on for MacOS vs. the web) will likely be marginal.

I’m afraid that starting on a smaller platform could allow others to copy unique features and feature implementations, features of which may provide any amount of value to the product. I would like to have an aggressive marketing strategy that makes people want a web version (“cross-platform hype” being generated from blogs & partnerships with people/organizations), which could draw others with access to more resources & experience, who might be able to whip up something up in a platform I’m not experienced in faster than I can.

Despite this, there are some clear factors that make me think I shouldn’t worry about this. I’d have much more experience with the product and design of the product itself. I’d have name recognition and an existing audience that would be likely to use both or at least the web version.

I’d really like to hear your thoughts about this.



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One reply on “Does starting on a smaller & more manageable platform enable others with more resources to use your ideas & features with bigger markets?”

The choice of making your app a Desktop or Web Application is not yours to make. Ultimately, your users should decide.

That said, if web development is not an option for you because of costs and you have strong reason to believe this app would sell well, then do an MVP with a Desktop app. User testing may be a bit harder but it should allow you to understand if people need that or not.

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