How to choose the right software product development company

12 min read
March 15, 2024

Building a software product is a great business opportunity.

The software product market is absolutely massive, reaching a value of $1.6 trillion in 2024.

But, to succeed in a crowded market like that, you need to choose the right software product development company to partner with.

Here, we’ll show you what to look out for when looking at potential partners.

Let’s dive in!

What is software product development?

Software product development is the process of building software that’s intended to be sold and marketed to customers.

It includes everything you usually do when developing software, from requirements gathering to deployment and post-launch maintenance.

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But, it’s not the same thing as software development.

Software product development also includes non-technical activities like:

  • Market research
  • Branding
  • Product strategy and planning
  • Marketing
  • Customer support

So, developing a software product is about more than just writing working code.

It’s about building a usable product that can succeed in the market and meet your users’ needs.

How to choose a software product development company

Now, let’s talk about the steps you need to take when choosing a software product development company.

Define your product’s goals and requirements first

The first thing you need to do when you want to build a software product is define your product’s goals and requirements.

And doing this before you start looking for a software product development company will help you make the right decision.

This means answering questions like:

  • What are our long–term goals for our product?
  • What type of development team do we need?
  • Which features should our product have?

At this stage, these are all assumptions that might change as you talk to different companies and figure out if your idea is technically feasible.

But, if you don’t have a clear idea of what your product should do, even the best company won’t be able to help you.

A good place to start is setting clear goals with the SMART goals framework:

SMART goals framework

Next, you should think about the features you want your product to have and how you want it to work.

A good tip is to keep it to the core features you want in your minimum viable product (MVP).

And finally, you need to choose the type of team you want to hire – a dedicated team or an extended team.

Your choice will depend on your specific needs and requirements.

If you need to plug skill gaps in your in-house team and need only a couple of extra engineers, an extended team is the better choice.

But, if you need a full team to handle your product’s development from start to finish, you should hire a dedicated team.

Dedicated team

A dedicated team is also the better choice if you need a long-term development partner.

And the best part?

It works just like an in-house team.

The only difference is that the team is hired by a third-party agency or service provider.

If you pick the right company, they will care about your product just as much as the team you hire yourself.

And that’s exactly what you need to build a great product.

Why defining your goals and requirements first is important

  • Long-term strategy and planning – having clear goals and requirements for your product will help you create a long-term business plan and strategy, which is essential for long-term success
  • Clear direction and focus – if you clearly define your goals and requirements at the start, your product’s development will be more focused and faster
  • Minimizes risks – clear goals and requirements mean that you’re much less likely to hire a company that’s not the right fit

Review their portfolio and expertise

When choosing a software product development company, you need to make sure they have the necessary expertise to build your product.

And the best way to do that is by reviewing their portfolio and case studies.

They’ll show you if they have the skills you’re looking for and if they’re the right fit for your product.

Let’s say you want to build a property management app.

Property management app

A company that’s worked on a similar product will have a much better understanding of your target market and what your users are looking for.

But, what does a good case study look like?

Good case studies are in-depth and should contain these elements:

  • The problem they solved for their client
  • How they solved the problem
  • The impact their solution had
  • The team and tech stack they used

If a company’s case studies don’t have these elements and are too vague, that’s a red flag.

And that’s a sign they won’t be the right fit.

Why reviewing a company’s portfolio and case studies is important

  • Proof of experience – a company’s portfolio, case studies, and expertise prove they have experience building products similar to yours
  • Problem-solving skills – a company’s case studies and portfolios will show if they’re able to solve complex problems for their client
  • Proof of industry expertise – if a company has already built software products in your industry, they’ll better understand your business needs and what your users expect from your product

Check their reviews

This is the most important factor you should consider when choosing a software product development company.

A company’s reviews will show if they’re a reliable partner and what it’s like to work with them.

Here’s some food for thought – 95% of users read reviews before buying products online.

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And that’s an incredibly low-stakes decision compared to finding a development company to partner with.

So, checking a company’s reviews is absolutely essential if you want to make the right choice.

But, where can you find those reviews?

Usually, companies will feature reviews on their website.

Needless to say, they’re handpicked to show them in the best light possible and might not reflect what it’s actually like to work with them.

That’s why third-party review sites are a better choice, such as:

The reviews you find there will be much more objective and realistic.


And every review is verified – users on all 3 sites need to log in with their LinkedIn profile or their business email.

That’s why these reviews are so valuable.

Why checking a company’s reviews is important

  • Reliability and trustworthiness – a company’s reviews will show you if they’re reliable, trustworthy, and can stick to agreed-upon timelines and deadlines
  • Reduces risk – if you read reviews, you’ll minimize the risk of hiring the wrong company and derailing your product’s development
  • Communication skills – often, a company’s reviews will show you how they communicate with their clients and how well they respond to their requests

Review their development process

How the software product development company you choose approaches development can make or break your product.

That’s why reviewing their development process is so important.

First, start by checking out the types of software products they build, such as:

A company that specializes in building web apps won’t be a good choice if you want to build a mobile app.

Also, it’s a good idea to check which other services they offer, like:

Having a full-service partner who can take care of your product’s development from start to finish is much easier than juggling multiple different vendors.

Finally, you should pay attention to the development methodology they use.

Agile methodologies like Scrum and Kanban are the gold standard for modern software product development.


They prioritize quick iteration and promote collaboration and clear communication.

And that’s exactly what you need to build a successful software product.

Why reviewing a company’s development process is important

  • Transparency – If a company has a clear and well-defined development process, you’ll know what to expect if you hire them which helps build transparency and trust
  • Flexibility – a company’s approach to development will show you if they’re flexible enough to adapt to changing requirements
  • Communication – how a company approaches development will also show you how they communicate with their clients

Evaluate their tech stack

A company’s tech stack is another thing you should look out for when choosing a software product development company.

It needs to be compatible with your requirements and the tools and technologies you use.

But what is a tech stack anyway?

A tech stack is the set of tools and technologies a company uses to build software products.

Here’s what a typical tech stack looks like:

Tech stack components

A company’s tech stack should include all the tools they use when building software products, like:

This will tell you if they meet your requirements and can actually build your product successfully.

And that’s why you need to evaluate it before committing.

Why evaluating a company’s tech stack is important

  • Performance – the tech stack they use to build your product will also affect its performance, so you need to make sure their stack supports high performance
  • Compatibility with your requirements – a company’s tech stack will show you if they have the right tools to build your product and meet your requirements
  • Integration with other systems – if your product needs specific third-party services and APIs to work, the company should have a tech stack that’s compatible with them

Look into their pricing

And the final step before you choose a company is checking their pricing and if it fits your requirements and budget.

Keep in mind that there’s no universal answer for how much development will cost you.

Different companies might give you wildly different estimates and the cost of developing your software product will depend on a number of factors like:

  • How complex your product is
  • The type of product you want to build
  • The size of the team you hire
  • The services you agree
  • Your target platform(s)

But, there’s one other major factor – the pricing model they use.

In software product development, 2 pricing models are the most common – fixed price and time and materials.

Here’s what Benjamin Huskic, founder of The Quality Gate, had to say about both pricing models:

The fixed price model is a good choice if you’re building a simple product and you have well-defined requirements.

But, there’s a catch – if you have to make major changes mid-development, that will cost you extra and you’ll have to negotiate it separately.

And the time and materials model is a better choice if you’re building a complex product with changing requirements.

Here’s a look at its pros and cons:


  • Flexibility
  • Control over the project
  • Scalability
  • Budget management
  • Quality


  • Over budgeting
  • Risk of a bad contractor

It’s also the fairest compensation model for both clients and companies.

It matches the actual man hours and resources used to develop your product.

And that’s why it’s the best option for everyone involved.

Why looking into a company’s pricing is important

  • Cost comparison – a company’s pricing will help you compare them will other potential partners and show you if they can build your product within your budget
  • Helps with long-term financial planning – knowing how much your product’s development will cost you will help you create a long-term financial plan for your business
  • Long-term partnership prospects – a company’s pricing will help you determine if they’re a viable long-term partner

Top questions to ask a software product development company

Now, let’s discuss some of the best questions you should ask a software product development company and why they’re important.

  • Which services do you offer?

Like we’ve mentioned, building a software product is about more than just writing code that works.

If a company can be a full-service partner and help you with everything from validating your idea to post-launch maintenance and support, they’re a good pick.

  • Which software products have you worked on?

Asking this question will show you if a company is the right fit and if they can actually build your product.

You’ll get an idea of their skills and experience and if they can meet your requirements or not.

  • Will I have direct contact with the development team?

You should always be able to directly contact the development team you hire.

This will ensure you have full control over your product’s development and improve efficiency.

  • Do you offer post-launch support?

Developing a software product is just the first step in its life cycle and a company that offers post-launch support is a viable long-term partner, which is what you should be looking for.

  • Which development methodology do you use?

A company’s development methodology will directly influence your product’s development and its quality.

For modern software product development, Agile methodologies like Scrum and Kanban are the best choice.

  • What is your pricing model?

A company’s pricing model will determine how much you’ll pay for your product’s development in the end.

Need a software product development partner?

Do you want to build a great software product but you’re struggling to find a reliable company to partner with?

That’s where we come in.

We can help you build your product from the ground up – from validating your idea to post-launch maintenance and support.

If you want to learn more, you can read about our services and get in touch with us for more details.

Written by

Mario Zderic

Co-founder and CTO

Mario makes every project run smoothly. A firm believer that people are DECODE’s most vital resource, he naturally grew into the role of People Operations Manager. Now, his encyclopaedic knowledge of every DECODEr’s role, and his expertise in all things tech, powers him to manage his huge range of responsibilities as COO. Part developer, and seemingly part therapist, Mario is always calm under pressure, which helps to maintain the office’s stress-free vibe. In fact, sitting and thinking is his main hobby. What’s more Zen than that?

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