How to Build a Web 2.0 Application

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We just built our first Web 2.0 application, and knowing that many of you are diving into the Web 2.0 arena, here's what we learned:

Build the product as quickly as you can

We got the idea for the product last Sunday, and completed it this morning. It's a simple application built for our existing customers, as well as for our own needs. Going into the process, we knew from previous experience that your ability to complete a project is based directly on the deadline you set. That is, if you set the deadline to next year, you will complete it next year. Set it within a week? You'll complete it within that time frame.

Do it with as few people as you can

The more people you involve in building the application, the worst it gets. With more people involved, you'll create bureaucracy, barriers to final decisions, and delay deadlines that will waste time and deplete the energy you'll need to spend on building your Web 2.0 application.

Get the first working product out within a week

Sure, you might be building the next-generation email-organizer-messenger-to-do-list application that will change the freakin' world. But here's our suggestion: if you're going to be building a "big" project, first convert the project into tiny "mini" projects. That is, instead of building the whole enchilada, why not build the to-do list application first? With milestones, and short milestones at that, you'll build momentum. And, you'll have others to test it for you if it's a product they'll use; that way, you can adapt that mini-product and the rest of the "enchilada" product to their needs.

The product visionary and the product programmer should constantly work together

It's all about dialogue. The designer and the programmer should constantly work together. It's the immediate feedback that's invaluable to the building of your next-generation Web 2.0 application. And one final thing: Users of your site will notice that passion (or lackof) that you'll put into your Web 2.0 product. If the process doesn't excite you, it'll show in the final product. So, enjoy it!

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Posted on May 06

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