Building Right-sized Custom Software Development

If you found your way to Modest, it’s because you have something you want to accomplish. You might have a task or workflow you want to make more efficient. You might have a job that you can’t do without better tools. Perhaps you’ve been running your business with spreadsheets and other software you’ve cobbled together, and you want to make the transition to custom software that scales with your growing business. Whatever your needs are, the best solution is a custom-built tool that accomplishes exactly what you need quickly, accurately, and without hassle. You want software that makes your business run better, smoother, and with fewer mistakes. 

If you’ve found us, you probably have a third goal: You want software that does all that without frills, without hassle, and without any unneeded features getting between you and the functions you actually want and need. 

For us, that means building you a tool that’s not too big. It means building all the functionality you need without charging you for tabs you won’t click on and tools you won’t use. It also means not building something too small; we need to make sure that we capture all the efficiency and utility you need to do your job well.

Hitting that Goldilocks zone of “not too big, and not too small” is where Modest shines; it’s what we do, and we do it better than anyone else.

Building Too Big

One of the worst things that can happen to your productivity is getting stuck with a program that has too many features. This might sound counterintuitive — after all, aren’t features good? Wouldn’t you want as many as you could get? It only starts making sense when you find yourself reaching for some function or page you really need, only to grab a useless tool for the tenth time that day.

That’s the danger of overbuilt business tools; they might be able to do everything, but all that everything gets in the way of anything you actually need. Some companies have spent decades adding every feature they can think of to the same programs they want to sell you, and then they pitch those same programs as able to do anything. 

They are right, but they leave out the part where all that completeness means their programs can’t do anything very well, and certainly can’t let you accomplish anything quickly or easily. Modest focuses on usability and utility, but that’s rare; it’s typical for software companies to focus on the flashy features and their company’s valuation, sacrificing the ability of your software to do its job in the process.

Form-over-function is an easy trap to fall into, and that’s why the “custom software” label isn’t in and of itself enough to ensure you are getting what you need. Custom software means you start from scratch every time, and a custom studio that builds a lot of different kinds of software in a bureaucratic environment moves slowly and inflexibly. Modest only builds business software, which lets us maintain smaller teams, quicker turnarounds, and (most importantly) lower prices. 

It’s not enough to have software custom-built, because starting from scratch has its own headaches. Most custom studios build lots of different software and so they’re always starting from zero. And because their process has to handle everything it’s cumbersome and bureaucratic, with sometimes dozens of people involved. At Modest we only do business software, so we have smaller teams, quicker turnarounds, and most importantly lower prices. 

Building Too Small

The other side of the wrong-sized program coin is building as little as possible to meet the client’s exact initial request. Imagine a new customer contacting a developer with a list of features they’d like, and the developer getting to work and building just that; they check every box, deliver every function asked for, and call it a day.

If this sounds great, that’s because sometimes it is; If a client has a good grasp of the workflow they want to see and knows every feature they need to get there, sometimes a developer can build to their exact spec and turn out a program that works great for their needs. But often a client doesn’t know exactly what they need or doesn’t know how to express their needs in a way that gets them exactly what they want.

That’s where a developer can save the day by bringing their own experience to the table. When the client doesn’t realize they are missing a key component that will make their user experience better, a developer should. If a client doesn’t know how to communicate their needs perfectly, an experienced developer needs to be able to interpret and continue the conversation until they are sure the tool they plan to build will solve the problems it needs to solve.

Why doesn’t this happen every time? It’s because it takes both experience and effort. It takes a developer who has sufficient history building useful things to meaningfully enhance a client’s plans. It takes someone who will take the time at the blueprint stage to ensure that what they build is exactly what the client needs. When either of those requirements isn’t fulfilled, the customer stands a chance of ending up with a tool that’s exactly what they asked for but fails to satisfy their need.

Right-size Custom Software Development

A client’s first interaction with Modest is always a conversation. We ask what you are trying to accomplish, and how you’ve been tackling the job so far. We talk about every step in the relevant workflow and take notes, and we ask pointed questions to make sure we fully understand every aspect of your needs.

Then we go to the drawing board and start to design what you asked for, but we don’t let the conversation stop. As we mock up the program, we keep you in the loop so you can let us know if there’s anything we missed or misinterpreted. At the same time, we are keeping our eyes wide open to see if any holes in the process reveal themselves as we build; if we see something that looks like it might slow us down, we bring it up.

We then use decades of experience and a habit of thoughtfulness to build you the best possible version of what we’ve planned together. We work to produce software that functions like a well-organized workshop; when you need a particular tool, you will find it’s already right under your hand. We put every button in the right place, and we make sure everything works in an intuitive, easy-to-understand way.

You end up having a best-of-all-worlds experience. We deliver a tool that helps you work faster, better, and with fewer mistakes. We create software that’s streamlined and optimized for the task you are trying to accomplish without any extra mass slowing it down. We do beautiful work we are proud of to make sure you end up with software you will love to use. 

Most importantly, we do all this without building a single component you won’t use or don’t want. This means a less expensive development process that gets you the utility you need without any unnecessary cost. We deliver custom built software that works better, runs faster, and accomplishes more, all at a lower price point than you might expect. 

That’s the magic of building at the right size. 

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