Developing applications for the iPhone seems to be the rage nowadays, especially when we hear stories about people who make a nice passive income from a seemingly simple application. While we all like an additional stream of income, developing an iPhone app that sells is not easy, especially for non-programmers.

If you have a great application idea that you will like to implement quickly but don't fancy learning the iPhone programming language from scratch, why not consider outsourcing the application development? Here are some great tips on managing the outsourcing process:

  • Establish a clear revenue model first
    A great idea does not necessarily translate into a money-making application. To be successful, you need to familiarize yourself with various ways to monetize your idea. For instance, you may wish to create a paid app but also offer a lite version (stripped of advanced features) to promote user adoption. You might even decide that a completely free app supported by ads is the best way to monetize your idea after doing some market research. A clear revenue model definitely adds clarity to the development process.
  • Think "experience, support and scalability" when hiring a developer
    As the iPhone development market becomes more competitive, it is easy to find developers who are willing to undercut prices to win your job. Therefore, price is not always a reliable factor when selecting a developer to work with. You should also consider the experience of the developer and the quality of apps that have been developed. Find out about the after-sales support offered by the developer as you are likely to update your app several times in future. You will never know if your app is going to be the next big thing, so it is good to find out if your developer has the capability to port your app to a different platform, e.g. Android, or modify it to run on a different device. e.g. iPad.

  • Remember to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)
    Because intellectual property can be a complex issue to grapple with, you should first consider the possibility of partnering with a trusted developer whom you know personally. If you don't have such luck, a NDA will be a good (not foolproof, though) defence against developers who try to steal your idea. You can easily find sample NDAs online but remember to consult legal advice if you have doubts regarding these documents.