Selling Xamarin to Clients

BenBishopBenBishop USBeta ✭✭

Hello All,
I originally sent this as a email to [email protected], but I thought I would also post it in this forum in case any of the community members have thoughts on how I can address this with clients.

"Hello,
My name is Ben Bishop and I've been an active and enthusiastic developer of Mono apps for the past year. Additionally, in August, I will be sharing this enthusiasm at 360|Stack as a speaker.

With that said, I've recently been given an opportunity to pitch an Android tablet application to a client I'd love to work for.

For the past couple of days, I've been working on a presentation on why I think Xamarin will be a great fit for their project. Unfortunately, I've run into two issues/selling points that trouble me:

1) The licensing fee

2) If I were to get hit by a bus, how many Xamarin devs are there in the world to take my place?

Regarding point 1, I personally do not mind paying the fee, but when I've pitched Xamarin/Mono in the past, clients have balked at the price (considering Appcelerator and PhoneGap are free.)

Regarding point 2, I did a quick search on LinkedIn. There's currently 1500 people total that have Mono for Android listed on their profile. This is a small figure compared to the fact that there are 15k+ people with PhoneGap on their profile and 40k+ for Android.

I am most definitely going to highlight the benefits of C# as a language and its value in cross platform development, but these two aforementioned points have me very concerned about how to sell Xamarin to clients.

When potential clients don't have much technical knowledge, they tend to lean on things like cost and staffing ability and don't really care about how much of a joy it is to work with a technology.

Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated!!!"

Posts

  • Bewolf2Bewolf2 KHMember, Beta

    My suggestion would be first of all forget how much you like c# or mono, do stand in your client's shoe. If they are so concern about fee or small adoption rate, than eclipse+adt might be better solution. But let them aware what opportunity they might loose by cant not easily port to ios, and why non-native solution like phonegap might hurt in a long run.Any technology solution has drawback, lay both down, if your client do choose the one you hate in the end, them so be it :)

    Not very helpful suggestion i'm afraid, just my 2c.

  • JasonAwbreyJasonAwbrey USInsider, University, Developer Group Leader mod

    I think you need to pose the question as "If I get hit by a bus, how many .NET developers are there to take my place."

    This is probably more compelling from the Obj-C side than from Java, but I like to stress that if you're already a .NET shop, then using Xamarin helps you leverage the skills you already have. Yes, there is definitely a learning curve for the tools and the underlying platform, but it's not nearly as steep as it would be if you added "a completely new language" to the list.

  • StuartLodgeStuartLodge USBeta ✭✭✭

    Good question!

    I don"t have an answer for 1. The February price hikes hit a couple of my startup project proposals hard. I just had to bin them in the end. (Those same startups were also often the hardest teams to get the native message into - they often had investor backers who spouted techcrunch quotes rather than listening to facts...)

    However, on 2 I haven't had as many issues - the majority of people I've been selling into have some existing c# expertise and I've used hands-on demos to make them comfortable that they can take long term ownership.

    So ... I guess it depends a lot on who the customers are.

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