#BYOB – for Business?

I’m not talking about the BYOB of your college days – or even dragging your favorite Pinot Noir to that little place around the corner that has great eats but no license, I’m talking about Build Your Own Bootstrap  BYOB.

There are many many Bootstraps out there now, each with its own strengths. Using a bootstrap can be perfect for getting an idea out there fast, but less great when it comes to building brand or standing out from competitors.

That’s where the idea of BYOB comes into play. Making the leap from using a pre-made bootstrap to hunkering down and developing your own common component system – makes sense, but can appear time consuming. The payoff lies down the road, when you want to change design, direction or leverage your base bootstrap to another line of business – your time to market will be vastly reduced.

It can be a rocky road that requires extra time and planning from everyone:

  • A strong product roadmap
  • Extra planning/design to define controls and elements that can be repurposed
  • Robust database / API designs that allow all instances of your product to be extendable yet remain sandboxed from other instances
  • Good Product Management / Design feedback loop to iterate and refine BEFORE coding
  • Refined coding practices to build solid elements that are extensible and portable
  • Automated QA

Benefits:

  • Quickly retool an existing app / site, with reduced coding and QA
  • Offer user facing customization options
  • For SaaS – implementation time to market for new clients can be nearly instantaneous
  • Supporting all customers with a single codebase – bug fixes and upgrades benefit everyone

Realities:

  • You will need a single person or body to actively police all direction and code
  • No shortcuts, meaning absolutely no changes can make it to production unless they are 100% on on point and approved (No matter how crazy the deadline, or angry the customer)
  • All roadmaps must be as solidified as possible
  • All channels between the Ux Team, Product Team, and Development Team must remain open and unrestricted
  • All decisions need to be documented and available to everyone
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