Dallas Startup Week: Secret to Success is in the Coding


When the rubber hits the road and it’s time to do coding, startups face a plethora of options that could determine success or failure.

Kirk Ballou, CEO of Touch Titans, and Don Archer, chief technology officer at ACA Express, explained the benefits and pitfalls of different types of coding and gave strategies for creating an app at a Dallas Startup Week session Thursday morning.


First and foremost, apps need to be launched simultaneously for both Apple and Android. It helps with marketing and wider adoption, both panelists said. The distribution is about 50/50.

And no app should ever be launched without Google Analytics, which provide greater detail on demographics of the users than the standard Google Play store data.

“You have to put analytics in your application at launch because if you can’t see what’s happening with your app, you don’t know which way to go,” said Archer, who has developed apps for several companies. “You want additional data on your users.”

“If you can build it quickly or have lots of spare time, build it yourself.” – Don Archer

Another important decision startups face is whether to outsource the coding to a company like Touch Titans or hire there own coders.

“If you can build it quickly or have lots of spare time, build it yourself,” Archer said. “The real point is getting it to market and getting it in front of users.”

That’s where the concept of creating a “minimum viable project” that can accomplish what you need comes into play, Archer said. The goal is to get to market quickly while securing more funding to develop version 2.0.


Touch Titans has developed code for everything from CNN, National Geographic, Red Bull, GM, and Microsoft. But Ballou said he dedicates a lot of time to the Dallas startup scene, too.

“I get really excited about helping startups. There’s a lot of interesting things going on in this town,” Ballou said.
Archer discussed which coding language startups should use and the pros and cons of each.

One recent trend has been large apps such as PayPal making the switch from Java to Node.js because it accomplishes the same thing with 33 percent less code and 40 percent fewer files.

“Whatever you’re more comfortable coding in, go with that,” Ballou said. “Even if it’s a basic level you can have a more intelligent conversation rather than having it be some magic that your developers are doing.”

Schedule for Friday, April 15
Schedule for Saturday, April 16

Photo by Michael Samples

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