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Public Sector vs Entrepreneurs

Published 05/09/2018

As we said, Gunner Technology works with three different types of clients: Public Sector, Private Sector and Entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurs are like the private sector, but as we’ll see today, they’re a totally different animal.

Working in the public sector and working with entrepreneurs is really night and day.

Early Work

Government contracts have unique expectations up front.

After landing a contract from one of the millions of public sector job boards, you’ll know exactly what you’ll need to build.

Every feature, explicitly laid out.

And you’ll know exactly what your budget is.

Despite popular opinion, governments don’t have an unlimited amount of cash to throw around.

Agencies don’t have limitless budgets.

So you’ll know with absolute certainty how much money is coming your way in addition to knowing exactly what you need to build.

That’s totally different from working with entrepreneurs.

With entrepreneurs, you’re going to be working with folks who want to change the world.

(And we love that.)

Entrepreneurs have a vision.

And Gunner Technology’s bread and butter is making those visions a reality.

So there won’t be an explicit set of features with an entrepreneur.

And the sky’s the limit as far as features go too.

You’ll obviously have a certain set that have to be built to generate the Minimal Viable

Product or MVP.

But every entrepreneur has a wish list a mile long of stuff to add to their projects.

And that’s why the budget guidelines might be a little bit looser.

Obviously, like the government, funds aren’t unlimited.

But there are more budget decisions to make than with the public sector.

Unlike the public sector, you’ll need to make tough choices about what can be built based on the amount of capital available.

So instead of knowing exactly what to build (and exactly how much you’ll earn) like the public sector, with entrepreneurs you’ll be talking about what you’re going to build and negotiating how much it’s going to cost.

User Base

You’re also going to be look at different user bases with the public sector vs entrepreneurs.

The public sector audience skews a bit older and a bit less tech-savvy.

The user base for entrepreneurs is going to be younger and a bit more comfortable with technology.

And that’s going to affect what features you can build.

The public sector needs to just work.

(A goal that’s not always met.)

You need to support more browsers.

You need the designs to be simpler.

You need to hold a user’s hand a little more often.
With entrepreneurs you don’t need to worry about that as much.

Users of entrepreneurial apps are likely to be comfortable pushing the boundaries.

You can experiment with more daring UIs.

You can expect the user to figure out more as far as functionality. They’ll experiment and work things out for themselves.

And you can basically assume users will have the latest and greatest in technology (or close to it), both software and hardware.

Not only that, but you can make it a requirement to have certain versions of operating systems or browsers to use your app.

Good luck doing that in the public sector.

Furthermore, early users are of the utmost importance with entrepreneurs.

These are the users who love being the first ones to use the latest and greatest.

They’re going to provide you and your client with incredible feedback.

(And, as an aside, entrepreneurs in general could stand to worry much less about losing these users. Early users will stick with your product through innumerable bumps in the road.)

Public sector clients are much less worried about early adopters or growing a user base.

What the public sector is worried about is the project being done.

So it’s a matter of goals: entrepreneurs want to change the world, while the public sector wants to be finished on time and on budget.

Later Work

In many ways, the entrepreneur’s project is never done.

With these game-changing projects, there’s always more to be done.

That means, for one thing, that building a relationship of trust is of utmost importance.

You guys are going to be working together for an incredibly long time. Nobody knows how long!

So you guys have to be able to have honest, open discussions about the project or projects in order to build the best solution you can.

And this aspect of entrepreneurial work obviously has tangible benefits as well in terms of a higher ceiling for the potential earnings.

In addition to building someone’s dream, you can also be generously compensated for it at the same time.

That’s the beauty of entrepreneurial work!

That’s different from the public sector, however.

The public sector knows exactly what it needs built and has a predetermined budget to build it.

Occasionally, you’ll have a continuing relationship with public sector clients.

Even the public sector has moving goal posts.

So there’s also the importance of building a relationship in the public sector, it’s just slightly less important because the future work isn’t guaranteed to be there.

But if the future work is there and you can have an ongoing relationship with a specific department or agency, that’s an incredible opportunity.

Really, whether it’s an entrepreneur or the public sector, it always comes down to performance and relationships. Neither should be mailed in.