Developing from scratch vs customize existing solution


When working on a startup which way will be the best? Developing from scratch or customize existing projects? Which of them will you choose? Why? I am already a programmer so both of them is ok for me. But i am confused about which way is good.


asked Mar 3 '11 at 22:33
Erkan Balaban
160 points
  • Do you own the right to customize existing projects? If not, you have only one choice. If you do have licenses to customize (and probably sell) it is easy but how do you define "best"? – Ross 13 years ago

3 Answers


I agree that it is whatever gets you to the market quicker. However, if you are open source, you need to remember that you have to more or less move with the project as it involves. This is in good in that it will probably bring new and additional features. However, it also might create extra work when they change the "core" system.

answered Mar 4 '11 at 00:51
468 points
  • I like what Scott mentions here. I would add one item though. Check the size of the community. Customizable products that have huge communities tend to be the ones that make good updates on a solid product, not the companies who ruin backwards compatibility and cause you to constantly update your own code to keep it working. – Justin C 13 years ago
  • I think this is a great point. I'm building some stuff on Drupal. it works fantastic and there is a huge community. However, there was a recent release to 7, and now I have to worry about upgrade paths and then my own custom modules will need to be rewritten. I didn't plan on having to do this "extra work" but I'll get the benefits of the community's effort. – Scott 13 years ago
  • The point where this question come up developing from scratch will take approximately same time with customize existing solutions. In that point i think developing from scratch will be the right choice. because i will know every corner of software and i can move fast for adapting the market needs. but the answers in here shows me customizing a solution also is a good choice. – Erkan Balaban 13 years ago


1) If i program my startup it will take a little bit more time comparing to customize an existing solution. But it will take a little bit more time to add a new feature or make changes at existing features. I believe i will move slower because i don't know every feature and every line of code of an existing solution.

2) If i program my startup it will take a little bit more time. on the other hand i will know every line of code so i can move faster, can add new features in a shorter time, can make changes in a shorter time.

So my question still is there ...

answered Mar 3 '11 at 22:54
Erkan Balaban
160 points
  • You should not post you comments as answers. – Ross 13 years ago
  • OK... it won't be again. – Erkan Balaban 13 years ago


Use whatever technology (language, library, CMS, etc) you can develope the product the fastest in and get it in the hands of potential customers.

You're going to rebuild the entire application at some point, so the framework doesn't matter at the beginning. Whatever makes you comfortable is the right choice.

I personally love building quick web apps on top of Wordpress because I know how to hack the system, it has a good library of plugins, and I program primarily in PHP.

answered Mar 4 '11 at 02:16
Andy Cook
2,309 points
  • Thanks for your answer. You said "Whatever makes you comfortable is the right choice.". I don't know every corner of the framework so i don't feel myself OK. because of that i want to move with my own code. – Erkan Balaban 13 years ago

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