What was the scope of their involvement?
17 Web Dev is building a web application with a React.js frontend, a Node.js backend, and a Google Firebase database for scaling. Beyond creating an ordinary page, they built a customer reward points system that integrates with our credit card processor and triggers points after confirming payment. 17 Web Dev basically created a subscription program.
They also integrated the system with the Shopify API. Using Webhooks, they added products to our rewards program, connected them to individual user profiles, and built a backend database for registered accounts. Our users can track how many trees we've planted for them and what carbon impact they’ve had. We’re launching in the next two or three months. They’ve finished the MVP and will keep it as robust as possible.
How did you come to work with 17 Web Dev?
I found James through a simple internet search. I had a limited budget, so I wanted an affordable, local partner who I could meet face-to-face. A local partnership was also a huge benefit for James because it helped him explain things better. A lot of people can say “yes” on the phone, but it’s hard to fake when you're sitting together.
James explained everything. I went through many developers to find someone who could do that. Even before we discussed pricing, he understood my goal. He wanted to give me the best representation, rather than wasting his time on a client who didn’t understand his services. That was refreshing.
Few entrepreneurs are successful, but James vets clients to determine that they’re serious. He ensured that I completely understood my plan. He didn't constantly sell himself; our conversation went both ways. He was willing to work with me and passionate about my idea.
How much have you invested with them?
I’ve paid them $20,000 so far. I pay commission for the ongoing work, but set a minimum payment. Our payment schedule varies depending on how much work they do. We might work for a full month, then hold until we have more money. We paid for an extra two months of a la carte development, but I've never felt duped or misled.
What is the status of this engagement?
The project has evolved as we built and gone in a different direction than the original contract. The project is a long-term collaboration for updating the site, adding content, and tweaking the system. James is as fluid, amenable, and transparent as possible.