Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?
The collaboration with AppInventiv has been excellent in terms of response time and how much they kept in contact with us.
I feel that I've found a diamond-in-the-rough company. My partner is very picky in terms of app quality and he's constantly comparing ours to Facebook and LinkedIn. Even though we're not operating at that level, he would mention what improvements he wanted to AppInventiv and they'd actually do it. I was astounded by their ability to replicate features that I liked about other apps, into my own. Technology is changing constantly. By the time an app has been built, it may be possible to have to go back and change everything visually.
The app was launched recently. It hasn't become viral yet, but our final goal is being able to connect people based on the types of deals that they like. We're not trying to recreate Instagram or Facebook, but we're trying to be a money-saving alternative on the market. We researched 400-500 students on campus, asking what was or wasn't appealing about the Groupon app. Time and time again, the answer was that they weren't being offered deals relevant to them or their peers. The market for coupons is so clustered and fragmented that it no longer makes specific offers to the user. I think that bigger companies could easily go back and fix the issue, even though it's a huge problem. For people, the experience matters more than the actual products. Opening an app and seeing knitting class offers will not make me return to it very soon. Groupon isn't capturing the millenials' market because they're simply spamming everyone with the same deals, hoping one of them will catch on. Having an app that would artificially learn the user's preferences has been our main goal. If we're successful, we'll continue the project for years.
How did AppInventiv perform from a project management standpoint?
One thing I can say about AppInventiv is that they're a very professional team. Their response times are very good and they adjust well to what our schedules are, even though some of them are located in India.
What distinguishes AppInventiv from other providers?
When searching for a company on freelancing sites like Upwork or Freelancer, the client won't know what they're getting into, even after reading reviews. There is no consistent structure offered by developers. Most work on a project when they have free time. With AppInventiv, we had a team assigned to our work, which was very nice.
The first thing a client will do is usually to try and find the cheapest team possible. They'll get a lot of bids that seem appealing, but cheaper is not even close to being better. You need a team of people on a project, not just one or two engineers. I have enough experience to know that when there is a set structure and when an actual company is working on a project, the experience will be a lot better. If there is a disagreement after working with the same person for a year, there will be a lot of bias in the relationship from then on. This hasn't been a problem with AppInventiv.
Is there anything AppInventiv could have improved or done differently?
I've noticed that they sometimes sent us app builds on which we immediately saw potential problems for the user. AppInventiv needs to spend some more time on testing user experience elements. There were some common sense elements which got lost in the process.