THE DIGITAL PRODUCT LAB

Design, development and marketing of digital products that drive business growth for startups, companies and ourselves. Regarding tech we are experts of creating software and solving engineering problems with React, React Native and Node.JS.

 

 
$5,000+
 
$50 - $99 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2015
Show all +
Budapest, Hungary
headquarters
  • Andrassy ut 66.
    Budapest 1062
    Hungary

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Brandzooka, Konetik, Enbritely, Europuppy, Imagination, Quideo

Reviews

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Web App Development for Video Advertising Platform

"They met our expectations and delivered high-quality code."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
3.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
July 2015 - Oct. 2016
Project summary: 

Chain.Reaction created a web-based MVP and expanded the platform with additional features and admin tools. The team alternated between providing outsourced assistance and integrating with internal dev staff.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Denver, Colorado
Will Mitchell
Lead Developer, Brandzooka
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Once Chain.Reaction came onboard, workflow productivity nearly doubled, thanks to their broad technical expertise and competitive price point. However, scheduling delays and group decision-making caused some confusion. 

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the lead developer at Brandzooka, which is a video advertising platform similar to Facebook Ads. We basically provide a platform that allows small to large businesses to place video advertising throughout the web on just about any site you can imagine, aside from Facebook or YouTube.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Chain.Reaction?

They were on board before I started. They had built out the minimal viable product and served as ongoing consultants for additional features. They built an admin tool for the company as well, acting as part of our development team for about 6 months.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We had a demo app to start with—sort of an HTML cage that was scrapped. They built the MVP [minimum viable product] from the ground up. Initially, they did some design work, but the team here ended up going in a different direction. We did the design in-house and handed them the specs. There was a lot of optimization in terms of building the app to handle greater traffic. We’ve been scaling over the last year, so our biggest challenge has been building out the capability of the app. Chain.Reaction helped take us from having a few different users to multiple users per day.

Initially, they built a Ruby on Rails app that lived on Heroku, inside of a Docker container. Then, they bolted on a frontend React JavaScript app to that, which was ultimately hosted on Firebase. After they left, we completely moved everything from the Rails app to just a frontend app. They set up an initial micro-service architecture using Amazon Lambda as well.

How did you come to work with Chain.Reaction?

They were recommended to us by a technical consultant we had hired to help find people to do the work. I believe he and Chain.Reaction were both part of a previous startup.

How much have you invested with Chain.Reaction?

We’ve invested around $125,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

The project ran from July of 2015 to October of 2016. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

We always use an Agile workflow, so every ticket that the development team picks up has a pre-determined estimate. Basically, all the measuring is done as a team, and they were measured alongside the rest of us. In terms of the level of throughput, when I first started, we were handling about 30 points a month, with each point representing a half-day of uninterrupted work time for a single developer. By the time they left, it was closer to 50 points per month.

The work they did was pretty solid. We have a motto here of “moving fast and breaking things.” Changes are always coming in. They met our expectations and delivered high-quality code.

How did Chain.Reaction perform from a project management standpoint?

It was a mixed bag. In their company, they work with a “holocracy” as opposed to a hierarchy. They wanted to vet and discuss as a group any decision that was made, which wasn’t necessarily their place. It took some work, but I think they ultimately came around to working within our team’s guidelines.

Sometimes, they delivered work early, but at other times, too much work would get grabbed at once, slowing down the rest of the work. For instance, we had a developer who would pick up many tickets at once, which ended up causing a log jam. We had to work through that with them. Usually, the work proceeded smoothly, but it did occasionally cause some headaches. We used Trello to manage the Agile process. We kept in touch via morning Scrum meetings and Slack.

What did you find most impressive about Chain.Reaction?

They have a willingness to be flexible in the face of change and an ownership of what they created. If something they made was broken, they felt the onus to get it up and running again.

Are there any areas Chain.Reaction could improve?

When you are consulting, you need to be ready to adopt the team dynamic that your developers want. It’s okay to have your own opinions, but if those opinions get overridden, you eventually need to accept those parameters.

Do you have any advice for someone looking to work with Chain.Reaction?

As with any new hire, set very clear expectations for the work and the process that you would like them to follow.

4.5
Overall Score Generally, it was a positive experience. The frustrations I mentioned would grate on me at some points, but the team was mostly very good.
  • 3.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Sometimes scheduling went very well, but other times it was quite frustrating.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    It’s hard to find people who will do work at their level of quality for the same price point.
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    The quality of the work was generally very high. Sometimes, the estimates for delivery were pretty far off.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would refer them to someone who knows how to set clear expectations; otherwise, I wouldn’t feel comfortable with recommending them.

Web Development for Dog Breeding Marketplace

"They had great technical knowledge and presented strong solutions for my requests."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
4.5
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Oct. 2016 - Apr. 2017
Project summary: 

Chain.Reaction created a marketplace web platform from scratch, incorporating payment service features and detailing the specifications backlog. They also provided consultative advice for business strategies. 

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Budapest, Hungary
Sandor Fagyal
Co-Founder, Wuuff LLC
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

After launching, the website met all required functionalities and attracted praise from visitors due to its smooth design. Chain.Reaction’s efficient workflow, broad technical experience, and eagerness to evolve contributed to a productive partnership. 

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We are a startup company providing a marketplace for dog breeders and people looking for dogs. Beyond listings, we also process payments and allow people to post verified reviews.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Chain.Reaction?

I decided to outsource our software development and needed to find a team.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Chain.Reaction started working on my platform from scratch. Another company was in charge of designing a high-fidelity prototype. I had user-tested functionalities in place and gave Chain.Reaction’s team a clear idea of what the software would have to do. We had a basic specifications backlog, which was later detailed by Chain.Reaction. They used JavaScript, Node.js, and ReactJS for coding and assigned 3 developers.

The platform features a marketplace with payment services for sellers. It’s not an e-commerce site in the sense that the dogs posted there are not supervised or selected by us.

How did you come to work with Chain.Reaction?

I had read a story about Chain.Reaction in a blog post, but they were introduced to me by a friend. I did look at other companies, but, even though Chain.Reaction was the most expensive option, I felt that I would be getting more experience and knowledge from their team. They would be able to add value to my project and not simply do what I requested. More than an execution service, I expected an advisory relationship.

How much have you invested with Chain.Reaction?

The cost of Chain.Reaction’s work has been €14,000–€15,000 [$15,600–$16,800] per month, with a total close to €80,000 [$89,000].

What is the status of this engagement?

I started working with Chain.Reaction in October of 2016. The project completed in late March of 2017. We continued to work on a few additional fixes until April. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

What Chain.Reaction has been able to accomplish within these short few months speaks for them. Anyone who has seen their work was pretty much amazed. All the functionalities I requested are in place. The bugs we had were few and minor and were fixed right after their discovery.

How did Chain.Reaction perform from a project management standpoint?

It was a very informal process. I did not have an assigned project manager, so the senior developer/team leader took it upon himself. During all planning and demo meetings, we had a quick and informal process, unlike what I’ve seen in other places. Chain.Reaction was behind the original deadline we set. This was one of my issues with them, but they were good in terms of communication, although not excellent. This is the biggest challenge when working with IT teams unless there is a designated project manager in place.

What did you find most impressive about Chain.Reaction?

They had great technical knowledge and presented strong solutions for my requests. Chain.Reaction’s team has experience from previous engagements, and they were efficient in general. They knew what they were doing, and everything was handled almost flawlessly. With other teams I used, when something new was implemented, something else broke. With Chain.Reaction, everything simply worked.

Are there any areas Chain.Reaction could improve?

I mentioned to them that their timesheet transparency wasn’t the greatest. I wasn’t given enough insight into how much time was spent on certain tasks. Now that a new team is working on this project on a lower scale, the process is more transparent, and I’m able to see the minutes being spent on each task and the hours spent each day. This way, I can judge where too much time is being spent. With Chain.Reaction, it felt like I was being kept in the dark. It was not necessarily intentional, but they didn’t seem to prioritize sharing their real timesheets. It made me uncomfortable at times. I had an issue of being overbilled by a couple of days when a resource was not working but was still kept in the log. It was fixed, but I still cannot confidently say that I was billed for the completed job. I don’t think this is because Chain.Reaction wanted to cheat me, but they simply didn’t try to prove that the hours put in the timesheet were really completed. They always put in full hours, and it’s obvious that no one works exactly 8 hours per day.

When working on an hourly basis, we have to look for 2 numbers: how much is spent per hour, and how many hours a person puts in. I knew the former, but I didn’t have a clear understanding of how many hours are being put in. When I explained it to Peter, the CEO of the company, he listened to me, understood it, and mentioned that they had already changed the system. I’m glad to hear this, if it has indeed happened.

Overall, I love Chain.Reaction, and I look up to them as great people. I don’t think that this timing issue was intentional. As a professional group of people, they are fantastic. 

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They were always on time.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I didn’t have a clear understanding of the timing, which made it hard to judge. Chain.Reaction’s expertise makes me want to rate them higher.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Even though I’m not fully satisfied in terms of time-logging and testing. Chain.Reaction’s members were running tests themselves with no designated person.
  • 4.5 NPS
    Willing to refer

Market Validation for IoT Company

"Chain. Reaction had a systematic and disciplined approach."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
4.5
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Mar. 2016 - June 2016
Project summary: 

Chain.Reaction provided market validation and market research services, testing hypotheses through online marketing. Primarily using Google AdWords and Facebook, the team has determined the path of the product.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Berlin, Germany
CEO, IoT Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Heightened market understanding has allowed the product to be developed faster, avoiding costly mistakes while reducing the time to market. Chain.Reaction designed the process from beginning to end, and was able to execute on time and independently. 

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We offer smart car management solutions for companies wanting to integrate electric vehicle fleets. I am one of the founders and the CEO of the company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Chain.Reaction?

We needed help for properly planning our product, well in advance to launching it on the market. We wanted to learn from potential customers and target groups, quantifying their interests.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We have been working with Chain.Reaction for our marketing, market validation, and market research phase. Chain.Reaction has provided customer development services, trying to identify potential targets. This allows us to have an Agile product development process, by testing hypotheses with online marketing.

Chain.Reaction has identified and defined hypotheses and market assumptions. We also identified goals and targets, and, together with Chain.Reaction, we ran an online validation campaign using Google AdWords and Facebook, testing different value propositions, measuring clickthrough rates, and conversions. At the end of this campaign, we made a business decision around which direction would be best, based on the results. We adjusted product development accordingly. It was a lean approach, with strong marketing expertise.

The design of our collateral was also a part of the collaboration. Chain.Reaction defined our goals and did research, going from concept to execution.

How did you come to work with Chain.Reaction?

I knew one of their partners from a previous collaboration. I had also heard that Chain.Reaction had a very good market development team, so I approached them for help on our validation campaign. We are confident that working with Chain.Reaction will be fruitful before the end of the collaboration.

How much have you invested with Chain.Reaction?

The cost of Chain.Reaction's work was around €60,000 [approx. $63,000].

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Chain.Reaction in the spring of 2016. We concluded the project in June, and are focusing on making marketing decisions in-house. We are not working with Chain.Reaction on an ongoing basis. They were a great help during product development, but we have an internal team now.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

It would be hard to give metrics, especially for our market validation stage. Twelve months of development without any market testing could have been a good benchmark, and it could have a $30,000 cost for a startup like ours.

Since we knew what kinds of functions we needed to develop, we could move much quicker. This reduced the time to market in our case. This is a key achievement of our work with Chain.Reaction. We're currently present in multiple European countries, and have around 60 paying customers. Those results came after our work with Chain.Reaction, but it's hard to define how significant each part was for the goal. It definitely provided added value.

How did Chain.Reaction perform from a project management standpoint?

Chain.Reaction had a systematic and disciplined approach. They handled project management, were on top of execution, designed the whole process, and took steps when the timing was right. Deadlines were fulfilled. I was very satisfied in this area.

We had on-site and off-site project work, so we spent two days per week in-person with Chain.Reaction's team, the rest of the collaboration being remote. We used Slack for communication, as well as Google Drive.

What did you find most impressive about Chain.Reaction?

Chain.Reaction's project management and systematic work, from concept to execution, were definitely impressive.

Are there any areas Chain.Reaction could improve?

I would have been happy to continue the collaboration, but it makes more sense for us to keep marketing in-house. Chain.Reaction gave us good value for money for this one-off project, but, on a long-term basis, it would not have been worthwhile. I would be willing to continue the collaboration with Chain.Reaction if their prices were lower, even if we have an in-house marketing team. This is a matter of positioning, rather than an area for improvement.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    The price was good, but it was a relatively significant investment for us.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    There is always room for improvement.
  • 4.5 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I have recommended Chain.Reaction.