Apps and web services from concept to completion

ClearSummit provides front-end mobile application and web platform development, back end development, and UX/UI design for our clients. We specialize in quick turnarounds for prototypes, as well as beginning-to-end development of apps, web servers and entire platforms.  We make sure our clients are set up to be able to quickly move from alpha, to beta, to full and scalable public releases for their ideas with the highest quality design and engineering from start to finish.

We also provide consulting and development services for existing products. 

 
$5,000+
 
$100 - $149 / hr
 
2 - 9
 Founded
2014
Show all +
Santa Monica, CA
headquaters
  • ClearSummit
    3110 Main Street Annex
    Santa Monica, CA 90405
    United States
    323-940-3353

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Startups at multiple stages of funding; Agencies; Highly-ranked consulting firm; Fortune 500 Automotive Industry Company; Trucking; Museums; Music Business; Entertainment

-isms

-isms was the first project that Shane and Kara created together. They had the idea for it during a road trip to a music festival all the way back in 2011. They worked together to fully scope the project and solve what was then a problem: the desire to compartmentalize sharing of content on social platforms. At the time, Snapchat didn’t exist and Facebook didn’t accommodate targeted shares. iMessages didn’t have group messaging, either. They wanted to be able to share quotes and overheard lines with either everyone or just a few people, depending on the individual situation.

We created the designs and built the iOS app in Objective C. The goal was to keep everything light, open, and simple. By the time we neared launch, iOS 7 had just come out, and we were excited to incorporate some of the features that Apple’s new interface allowed.

We went through different iterations, and incorporated short videos that played in the background of the feed, added photos, and...

TuneRegistry is the brainchild of Dae Bogan - a music business consultant, UCLA professor, and serial entrepreneur. He partnered with music attorney Jesse Morris to create a plan to solve the fragmented and confusing problems related to music metadata and rights registrations. When Kara met Dae at SXSW V2V in 2015, it became obvious that ClearSummit would be a great addition to the TuneRegistry team.

The goal was to guide the user through a series of forms that didn’t feel like forms, and coach them into entering all of the data necessary for their registrations in as simple and streamlined a process as possible.

As we built the platform, we saw how many of the problems we were trying to solve industry-wide are caused by inconsistent and inaccurate data being promulgated across the music industry ecosystem. We created mechanisms to standardize the information during input process, and prevent erroneous data from being sent out to the third-party exchange partners....

JetSpace

We were approached by two teachers from Green Dot Public Schools who had an idea for a mobile app for their school.

Green Dot had some basic designs and branding and a project outline for a very robust app. They also had a strict budget so we worked with them to define a feature set and technology stack that would accomplish their main objectives and stay within their budget.

We developed JetSpace using React Native. This allowed us to use the same basic codebase for iOS and Android, and to branch off and write native code for areas of the app that required that accommodation. In this instance, the camera functionality required some adjustments in native languages, but the vast majority of the app used the same code for both platforms.

We designed the app using clean, crisp lines and the client’s icon and color scheme. The goal was to follow the structure of social apps we knew the students would already be familiar with - but add in some additional features...

Musea

This ClearSummit project came about after we worked on apps for several museums. We saw that there was a huge overlap in features, and decided to create a one-size-fits-most, turnkey app that could get museums up and running on their own custom app quickly.

We started by defining user personas and writing user stories, keeping in mind that a universal application needed to be able to do a lot of things for a lot of people. We made sure to streamline the features so that users who wanted to dig deeper into information were able to, but those who wanted a more superficial experience didn’t feel bogged down.

We wanted neutral branding, with an interface that got out of the way of the content - we knew that the museums’ content needed to be front and center in the user’s experience. The designs made room for visual imagery to be selected by the member museums, and allowed them to maintain their own branding within the Musea app.

We used our working knowledge of...

Reviews

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Mobile Development For Parenting App

"I had total confidence in the technology built by ClearSummit."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
Project summary: 

Working from a preexisting MVP, ClearSummit built a parenting app for the iOS platform. The project mainly involved front- and back-end development in Ruby and Python.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Dallas, Texas
Chris Winn
Founder & President, Village Labs
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The app built a large user base and won a Webby award. ClearSummit's flexible skill set, strong technical competency, and personable communication style enabled them to deliver an exceptional product despite project limitations. The team has a personal investment in the quality of their work.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

The company name is Village Labs. The product that we built is called Village for Parents. It's basically a knowledge-sharing app for new moms and dads.

What is your position?

I'm the founder and president.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with ClearSummit?

When we approached ClearSummit, we already had an MVP [minimum viable product] published in the App Store, but that was an anemic version, like many MVPs are. It didn't have very many features and was bare bones. We needed somebody who could handle both front-end and back-end development and was willing to work with us to bring our vision to life. In interviewing a bunch of people, Shane gave us the most confidence that ClearSummit was the best fit for the project.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement in detail.

The designs were all done in-house, although Shane [Zilinskas, CEO of ClearSummit] certainly provided feedback in terms of technical feasibility for the designs. However, Shane was mainly in charge of all the front-end and back-end codes. One thing that really impressed me was, the back-end of our MVP had been built with Ruby on Rails, and ClearSummit had done most of their projects in Python. However, they were able to learn that language completely, and use it to build our app without any problems.

How did you come to work with ClearSummit?

I put an ad out on weworkremotely.com and, of the 80 or so responses I got, ClearSummit was just head and shoulders above everybody else based on their portfolio of work. The clear understanding that he had of what we had already built, making some early suggestions that were right on point. From a technical standpoint, it was very obvious he's competent there. Also, he was just extremely pleasant, and an easy guy to work with. When he tells you he's going to get something done, he gets it done.

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?

It was in the $50,000 to $100,000 range.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked with ClearSummit from May 2014 to April 2016. In that time, we typically worked in three-week sprint cycles.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

I recently shut the app down because we weren't able to scale it as quickly as we needed to. However, that is not at all related to Shane. I had total confidence in the technology built by ClearSummit. We actually were a Webby award honoree this past year.

What distinguishes ClearSummit from other providers?

I think Shane is what sets them apart. He's an incredibly versatile person. That's the one thing that I would say, he's capable of handling many different tasks at a very high level. He's also dedicated when it comes to meeting deadlines and exceeding expectations. He takes that seriously and takes a lot of pride in his work. It really shows.

Is there anything ClearSummit could have improved or done differently?

I can't think of anything. Essentially, all of the problems we faced in this company were outside of Shane's control.

5.0
Overall Score It was a phenomenal experience.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Shane was a great project manager. We never missed a deadline.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    The quality was superb.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I already have.

App Development For Astrology Dating Website

"[W]hat stands out is their creativity and their willingness to be patient."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Oct. 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Using Ruby and PubNub, among others, ClearSummit took over app development for a dating website. The project involved fixing faulty code and building chat platforms.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Los Angeles, California
Aliza Faragher and Helen Grossman
Cofounders, Align
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Session length and number of return users have both increased. The rare technical issue was dealt with quickly and thoroughly. ClearSummit's imaginative problem-solving, startup mentality, and ability to teach complex development concepts quickly made them a trusted partner.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

We are an astrology-based dating app.

What is your position?

We are the cofounders and handle the creative and business operations of the app. We have contracted with ClearSummit for our tech services.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with ClearSummit?

We took a windy road to find ClearSummit. Initially, we were working with an Indian company to build the app. Unfortunately, it was not a positive experience. They ended up damaging our app, and we hired ClearSummit to fix what they had messed up. We ended up retaining ClearSummit because they did such a great job.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement in detail.

When the app was broken by these Indian developers, Shane [Zilinskas, president,] and Kara [McGehee, COO,] at ClearSummit patched up the pieces and fixed much of the code. They were using Ruby, and our app originally had certain platforms built into it, like PubNub as a chat platform for example. For the most part, they rebuilt everything that the other company had built and largely kept what had been in our MVP [minimum viable product] before we contracted with the other company.

How did you come to work with ClearSummit?

The MVP had originally been built by another local development team here in Los Angeles, who was also who referred us to ClearSummit.

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?

Initially, it was around $50,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in October 2015, and we're still working with them today [as of July 2016].

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

We've seen dramatic jumps in return users and session lengths on the app. There are many fewer crashes. In terms of a more subjective assessment, whenever issues did come up, they addressed them so quickly, efficiently, and effectively that we went from having a technical headache every single day to having trust and confidence in a team that could put out fires when they needed to be put out. The session lengths improved. The entire experience went from being a buggy inconsistent app to being a very consistent platform.

What distinguishes ClearSummit from other providers?

As cofounders to a small and growing company, we can't sing ClearSummit's praises enough, but I think what stands out is their creativity and their willingness to be patient teachers to us. At this point, we've worked or met or interviewed so many different development teams both in and out of Los Angeles, and they are the most humble yet the most talented by far. They've been the most compassionate and, at the same time, they're not condescending in any capacity even though we're younger and we're new startup founders.

Is there anything ClearSummit could have improved or done differently?

No – they're perfect. They're amazing.

5.0
Overall Score A++. We love them.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    We had a very tight schedule, and they worked tirelessly to hit their deadlines.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They came in on budget. We had been in other situations with other developers where they weren’t as communicative with where our money was going or when we were running low on budgeted hours. Then, sometimes, we’d go over in many cases.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    If we could go to 500, we would. They’re extremely talented developers and they’re extremely talented communicators. All of the issues that we had seen through working with different development teams do not exist with them.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I don’t think it’s possible for any team to be better than ClearSummit.

Mobile Design and Development For Consumer App

"[T]heir advice on the design and marketing of the app...was crucial to the success."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
Project summary: 

ClearSummit built several apps for a development company. Projects included back-end development, design, testing, and digital marketing.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
New York, New York
Founder, Consumer Apps Startup
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The apps perform well. ClearSummit distinguished themselves with their flexibile management approach and straightforward, honest communication style. By prioritizing efficiency, the team was able to adapt to shifting timelines and requirements. 

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

I am an independent app developer.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with ClearSummit?

We were looking for a US-based app developer that could produce my vision, but also add technical expertise and domain expertise; I needed someone to tell me the things that I should be doing that I don't know I should be doing.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement in greater detail.

They did all the development from design and delivery through publishing, pushing out the test flight versions and the final release into the app store. It was really a whole service. I was hands-off completely in terms of the technical side of things. One of the things that was really helpful was that ClearSummit has a lot of experience with mobile apps, and their advice on the design and marketing of the app, in addition to its development was crucial to the success of the project.

Can you briefly describe the app?

There are two. They're still early stage right now. One is a consumer app, and the other one is for businesses.

How did you come to work with ClearSummit?

They were a referral through a friend. I posted on Facebook I was looking for a rock star iOS developer and someone pointed me in Shane's [Zilinskas, CEO of ClearSummit] direction. We really hit it off from the beginning. He's a great guy and we have similar ideas about how business should be done, and that helps things move really smoothly.

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?

Between the two apps, I’ve probably spent in the neighborhood of $10,000 to $50,000.

What was the timeline on this project?

They’re agile projects so it’s been a really flexible timeline. I’ve been slammed with a lot of other work so I haven’t been able to devote as much time to the app as I would have liked, and that’s slowed us down.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What sets ClearSummit apart from other vendors you’ve worked with?

As with all IT projects, things end up taking a little longer and costing a little bit more than you would expect, but Shane is really transparent and honest along the way, and he's been really flexible with me when I’ve pushed things back or put a hold on the projects. He's been great to work with. I've referred him to a bunch of friends and I've heard nothing but good things.

Is there anything ClearSummit could have improved or done differently?

I think they’re a young company, and they’re still figuring out how to give the most accurate cost guidelines. Being more transparent with how things are pacing along the way would be helpful. With that being said, they’re really open and honest, and obviously part of the disparity is due to me and my changing timelines and requirements. So I don't think any of this is unique to them either. They’re figuring out how to get more streamlined in delivery and process and more efficient in being able to deliver things on time, but he's always communicative along the way.

What advice would you give to someone about developing a consumer app for the first time?

Work with Shane, would be the first one. Then, I'd say actually building the app is only 25% of the project. The tip of the iceberg is building the thing.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Mobile App Development For Retail Data Analytics Company

"ClearSummit is very professional...[and] more than pleasant to interact with."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
Project summary: 

ClearSummit built a mobile app for a consumer data and analytics platform. The app displays customer profiles, aggregates data, and generates reports.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Richmond, Virginia
Carrington Williams
Co-founder, Lumiary
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The app's adaptable, user-friendly structure has met the company's specific needs and allowed them to make modifications quickly. ClearSummit's technical expertise and smooth, speedy workflow made the entire process enjoyable. The team always delivered within schedule and budget.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

I'm cofounder of Lumiary.com. We are a consumer data platform and CRM [customer relationship management] for business-to-consumer companies, so we aggregate data from siloed sources like e-commerce systems and email marketing services, and pull that data into unified customer records and provide access to those customer records and various reporting capabilities at a higher level than other systems.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with ClearSummit?

Quite simply, we wanted to build a mobile app that exposed the customer profiles and aggregated data in the customer profiles that I mentioned a moment ago. We built some reporting functionality at a higher level as well into the app. We designed a simple app and wanted to build an MVP [minimum viable product] that we could eventually launch.

SOLUTION

How did you come to work with ClearSummit?

Well, it so happens that ClearSummit's founder, Shane [Zilinskas], used to work at a mobile development company here in Richmond, Virginia, where we're headquartered. His former employer was and remains known for very high-quality work in the mobile space. We talked to them on numerous occasions about helping us out and became acquainted with Shane through that process, but never actually hired that firm. When I heard he had broken off on his own and started ClearSummit, I immediately reached out to him and struck up a relationship, and the project flowed from that process.

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?

Our project was in the tens of thousands of dollars – on the low end of that, I would say. It was tightly scoped, and we stayed right on budget. We changed some things and added a tiny bit of change request cost, but it certainly was in keeping with what we thought was very reasonable pricing throughout the project and, particularly given the results that we've gotten, we were happy.

What is the status of this engagement?

Well, honestly, it's been a little bit of a disaster, but that's my fault, not ClearSummit's. We sort of pivoted the whole business right in the middle of the project. If we had stayed the course with how we had originally scoped the project, it would have been probably 10 or 12 weeks, in and out. Shane and his team were extremely responsive and extremely fast – we had to have prototype apps on our phones internally within probably four weeks of initiating the project. It was quick. Unfortunately, it's now been almost a year, and we haven't actually launched an app, but that's because we changed requirements and put the project on hold for a while and are only now starting to come back to it. It's been a long process, but the fault certainly hasn't been with Shane or ClearSummit in any way. The delay is a result of us being indecisive. In fact, I'm sure, from Shane's perspective, we asked him to get the ball to the 25-yard line, and then marched it back to the 15, and then he marched it back to the 35, and we've done that process probably six times. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

It is a little tricky because we actually haven't had the thing and handed it to customers, but I can say that it was built in such a way that it's given us plenty of flexibility to explore many things on behalf of our clients. In fact, just this morning [December 2015], we met a guy from an agency who was representing some potential clients and had a brainstorm about some ideas for providing customer information in real time to salespeople on the floor at brick-and-mortar retailers. The effort for us to modify the app to get exactly what he was talking about would be very minimal, which I think is a testament to building in the smart architecture and going through the right process when you start out. Given all those challenges that we presented him, just with lack of continuity and changing requirements and changing priorities and all those things, I would say we've come out with a product that we feel is flexible and will allow us to deploy all sorts of functionality as we wish in a very nimble way.

What distinguishes ClearSummit from other providers?

I would reiterate much of what I said thus far, but maybe some new things, too. First of all, on time and on budget means a lot. ClearSummit is very professional throughout, in all cases more than pleasant to interact with interpersonally as well as professionally. It's just a Johnny-on-the-spot resource. Shane got everything done when we asked him to do it; in many cases, better than we had asked for and he brought great ideas to the table to help us move things along. We were supposed to present designs for everything and have ClearSummit build to those specs. In many cases, we thought of new features for which we didn't have designs, and rather than say, "Oh, well, you guys go get the designs, and I'll wait around until you present them to me, and then I'll build them," he was like, "You know what? I'll just rough something in, and we'll see how it goes." Sure enough, most every time he did that, it was good enough to keep. We just feel like we got a good result all throughout the project, not only in executing it, but also in the products we've gotten out of it.

Is there anything Clear Summit could have improved or done differently?

Not really. I wouldn't change a thing about the project. I would have wished we had been more concrete and knew what we were trying to deliver from the get-go, but that's on us, not Shane. Overall, I wouldn't change a thing. Our relationship with ClearSummit has been one of the best relationships we've had as a company in the two years we've been around, if not the most pleasant.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I've done it numerous times.

Web Design and Development For Custom Clothing Company

"I was very happy and still am."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Dec. 2014 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

ClearSummit built a development operations system using Amazon Web Services, a design tool using Angular and Python, and a systems library using Django REST.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Los Angeles, California
Chris Del Guercio
CTO, UltraPress
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

All the new tools and systems perform flawlessly. ClearSummit impressed with their friendly relationship-building and responsive communication style. Their accessibility and expertise have increased the in-house technical team's skill and confidence.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

UltraPress is the Expedia of custom-apparel. If you want custom shirts, sweatshirts, or sweatpants done for your company, club, church group, and so on. you can go to our site and design your garment. Then, instead of getting one price back, we actually blast your order to our network of clothing screeners and you'll get six to 10 quotes based on your order. Normally, if you wanted all those quotes, you'd have to go to all those sites and submit your custom design each time, but with UltraPress, it's a one-stop shop.

What is your position?

I'm CTO at UltraPress.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with ClearSummit?

We needed help with the development operations side and increasing the sophistication of our server system that was running our site. ClearSummit helped us with that and brought plenty of great expertise. I'm proud of our system now. It's very robust. The second thing is they helped us build a more advanced version of our custom design tool so our customers have an easier design submitting the designs they want to print. It's a very sophisticated tool that was built entirely by ClearSummit.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement in detail.

On the dev op side, they were able to use various features from Amazon Web Services to help efficiency of our site. On the coding side, they used Angular on the front end, and Django, which is written in Python on the back-end to build the T-shirt design tool. In addition, they helped us use a library called Django REST framework, which has made things easier for us.

How did you come to work with ClearSummit?

I actually found Shane [Zilinskas, President at ClearSummit] through an online developers' community, where he said he was available for contract work. I must have talked to 20 to 40 people and was most impressed with his combination of technical and business knowledge. I was looking to hire initially, but then it made sense to have a contract guy that you can turn off and on as needed.

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?

They've done several different-sized project with us. Most have been around $10,000. 

What is the status of this engagement?

Our work with Shane and his team is on and off as needed. I'd say it began around a year ago [December 2014]. Some projects take only a few days while others last a few months.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What distinguishes ClearSummit from other providers?

On top of the quality of their work, I'd say it's their responsiveness and just general demeanor that make them such a pleasure to work with.

After working with ClearSummit, my confidence in our tech staff has increased tremendously. We're more confident than ever that we can support our growing user base as time moves on because of the foundation that ClearSummit has built for us.

Is there anything ClearSummit could have improved or done differently?

I can't think of anything. I was very happy and still am. This has been the longest single relationship I've ever had with a contractor.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer