What was the scope of their involvement?
They developed a fully functional iOS app for us. If anything wasn’t functional, they took care of it. They did a project-based rate, which we appreciated because mistakes can add a lot of billable time. We wanted to make a native app, so we used Swift3. The code base is clean. They worked directly with our CTO, and the process went smoothly.
Shane [Co-Founder and Lead Engineer, ClearSummit] always gave us options—Mixpanel, Django, or something else. We went with Django and Mixpanel. We have a backend, a login, an add-picture function, and 2 feeds that run simultaneously. One is the voting feed, and the other is a feed with results from the decisions that were made. We have a part where users agree to the terms of service through TestFlight.
The app has been uploaded to the App Store. We also use a product called Buddybuild for testing. We used Xcode on GitHub for version control, which was extremely helpful. Everything worked seamlessly.
How did you come to work with ClearSummit?
I’ve built apps before using overseas developers and had some issues with that process. I wanted to hire someone local that I could talk to. Making a decision took a while. We conducted an online search to find the right fit, specifically people who had an actual office. I reviewed all the proposals and talked to different firms in person. The proposals were hard to judge because I was new to this area. I ended up picking somebody with a project scope that was too ambitious. They got it done, but the work took a year longer than they said it would.
Then, we had a meeting with Shane. He’s close to our age, which we liked. He had a relationship with social networks similar to ours and could see our vision better than some other people we’d talked to. He also had a knowledge base that was larger than most of the other developers we talked to. Kara [Co-Founder and Project Manager, ClearSummit] was also helpful from both a legal and a technological standpoint.
We met with them twice, and Shane took on another project while we were still looking. We were upset about that at first, but then it took us longer to get things together on our end. When we had everything ready, we hired ClearSummit as soon as they finished the other project. Working with Shane was a great experience because we knew he was our guy after long conversations with him. He did a good job with the proposal process and seemed genuine, especially compared to some other people who spoke with us.
With overseas companies, I often encounter a disconnect culturally. For example, I had built a children’s app for autism with a provider overseas. Once, I asked for a supermarket, and they sent me a supermarket from their home town, which is in Europe in a low socioeconomic area. Communication issues often pop up too. That provider had someone in California, but he suddenly disappeared, and I wound up working with people overseas, which meant I had to wait a week or more to get a response to my messages.
What is the status of this engagement?
I’m not sure when we started working with them. The collaboration is ongoing.