Rocket Fuel Your Product

December Labs builds better software, working with startups and growth companies to develop new applications, software, services and platforms.

Our clients include large Enterprise companies, Silicon Valley’s top funded startups and companies building innovative web and mobile products.

Led by 4 Founders, we are a team of PhDs, Engineers, Researchers, Developers and Designers with a unique blend of technical and design skills.

From concept to launch we apply startup-style customer development and agile engineering for new products and areas of business.

 
$10,000+
 
$50 - $99 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2014
Show all +
Montevideo, Uruguay
headquarters
other locations
  • December Labs Houston, TX
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Google // Accenture // Zurich // Santander // Rheo // Hint // Nest // Biostrap // Apartment Butler // Sinq // Databook // Semtive

Apartment Butler

Apartment Butler is a mobile-first concierge platform for apartments. We partner with top-tier communities to offer high-value services to apartment residents.

Biostrap

Biostrap is a Wearable Analytics company. They create Android and iOS mobile devices that record biometric data for health purposes and interact with Bluetooth devices.

Android, iOS and UX/UI

Rheo

Rheo is a platform where you can interact with videos, skipping some and liking others, learning the content you would love to see. This experience eliminates search and delivers content according to your desires.

iOS, UX/UI

 

Semtive

A bit of the playful webapp that we developed inside the Semtive site that works by assembling the floor plan of your house with your devices and allows you to calculate your electricity consumption

Web, UX/UI

Databook

Databook helps you improve conversion rates, accelerate the sales cycle and communicate the value that your solution delivers for the customer.

iOS, UX/UI

Sinq

Sinq offers web and mobile products to bring transparency and actionable insight into community health services.

Web, UX/UI

Reviews

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Mobile App Dev for Communication Management Platform

"Most of the time, they were able to identify and solve problems before I ever mentioned them."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Feb. - May 2018
Project summary: 

December Labs used React Native to build a mobile app available for iOS and Android. They developed wireframes and features based on an existing web app.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Redwood City, California
Akhil Naini
VP Engineering, Seneca Systems
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

December Labs exceeded expectations on schedule and design, creating an app that looks good and is easy to use. They were able to take control of the project, researching unfamiliar aspects of the API and delivering internal project management.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the VP of engineering at Seneca Systems. We sell our application to local governments to help them manage their communications and workflows.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with December Labs?

Our application was primarily web-based and we needed someone to develop a subset of the features from the web app into a mobile app for both Android and iOS.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We began by giving them a demo of the web app, listing out which features we wanted in the mobile app, and providing them with documentation of our API. Then, they developed the wireframe and preliminary design work. That went through a few cycles of revision until it was approved, and from there they started doing the design work.

Every two weeks they would give us a new build, we’d provide feedback, and they would implement that for the next build. Toward the end of the project, they went through the web app and identified and implemented additional features they thought would increase the user experience.

They developed the app with React Native and it’s available for iOS and Android. They designed everything from login to listing out communications, and enabling city employees to respond across multiple channels from one interface. Users can also manage workflow so that they can track progress details until completion, as well as add notes and locations.

What is the team composition?

We worked with two engineers, two designers, and had a business contact that would check in every few weeks.

How did you come to work with December Labs?

They reached out to us through email. We decided to work with them after I spoke with one of their customers who had a great experience.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent about $100,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked with December Labs February–May 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

The only metric we were tracking was project length, and they exceeded our expectations.

We haven’t launched yet, but I can say that their design skills are great. The user interface they created is beautiful and easy to use.

They pay attention to detail, try to understand the problem, and come up with solutions instead of just meeting requirements. December Labs thinks through what you tell them to do and suggests alternatives when they are better for the project. Most of the time, they were able to identify and solve problems before I ever mentioned them.

How did December Labs perform from a project management standpoint?

They gave us updates every two weeks on changes in the build, project progress, what work remained, where the project was in relation to the established timeline, and the expected end. In addition to these updates, we had daily communication through Slack.

What did you find most impressive about them?

December Labs was familiar with the agile management methodology, which enabled them to adapt to changes in the app and overall project needs. I appreciated that they didn’t need much detailed guidance. They knew our API, and whatever they weren’t familiar with, they would find out. We didn’t have to invest a lot of our own project management or development time to support their development.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Not really, I was impressed with their work.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

I think December Labs works better when they are given an entire project versus working as part of a team mixed with their developers and their customers’ development teams. It requires trusting them, but it’s worth it.

5.0
Overall Score They were a pleasure to work with, very driven, self-reliant, and friendly.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They were accurate with their estimates and tried their best to hit our requested timeline.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I was not expecting to get such a complete mobile app for such a low price.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Their deliverables were excellent. They had well-written and detailed code.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    We've already referred them to other companies.

iOS App Dev for Investment Services Startup

“Our users are happy and so are we.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Oct 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

December Labs assisted in development of a native iOS app with a .NET backend. The platform is hosted on Microsoft Azure and integrated with several third party entities, including one for ACH authentication.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Los Angeles, California
Founder, Investment Services Startup
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The app’s scalability has fostered confidence in the possibility of future growth. December Labs’ communication, accommodation to U.S. time zones, and first-class project management processes were impressive. A versatile approach bolsters their ability to meet startups’ needs.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the co-founder of an iOS investment app that people can use to generate intelligently-tailored portfolios and have our team of investment professionals actively manage their accounts. We’re part robo-advisor and part traditional advisor.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with December Labs?

We started off with some other developers to build the app’s backend foundation, but they were too slow and some of the code was a bit sloppy. We were trying to create a scalable, robust system that could grow with us.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

December Labs worked on our platform. It’s a native iOS app with a .NET backend that’s hosted on Microsoft Azure. We have some deep integrations with our custodian bank and broker dealer, as well as with Plaid for ACH authentication.

What is the team composition?

They assigned two developers and a project manager to the project.

How did you come to work with December Labs?

Another startup we knew had used and recommended them. We were ending our angel round and looking to enter the seed investment phase, so timing was very important. I used to be software engineer, so I know how hard it is to find talented and affordable in-house developers and convince them to join a startup.

Within two weeks, December Labs gave us two senior developers who worked well and fit our budget. We didn’t have to pay additional expenses, so it wasn’t just a matter of outsourcing, but being able to scale up and down. They essentially helped us get to the next stage.

How much have you invested with them?

The cost so far has been around $50,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in October or November 2017. The collaboration is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We’ve fixed all of the bugs and the app is scalable. We’ve become confident in our ability to grow without the technology platform becoming an issue. Our users are happy and so are we.

How did December Labs perform from a project management standpoint?

We’ve worked well with them. Their English-speaking abilities and communication skills are great. December Labs works according to U.S. time zones, so it’s worked out well.

We use Slack, Google Hangouts, and Trello for project management. Their process is on par with that of any top-tier, U.S. startup.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They’re willing to work with startups and understand the hardships we’re facing. Their team can act as a good sounding board for us because they’ve been there before. They simply employ quality developers. Everyone on their team is great.

I know of another startup that’s using them. They have machine learning and AI components, and December Labs gives them access to anything they need. They have developers who can do anything effectively. We’re hoping to implement some machine learning later on as well for some parts of the app. We’ll easily be able to do that because of them.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I have no complaints.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    The developers dedicated themselves to making sure everything was completed when they said it would be.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Having worked in the industry before, I can say that their value is amazing.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They’re some of the best communicators we’ve dealt with.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would wholeheartedly recommend them to any startup that needed or wanted developers.

Web and App Dev for Wind Energy Startup

“I had an idea that wasn’t very clear, but December Labs materialized it.”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Sept. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

December Labs developed an application for users to estimate energy consumption and services, and also updated an existing WordPress website to interest potential investors.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
San Francisco, California
Marketing Director, Wind Energy Startup
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The website’s elegant redesign more accurately represents the client’s vision and has garnered potential customers for an expansion. Availability, a startup-friendly atmosphere, and flexibility amidst shifts in timelines and requirements have secured the possibility for future engagements.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We’re a company working with renewable energies, and the main product that we’re entering the market with is a turbine for residential and commercial use. I don’t have an established position since we’re a startup, but I’m generally in charge of all marketing activities. I also assist with human resources.

Our turbine is small enough that it can be placed on the roof of any home and supply its energy consumption. We started in Argentina seven years ago, but moved to Silicon Valley two years ago in order to expand to the U.S. market.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with December Labs?

Potential consumers often inquire about how our turbines work and how much energy they generate. To answer this, we asked December Labs to develop an app for us that we will launch next week.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

My relationship with December Labs started when I decided to create a web app as a complement to our website. Through this app, users get an estimation of how much generated energy they could get, how much they’ve consumed in their home, and how these could be supported with use of our products. December Labs showed me different options during development, and also kept me updated on progress.  

The app allows users to draw a map of their home to calculate their electricity consumption. It also combines this information with the consumer’s location in order to calculate turbine performance. Everything is presented in a very fun way to the user.

Later on, we needed to refresh our website’s image, so we placed the app development on standby. We dedicated ourselves to relaunching the website with updated simplicity. We finished this two weeks ago.

What is the team composition?

A project manager led the team they assigned to me, and also coordinated everything as well as participated in discussions about our needs. I also had a designer and 1–2 team members in charge of development. We started with a team of four, but eventually scaled it down to three.

How did you come to work with December Labs?

They actually contacted us. They have a sales representative in San Francisco, but I’m unsure how they found us. I chose them because they provided a mockup that allowed me to visualize the outcome. Other companies I’d been in contact with didn’t do this, and the mockup really helped clear up what I wanted for the app.

I also really liked what they presented during the interview in which they explained the proposed development in detail. They managed it well, and also spoke Spanish, which made everything a lot easier. I’ve interacted with other companies who didn’t speak Spanish, and found it difficult to communicate project details clearly with them.

December Labs wasn’t the cheapest, but their budget was logical and adapted in a way I could with with. They were flexible in order to accommodate our needs as a startup with a tight budget.

How much have you invested in them?

We’ve spent about $30,000 between the two projects.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in September 2017 and will continue doing so until we’ve finished both projects. If everything goes well post-launch, we will have more projects in the upcoming year.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We still need to work on the website, and I’m thinking of new things to add to it. The website has been greatly improved due to the redesign. Creating a custom website would’ve required a lot more time and money. We needed a quick update in order to present to investors, and December Labs managed to do it in a rapid fashion.

They took the existing platform and content and refreshed it to more accurately and elegantly represent our company. We now have a lot of pending jobs for our U.S. expansion as a result.

How did December Labs perform from a project management standpoint?

We use Slack to communicate and share documents with team members involved in the project. They also have Slack on their phones, so we’ve been able to reach them at any time. They’ve been consistently available to address any needs or issues.

Our engagement has been more informal in the sense that we only meet as needed instead of establishing regular times. We established deadlines, and although we had to change a couple of dates, those deadlines remained the same. There was only one delay, and it was because we didn’t provide data when it was needed.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They quickly understood our ideas. When I first started thinking about this app, I had an idea that wasn’t very clear, but December Labs materialized it. We understood each other easily, and everything happened very fast. They also quickly understood the design I wanted, which made the job easier for us.

I really like that December Labs is flexible in working with us as a startup with needs that change on a daily basis. For example, I asked them in the middle of developing the app if we could put it on standby in order to work on another project. I also asked them to remain flexible with the budget, schedules, etc., and they were completely accommodating. They got into the project without any hesitation. I’m really happy, and the results and quality have both been amazing.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I haven’t had any bad experiences. They’ve been flexible when we’ve changed dates and requirements, and they always understand. I have nothing negative to say.

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

iOS App Dev for Video Content Platform

"Having them work side by side with us was incredibly valuable."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
4.5
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Feb. 2017 - Apr. 2017
Project summary: 

DecemberLabs partnered with a social video platform to develop an iOS app for short form content. The team worked on a signup system, user profiles, and UI. 

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
San Francisco, California
CEO, Video Content Platform
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

DecemberLabs stands out for their ability to deliver quality work quickly. They were flexible in project management and sent one developer to work in person. The team has a wide variety of tools at their disposal.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We are a social video platform where we curate and personalize the best short form content. I’m the CEO.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with DecemberLabs?

We had an aggressive schedule to develop our iOS app. Hiring in the Bay Area has been a difficult process due to all the competition. While we were looking for the right candidates, we decided that we needed to bring on a consulting firm to help us accelerate our building.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

DecemberLabs provided iOS development for our application. They had two full-time individuals on the team, but one of them jumped in and out. We were very impressed with the way they handled that. I’ve always worked with geographically close teams so what DecemberLabs did was send one of their developers to spend four weeks with us in the office. They were very dedicated.

How did you come to work with DecemberLabs?

One of their team members reached out and pitched their company just when we needed someone. I always check out the portfolios of people that contact us. When I saw one of DecemberLabs’ apps was about music, it was really polished and it was an easy choice for us. I met with the team and was very impressed by them.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in February 2017, and the project was completed in April 2017.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The speed of their development was the biggest pro in working with them. They built a significant part of our user profile in two months. They were efficient and dedicated. I don’t have any specific metrics. To build a signup system, user profile, and all the UI in two months with one full-time and one part-time developer was impressive.

How did DecemberLabs perform from a project management standpoint?

We did our own project management for this project.

What did you find most impressive about DecemberLabs?

Their knowledge of the framework and the variety of tools that are available to us and their ability to bring that to our development to speed things up and guide us was very valuable. I know iOS very well but I don’t have the exposure that they brought to the project from a variety of tools, framework, and services available. The breadth of what they offer was really notable.

Are there any areas DecemberLabs could improve?

Having them work side by side with us was incredibly valuable. When I contrast the productivity from them being local where they were amazingly killing it to moving to remote, it was tough thing to compare. Their communication was really good. Efficiency in the remote relationship was not as strong as when they were here with us.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    The time when they were here was incredibly efficient. When they were remote, we had some scheduling issues that we needed to work through.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    The fact that one developer came and worked in San Francisco with us as part of the contract cost was great.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    The quality was excellent.
  • 4.5 NPS
    Willing to refer
    We were very happy with their work. There was some apprehension during the remote time, but we were generally happy.

iOS App Dev for Digital Consulting Firm

"DecemberLabs played a pivotal role in us launching our business."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Sept. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

DecemberLabs helped to launch a B2B iOS application that provides a data-powered insight solution. The team now works on a fixed contract in an ongoing maintenance capacity. 

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
San Francisco, California
CEO, Digital Consulting Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

User feedback has been consistently positive because the app is responsive and easy-to-use. DecemberLabs is proactive in giving suggestions and played a vital role in launching the entire business. The team has a can-do attitude, making them pleasant to work with. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We are a digital consultancy offering a data-powered insight solution on iOS and web, around publicly-listed companies. It provides large organizations working in the B2B space with the ability to understand what their business is, what is important to them, and how the product fits with market needs. I am the CEO and a co-founder of the company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with DecemberLabs?

We’re a young company founded a year and a half ago. After 6 months of development, DecemberLabs stepped in to help us fix a problem in getting our iOS solution launched.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

DecemberLabs scoped out a project plan and delivered it. Since the launch, they’ve continued to support us with further iOS development, both on a maintenance and enhancement basis.

They assigned 2-3 developers to the project, as well as a designer. Among the technologies used were Swift and Node.js.

How did you come to work with DecemberLabs?

We chose them based on their attitude and the reasonable price/value proposition. DecemberLabs was neither the cheapest nor the most expensive company, but they had good value for what we needed.

How much have you invested with DecemberLabs?

There were 2 phases for the project. The development for getting an initial piece out cost $40,000. There was a continuation of the work, which occurred over the last 6 months, and is of roughly equal value.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with DecemberLabs in September 2016. The collaboration is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

DecemberLabs played a pivotal role in us launching our business. We are a mobile-first company creating and developing apps before working on the desktop version. This was instrumental in our ability to launch the business and secure customers early in the cycle.

The feedback we’ve heard from users from day-one has consistently been that they love the app. The interface is intuitive and easy-to-use, and the app is fast and responsive.

How did DecemberLabs perform from a project management standpoint?

We tended to use Trello and Slack for project management and collaboration. There were also calls on a regular basis, and we received project reports showing DecemberLabs’ progress, versus the plan. They were very good in terms of communication overall.

What did you find most impressive about DecemberLabs?

They’re extremely responsive, and one of the reasons we chose DecemberLabs was their ability to understand a challenge we were having and provide help. This can-do attitude was extremely important and helpful, and it’s not something all developers have. DecemberLabs has done a good job of delivering the table stakes and has been excellent with the rest of the collaboration, in terms of responsiveness, courtesy, flexibility around scope changes, and proactiveness in giving us suggestions.

Are there any areas DecemberLabs could improve?

We’ve worked better on a fixed-price contract basis, with clear deliverables and timelines, versus a time-based service, which required us to check in every week and talk about what needed to be done.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Based on their responsiveness and ability to deliver a great product.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’ve already made several referrals for DecemberLabs.

iOS App Dev for Media Jobs Company

“DecemberLabs only chooses projects and companies that they believe in.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

DecemberLabs built the MVP of a unique app that lets users hire or apply for jobs in the entertainment industry. Aside from refining the iOS app, the team is also developing an Android and web version.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
New York, New York
Lauren Magura
CEO, Cinematcher
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

DecemberLabs focuses on projects that they believe in, which helps them maximize their resources. They are refreshingly up-front about what they can provide given a certain budget. The team is invested in the success of their clients and proactively gives updates about tech trends.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the founder and CEO of a mobile app company called Cinematcher. It’s a matchmaking app that enables users to hire and get hired for film, TV, and digital projects instantly and globally using geolocation.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with DecemberLabs?

We hired DecemberLabs to help with app development.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

I believe DecemberLabs built the native iOS app using Objective-C and Swift. We’re still working with them to enhance our current iOS. Right now, we’re also trying to roll out an Android version and a web app. They pull in people along the way, but they usually have 2–3 developers working on our project.

How did you come to work with DecemberLabs?

I met DecemberLabs about 2 years ago when we were chosen to showcase at the South by Southwest [SXSW] Startup Spotlight. I met Martin, one of the owners of DecemberLabs. I spent some time with him and some of the members of his team. A few weeks later, they flew out to New York and we discussed my project further — what my vision was for my company and how I wanted the workflow to look. It was great. We kind of jumped right into development. I really liked them. They were enthusiastic and nice.

I had already gone through bad experiences with 2 outsourced developers before I found DecemberLabs, so I did a lot of due diligence. The other 2 developers were like, “Yes, we can do everything. Every single thing you're asking, we can do for this price.” But DecemberLabs was realistic with their timelines and budget. They said, “We might have to cut some things out. We need to figure out how we can fit your vision with the budget you have.” There was no fluff.

How much have you invested with DecemberLabs?

I don't feel comfortable saying how much my company spent. We’re continuing to work with them on a much larger scale, so we’re definitely going spend more on their services.

What is the status of this engagement?

I can't remember when I started working with DecemberLabs. Time goes by so fast when you're a startup owner. It was probably sometime in 2016, and we’ve been working together for about a year.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We’ve just launched our app about 4 months ago. It’s now pushing 1,000 users. We’re in all 50 states and 15 countries. DecemberLabs was able to build our app so we can connect TV and film people internationally, which is pretty huge. We’ve also just locked in 2 massive partnerships. I'm not comfortable with going over sales metrics or anything like that.

How did DecemberLabs perform from a project management standpoint?

We mainly use Slack and Trello to communicate. I can put in Trello, “This is something really important to me. This is something that is high priority that I need to get developed or fixed.” When they complete a task, they put it into “completed.” It’s pretty easy. We don't do a lot of calls, which I love because it’s hard sometimes to make phone calls.  

What did you find most impressive about DecemberLabs?

DecemberLabs only chooses projects and companies that they believe in. They also prefer ones that have a high potential for growth. I don't think they just take anything, so you don't feel like they’re banging out a bazillion projects and yours doesn't really matter. You can tell that they are passionate about what they do. They’ve been amazing to work with. They did what they could for me at every single moment, even if I had to figure out funding or something. They’re patient and willing to work with you.  

Martin and Washington, who are some of the developers I work with, send me articles that are relevant to my company or what we’re doing. I know they also attend a lot of tech events, so they always know about the newest things, such as machine learning and AI. That’s great because then they can give you suggestions. DecemberLabs is innovative and wants to see you succeed, because if you succeed, everybody succeeds.

Are there any areas DecemberLabs could improve?

I can't say anything negative about DecemberLabs.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They’re amazing. Before I met DecemberLabs, I was getting quotes that were much higher and for less development. I would definitely give them a higher score if possible.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Nothing DecemberLabs did for me was ever missing or late.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I refer people to DecemberLabs all the time. I highly recommend them to anybody who is building a minimum viable product for iOS, though they also have Android developers.

App Dev for Management Consulting Firm

“They’re conscientious about deadlines … and think about problems and the best ways to solve them.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

DecemberLabs developed a web solution for a hair styling company. They used backend technologies, including PHP and Heroku for the database. 

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
California
Owner, Management Consulting Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

DecemberLabs’ team is attentive to deadlines, making them an ideal vendor for clients on a tight schedule. DecemberLabs’ proactive attitude also stands out. Developers would often add features outside the original scope in order to optimize software performance.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the owner of an independent product management consultancy.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with DecemberLabs?

I’ve used them a number of times in a subcontracting arrangement. In this particular case, I was working on a hairdressing stylist service for senior citizens.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

DecemberLabs developed my web solution. We mainly used backend technologies, including PHP and Heroku for the database. There were no iOS or Android apps associated with the platform. DecemberLabs had 2 developers working on the project at its peak.

How did you come to work with DecemberLabs?

I’m a one-man operation, so I don’t have formal selection criteria. I got to know DecemberLabs through some of the projects I’ve worked on. I liked the attitude of their team. It’s hard to find engineers, especially remote ones, who are more than order-takers. Order-takers are engineers who won’t build anything outside the scope. However, building software requires taking some initiative during the process. Although some things might not be set, DecemberLabs will build it anyway. I also found them technically competent, with a good work history. I believe that their founder, Martin Palatnik, has a Ph.D. They also care about deadlines. Since they are paid a flat fee, they will go the extra mile to follow the schedule we agree upon.

How much have you invested with DecemberLabs?

We’ve had projects of above $100,000, including the hairdressing tool, while the lowest project was around $50,000. DecemberLabs is a premium-quality developer, not an offshore provider. I don’t believe in nickel-and-diming them or negotiating cut-rate prices.

What is the status of this engagement?

I’ve used DecemberLabs on and off for various projects over the last 2 years. The collaboration is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

All of our customers have been happy. A few of them have even come back for ongoing work when they needed support or upgrades. Almost all of our clients have signed some kind of limited support contract after the initial development. I think that this is a good sign since if they were truly unhappy, they would not want us to handle further work. After the initial build, there might not be a phase 2 for whatever reason. However, we’ve almost always continued the engagements after the initial development.

How did DecemberLabs perform from a project management standpoint?

Because I’m just a one-man operation, the project management depends on how involved the client wants to be. If they want visibility into what’s being built, they can create user stories that I would manage. Generally speaking, I’ve written specs up front. This basic use case specification document serves as DecemberLabs’ blueprint. After that, we agree on milestones, breaking up the overall project into components like user interface and coding. The customer knows exactly what they’re getting each week. Payments are also milestone-based. If the client is unhappy, we don’t get paid. I can give them milestones and a high-level plan of what needs to get built, and DecemberLabs will deliver to order.

The collaboration has never involved more than 4–5 people, even with the customer involved. That helps keep things efficient. I’ve given the engineers a lot of latitude in terms of how they should go about building and estimating work. As I’ve said before, I don’t believe in order-takers or in giving a 50-page spec to engineers and having them ignore functionalities because they weren’t included. I much prefer giving raw outlines of what needs to be built, saying that something needs to be done by a certain date and expecting it to get done. This has worked well over the last 2 years.

What did you find most impressive about DecemberLabs?

They're conscientious about deadlines, provide top-quality work, and think about problems and the best ways to solve them. Another advantage is that DecemberLabs is in the US time zone. People don’t realize how much this matters, but overlapping is much better than having a 24-hour cycle of waiting for a Ukrainian or Romanian dev shop to start dealing with issues.

Are there any areas DecemberLabs could improve?

No. They’re a quality outfit overall.

5.0
Overall Score They’re flexible. They pay attention to detail and deadlines.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They were never late on a milestone. If a task was a bit too heavy, I was warned well in advance.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    DecemberLabs provides good value for the quality of the work. But they are not the cheapest out there, compared to Indian developers, for example.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    The work is always delivered on time and built to specifications.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’ve recommended them to a bunch of people.

Multiple Developments for Healthcare Tech Company

"DecemberLabs is able to challenge my thinking and provide better options."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Dec. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

DecemberLabs provides strategic business direction as well as full-scale mobile app development, integrating health portal and IVR functionality to transition the pilot product to a PHI-compliant platform. 

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Prashanth Donepudi
Co-Founder, sinQ Technologies
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Through DecemberLabs’ direction, both iOS and Android versions demonstrated reliable performance after testing, generating nearly $700,000 in business potential after recent expositions. The team’s commitment, proactive workflow, and flexible management of a major scope continue to impress.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am a co-founder and the president of sinQ Technologies. We’re a mobile health technology firm that facilitates the flow of information between health plans, home-care providers, and people receiving care in their homes. Our platform performs several different functions, some are regulatory and compliance-related, and others are value-added for keeping people healthy in their homes for longer. Ultimately, we also aim to reduce the cost of these health plans. The company has 15+ employees, and we have an extended team of partners.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with DecemberLabs?

We founded the company 2 years ago and had a lot of success initially with our mobile and web tool. The main focus has been on the app, but taking it from a pilot to a fully functional PHI-ready [protected health information] platform proved to be an issue with our existing development team, although we had some good developers based in Philadelphia. The project required more than their capabilities.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

DecemberLabs went through the effort of assessing my ideas for the company in light of our technical capabilities. We discussed the mobile app for iOS and Android, the portal (which provides access to healthcare providers and health plans), and the IVR [interactive voice response] interface that allows people to dial in and complete all the functions they’d otherwise be doing via the app.

Because we are working in the healthcare space, we have a highly regulated environment as far as security and compliance. A part of our challenge was having to work with the latest technologies, and building from the ground up. Both our portal and mobile product are based on React. We didn’t want to develop independent iOS and Android applications, but there aren’t many talented React developers out there, and even fewer are able to understand our business direction.

We used Twilio for the IVR part and Ruby on Rails for the backend, as well as Laravel PHP. We use a secure health vendor called Aptible for some of our compliance needs, and DecemberLabs has been working closely with them. Their team also supplies test support and has caught a ton of issues.

In terms of the information flow between different organizations, the integrations in healthcare are rather archaic. This is another part of DecemberLabs’ involvement. At any point in time, we’ve worked with 5–6 people from their team.

How did you come to work with DecemberLabs?

I had an existing team in Philadelphia that consisted of 4 full-time people and a bunch of part-timers. They were good technologists, but something was lacking. I tried to make that model work for way too long, and it became clear that I needed a better business acumen in my delivery team.

I was referred to them by a former MBA classmate. He had worked with DecemberLabs successfully in 2016 and introduced us. I explained the problem to them and tried to understand the nature of the company, but I also looked at a white-glove studio in Philadelphia, which was more of a traditional end-to-end service provider. They asked good questions but were more about technical delivery. DecemberLabs appealed to me because their interests reflected what I wanted to accomplish with my business. Focusing on development is good, but lacking a business context for providing the right guidance is problematic.

Also, given my situation, I needed a partner who could be as flexible as I needed. I had to transition everything quickly from a team that had been working on this project day-in and day-out for a year. I wanted a partner who could take that brain dump, formulate a plan, and allow me to recover from it. Since my team at the time said that the work would take 8 months to complete, I was astounded that DecemberLabs put together a plan in 2 months.

I had to work hard as well, but I didn’t mind. What was lacking before was precisely my role in the process and how I could improve our efficiency. DecemberLabs included me in that plan. I will start looking for full-time equivalents at some point to replace some of these roles, but I now have a partner who I can continue with for perpetuity. They’ve shown flexibility, desire, and passion in understanding in achieving my goals.  

How much have you invested with DecemberLabs?

The cost has crossed the $200,000 mark with our growing and ongoing collaboration. 

What is the status of this engagement?

We began the collaboration with DecemberLabs in December 2016. The actual development started in February 2017. The project is ongoing. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

From an end-user perspective, we are able to provide feedback on bugs and efficiency. We do this in a collective way with DecemberLabs, which is great. Ten sets of eyes looking at an application is always better than 1 set.

We’ve had 3 recent expositions of the products, including live events where critical customers came to our booth and walked through the app and portal products, which were connected to a live backend. We’ve had a good amount of throughput, which generated business potential in the order of $600,000–$700,000. This option wasn’t available to me before since we didn’t have a robust-enough product to merit conversations. From this perspective, DecemberLabs has been able to get me past the hurdle.

How did DecemberLabs perform from a project management standpoint?

We aim to have a true Agile delivery model. Everything done in the prior week is reviewed on a weekly basis, so we are able to interact and provide feedback.

DecemberLabs uses Slack extensively for real-time communication. The Agile board is done through Trello on their end. My company uses ZenHub for ticketing and issue management, which DecemberLabs has integrated with.

One of my reasons for choosing DecemberLabs was that they didn’t hide behind project management. I have a 20-year history in management and technical consulting, and I know what works and what doesn’t. At some point, with a live production system, there is a kind of rigor around changing and managing everything. As a startup, we needed a more flexible solution. They can manage both changes and our enormous scope, which needs to be done urgently. We’ve achieved good transparency through the tools we use, but everything ultimately came down to the individuals on the team being completely forthcoming.

We have daily standups and weekly demos. I’m able to understand exactly where everyone on the team is by investing half an hour of my time per day.

What did you find most impressive about DecemberLabs?

I appreciate their ability to respond and be dynamic. They’ve taken an individual interest in understanding our business. As soon as I started working with DecemberLabs, their lead sat with us for 2 weeks in order to understand everything before providing direction. After that, their ability to provide thoughts and recommendations for my business was truly valuable. Prior to this engagement, I provided all the direction myself.  

DecemberLabs is able to challenge my thinking and provide alternative approaches. This requires a depth of understanding that most technical teams don’t have.

My contact from DecemberLabs proposes improvements on a weekly basis. These are non-transactional inputs that I’d expect from full-time internal staff.

Are there any areas DecemberLabs could improve?

I have no complaints. DecemberLabs could push back even harder on certain things. They’ve been willing to work with me almost to a fault, and they’ve behaved like an FTE [full-time equivalent] team to such an extent that I expect them to act like stakeholders in my company. 

5.0
Overall Score They’ve been awesome.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    The biggest worry is that we’ll miss our current deadline by a week. I’d give them a 5 because of their pride in keeping their commitments.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    In terms of budget predictability, they’re excellent. DecemberLabs is not the cheapest option, but we’ve definitely gotten what we paid for.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They provide the perfect blend of having technical capabilities and applying them in a business context.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    m lucky to have found them, and I honestly don’t think that the business would have continued otherwise. They pulled me out of a bad spot.

UI for Health and Fitness Wearables Company

“December Labs is extremely fast and good, which is a rare combination.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
May. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

December Labs is taking the lead in UI design for a mobile app that measures biometrics and health data using Bluetooth technology. The team continues to refine the iOS and Android apps.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Los Angeles, California
Sameer Sontakey
CEO, Biostrap
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

December Labs’ developers are able to balance speed with quality, making them ideal for startups and companies with tight timelines. They deliver solid code while producing quality UI design. While December Labs is not cheap, they do provide excellent results and flexibility.  

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the founder and CEO of Biostrap, a wearable technology company. We create Android and iOS mobile devices that record biometric data and interact with Bluetooth devices. Basically, it’s all about deep insights for your health.
 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with December Labs?

We were in desperate need of some help because we had an upcoming launch and deadlines. Our developers were doing low-level service-side stuff, and we just didn't have enough resources. We needed some dedicated guys to work constantly on the UI [user interface] that I was trying to build.
 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We hired December Labs to help with the development of our iOS and Android apps. They took ownership of the iOS and Android UIs. It takes a special skill to know how to create a good UI using good paradigms and frameworks, as well as writing and building good code for different UI elements. I think December Labs delivered phenomenally on that, which is what we needed from them.

We started off with 2 developers — one for iOS and one for Android. The iOS developer codes in Swift 3.0, which is a standard Apple Xcode that uses standard Xcode libraries for iOS apps. We were having issues with lag in the Android app development, so we ramped up to 2 Android guys for about a month to keep up with the iOS development.

How did you come to work with December Labs?

December Labs pinged me on AngelList, and I said, “All right. I'll give it a shot.” I actually wanted to find someone locally because it gets difficult to work with remote teams because of the communication barrier. We got a call from one of December Labs’ guys who vouched for them. I also studied their portfolio, which looked good. They were really accommodating. I told them, “I don't know you guys, I've never worked with you, and I don't have any references, so let’s just do some trial projects.” I think we gave them a 2-week trial period so if it didn’t work out, then it would be easy to exit. They obviously performed exceedingly well, and they slipped seamlessly into our team. They also got up to speed within a week, which was great.

How much have you invested with December Labs?

I pay about $2,700 per developer. We’ve been using them for about 2 months, so I think we’ve paid about $50,000 so far. I know that developers here are expensive, but I think December Labs’ prices are extremely reasonable. They’re not cheap, but you get senior-level guys and good quality for what you pay. That’s worth it to me.  

What is the status of this engagement?

I think we started working together in May 2017, and the project is ongoing. It’s one of those things where we just keep adding features. The product keeps evolving as well, so there’s always work to do.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

I can't give you hard metrics, but I can say December Labs is extremely fast and good, which is a rare combination. I'm not an iOS developer, but I understand how to structure good code. I’ve looked at their code and I think they do a great job. I actually have to find tasks for our iOS guy sometimes because he finishes them so quickly. Work on the Android app kind of lags because it’s so much work for those guys. It’s awesome working with them. They’re responsive and extremely flexible. I kind of go out of the process sometimes, and I’ll ping them directly to ask if they can fix something.

How did December Labs perform from a project management standpoint?

December Labs assigned a project manager to us. We are using JIRA to manage all of the different tasks. They do a great job of picking up the tasks assigned to them. They also call us when they need work to do, which is thoughtful, and then they will do exactly what we tell them to do. They typically don't work over the weekend, but they were willing to help us out when we had issues during one weekend. They’re really accommodating, which is good and helpful.

They’re in Uruguay, but they’re easy to approach and understand. What’s cool is that they’re all basically in the same office. They would work together, which was nice. I would do the product designs and stuff like that, and then I would assign it to our product manager who would then assign the tasks to whoever was responsible for them on the December Labs team. They follow our processes; we don't have to do anything different for them. We just treat them like normal team members.

What did you find most impressive about December Labs?

I feel like I can give them a task and they’ll finish it, they’ll come back, and they’ll ask the right questions. If I give them a mock-up and something doesn't make sense, they ask about it. They’re trying to solve the problem and they want to do it correctly. I don't like to micromanage. Unfortunately, I've worked with guys who just throw their hands up in the air if they’re stumped, and they stall until the decision is made. December Labs tries to go beyond that, which is refreshing to see. They work within our guidelines, they feel like our team members, and we definitely enjoy working with them. Of course, skill is important, but managing your team is important too.

Are there any areas December Labs could improve?

It’s hard to say. I don't think I have any complaints.
 

5.0
Overall Score My intention is to keep these guys indefinitely, and I want to be able to add new developers as we grow. Having them is awesome.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Our deadlines have changed a bit, but that’s not really on them. I have no complaints there.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I think their price is reasonable now. I got them down from what they were asking. We haven't changed the rate, but we’re still on the initial price point we had agreed on, and I said I would go back up.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would use them again for my own projects. I almost don't want to give them recommendations because I want to keep them for myself.