Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
Our involvement with Distillery is somewhat different than their projects with more traditional customers. There is no measure of whether or not our website is successful because we're still a startup. Distillery did a great job of packaging our use cases, brand marketing, and product marketing, giving us a coherent design language, packaging our offering in a website that showcases our digital assets to potential customers.
On the data science aspect, Distillery was tasked with telling me what I didn't already know. I can't say what that entails, prior to receiving Distillery's reports.
One of the business offerings from Distillery is a rent-a-developer service with a staff of engineers in the United States and Russia, available to companies on a monthly basis. They're high-quality coders that are affordable and readily available. They can be secured for either long- or short-term engagements for companies having trouble finding or can't afford local talent. Distillery's other offering is referred to as app-enabled business services. A founder can have an idea for a mobile or web app-based business, but they don't have the engineering team to build it. Distillery can take that person's idea and work with them in order to develop a product spec, engineering schedule, and full agile development sequencing. They manage those and go from an idea to a post-beta deployed product, typically in around 13 weeks, unless the project is larger, and needs more development cycles. Distillery offers full product-managed projects, with the same engineering resources and project management available from a primary software vendor, at a price that someone with seed funding can afford.
I haven't used Distillery for this, but I've seen the results that it can bring, and they are outstanding. We partner with clients who don't have the means to build a solution themselves. We supervise the process and use Distillery as a development partner. I've seen the quality of work that Distillery can give to people I've referred to them, and this tells me that I can use them for Fortune 10 companies that need an application for connecting to our proximity services back-end. This work will be fully credible and accepted.
How did Distillery perform from a project management standpoint?
I am a bit removed from the project management process, but I know that Distillery uses JIRA and GitHub. They also use Flowdock for light project communication.
What did you find most impressive about Distillery?
I appreciate the scope and combination of services provided by Distillery. They offer uniform quality across the board. Vendors like Distillery will usually be mediocre in terms of coding if they're great at design, and vice versa. The project management may also be a little loose. Most agency businesses like Distillery also don't have the same level of quality and conduct management. Distillery's work is not sharply differentiated with respect to individual components, but the combination that they offer, with a uniform quality level and accountability, makes them especially recommended.
Are there any areas Distillery could improve?
From what I know about Distillery's business and market, I would say that they could make further progress on recruiting a broader scope of engineering skills. If someone wanted to develop a project using the Go technology, Distillery would need to find those developers before taking the job. It can be done, but it takes a bit of time. For what Distillery's business is, and how they define it, the opportunity for growth would come from expanding the capacity for the same work and keeping the quality level at the same degree. Small companies can offer a uniform level of quality but, as they get bigger and need to expand the talent pool, the quality of individuals available starts to decline. Distillery has to demonstrate that they can navigate that challenge.
What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Distillery?
Nothing comes to mind, but Distillery has the ability to make these recommendations through their sales pipeline.