Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?
We are absolutely satisfied with their performance. We have a very intense development crew on our side, and the ability to get exactly what we ask for, with a whole range of creativity that we never asked for, on a regular, recurring work basis is great. A lot of times it might be, "OK, let's go ahead and do the UX/UI, get that finished, and then go through and start running in coding." We have very tight timeframes, so things were done simultaneously. We were literally working hand in hand. Things would get done, and we would be able to implement it immediately and test it out immediately. If it worked, it was great. If it didn't, we could do the revision.
Compared to our old product before we had engaged with them, we had mediocre to low consumer engagement on our product. On the revision and doing all of our user testing, all of our beta testing, we've seen beyond a tenfold improvement on the engagement in our product.
How did Dogtown Media perform from a project management standpoint?
There was not a single negative thing to say. I have almost 20 years of experience in development, and I've never worked with a team that was so in sync with what we do. Especially when you're working with outside contractors, there always tends to be some semblance of a gap. There wasn't with Dogtown. They were literally right with us the whole time, and the results were phenomenal. If they weren't, we wouldn't be releasing it.
What distinguishes Dogtown Media from other providers?
The biggest thing that stands out for me is the quality of the whole team at Dogtown Media – the understanding, the follow-up, the care, and the concern. They really take ownership of the product. We were working with them on the design aspect of it, but I know when you are sitting and working with developers, for example, most of the time it's like, "Here's the requirement, let me get the work done. Here, I'll give it to you without any concern to what the product is."
The guys at Dogtown took complete ownership of it. They felt it was as much theirs, and that's something that is important. It really stood out for us. That's why I've gone and recommended them to five or six colleague companies that are working with us. We told all of our contacts to go straight to Dogtown and ignore the other firms.
When we looked at doing more complex things that may involve some of the development staff, and sitting and working with Rob, they're more than capable of handling the larger sides of the project. We've got a phenomenal development team of our own, but it's necessary to augment at times. We're self-sufficient on the development side, but just knowing the fact that Marc [Fischer, president and co-founder], Rob [Pope, CTO and co-founder], and the team [at Dogtown Media] are around is phenomenal. If we were doing something outside of our sphere of expertise. We know we've got a great resource that we can turn to.
Is there anything Dogtown Media could have improved or done differently?
In working with third-party contractors, I've never had as good an experience as I had working with Dogtown Media. Even in my own internal teams, I had a startup that I created that grew to 300 people that we sold off to Getty Images. It was the largest acquisition in our industry ever, and I never had an experience working with teams like Dogtown. That's really how good they are.