Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
Users are very impressed with the design of the product. The user interface is always the first thing that people are impressed with. We have about 600 users since we put it in the app store 2 ½ months ago. We are trying to kickstart user growth, so there is not a lot of numbers to speak of just yet.
How did Fishermen Labs perform from a project management standpoint?
It’s the easiest agency relationship I have encountered so far, and I used to work with a lot of agencies in a different work life. Everyone, starting with Eden [Co-Founder, Fisherman Labs], to the project managers, and the developers they staffed with us full-time were great, detail oriented, and open to communicate off hours, which is nice especially having a startup. Eden, with his thoughtfulness throughout the process, and the team were all ahead of us solving business development challenges along the way.
What did you find most impressive about Fishermen Labs?
The main benefit of working with Fishermen Labs, as opposed to other agencies, was that it did not feel like we were trying to feed them work. They felt like they were a part of the team. They were invested regarding how something might not be in your best interest if you are looking to grow the product. It was far less robotic and more of a relationship.
Are there any areas Fishermen Labs could improve?
A couple of things. Having clear boundaries upfront in terms of helping the clients to scope accurately is one. For us, we went over budget with them not because they were working slowly but because the initial estimations might have been a little optimistic. So as we were scoping out our business objectives with the product, if all those features could not be built in a certain amount of time, we had to cut back or re-engage with them a little longer to get those things built out.
Also, in terms of quality assurance [QA], focusing on getting the core functionality right before the aesthetic is important. As an e-commerce platform, things have to work. There were still some bugs that we wrestled with to get under control, which I think of as pretty basic things. Part of it is our fault; if we had helped them to understand our goals, they would have put more time into that. I think internal QA would have been a lot better.
We did use a third-party QA service that they recommended that was okay, but I feel that they did not understand our product. The things they did QA on were not the mission-critical things that we needed thoroughly vetted. Being able to use the same development team to QA rather than outsourcing would have been a better use of time and money.