Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or impact of the engagement?
I don’t have any measurable results at this point because I did a soft launch of the app. That's why I want everything to remain private because there are many things that are happening right now. I still have a full-time employer who is in a different industry, but it's a very regulated industry. I was basically asked by my employer to stop working on it. I didn’t go ahead and launch everything publicly with marketing and whatever is needed. I stalled that for now. It's still going to happen by the end of the year. That's why I was saying earlier that there may be some more to do toward the end of the year, but I had to stop everything, and that's exactly why I want it to remain private.
In terms of all the functionalities that I was expecting the apps to be able to do, they met those standards. People were able to use them in the way that I expected them to be used. Everyone who has seen it was very enthusiastic about it and really liked it, but that's a very limited sample from word of mouth. It's basically friends and family who all used it before I shut it down. It was basically in beta and was restricted, so I had to allow every single person who’s going to the platform to join. I was getting interest from many people—maybe like 50 people talking about it—but then I had to stop before I could really launch it.
How did iLeaf Solutions perform from a project management standpoint?
I think they do quite well, and I tend to be a little demanding. Because I was on my own, working on the project from the company standpoint, sometimes I would be a bottleneck, but they really performed well from their part. They were able to meet the deadlines I set for them for the various milestones and the eventual wrapping of the project.
In the beginning, I had to set expectations on response time, keeping me up to date where they were, and letting me know if there were any hiccups during the project. It did not appear that it was going to be the case (maybe I'm just too demanding). But, once I communicated that and set those expectations, their response time was very quick. As I said, whenever there was a bottleneck, it was mostly on my part because I was doing many things at the same time and didn't have the time to focus.
We communicated with Skype and email. I would mostly communicate with the project manager on an ongoing basis, with Jaison [CEO, iLeaf Solutions] every once in a while (when needed), and sometimes with developers.
What did you find most impressive about iLeaf Solutions?
I've worked with independent contractors, both here in the US and abroad, and I would say that they are extremely reliable. Some of the things that I really appreciated because they really fit my profile are their flexibility, helpfulness, and resourcefulness. I would spend weeks where they needed me to provide something, and I just couldn’t because I don't have the time, and I wouldn't be penalized for that financially. For someone who's trying to build something on the side, that's a very important trait. I really appreciated that. There was never a time where I needed a resource for something and they couldn’t get it for me. I think that they have some relationships with some other firms that do different things: if I needed something that was not necessarily in their area of expertise, they would find a sister company or a partner on their end that would help me get what I needed.
Are there any areas iLeaf Solutions could improve?
Nothing really comes to mind right now. Not all the developers are very fluent, but I saw it more as a cost of doing business with outsourcing or offshoring. Most of them are fluent, so I was able to communicate directly with them, but sometimes I just had to make sure that the project manager was also there. Sometimes, I needed to communicate something directly to the developer because I wanted it to go faster. Those calls could take a little bit longer because it would take more time to communicate since English may not have been the developer’s first language. Although they would all understand me and speak, they weren't as fluent as I would have liked. Those processes or calls may take a little bit longer, but I saw that as normal. It wasn't a big problem for me.