Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or impact of the engagement?
We got what we needed, stayed on budget, and stuck within our timeframe. It allowed us to get an initial version out to our customers for validation as quickly as possible, without too many bells and whistles.
They built it to stack, so the app functioned and worked the way that we’d dreamed that it would. It needed to sit inside a very specific Workbook and onboarding process that we had designed for our customers, and it achieved the goals that we set. I couldn’t really tell you about any financial success because the company started experiencing financial troubles of its own right after that app was finished. We never really got it into the hands of customers for any extensive amount of time. All the management of the company was very pleased: a subsequent company that one of the co-founders started after inRentive used Patrick as well for the project since she was pleased with what he did for inRentive.
How did Lakeview Labs perform from a project management standpoint?
The inRentive project was on Skype, so we had a couple of groups going there. That was the primary communication outside of weekly calls. Periodically, they would come into the office. Patrick was here in Chicago, but the developer was in California. Whenever he was in town, they would both come over, and we would do an assessment and talk about how things were going. He made sure that we got face time.
What did you find most impressive about Lakeview Labs?
The chief thing is their consistency. Patrick is very dedicated to his methodology of how he goes about scoping a project and managing it, so that's really nice. Whatever the meeting schedule would be, he's very disciplined about making sure that they happen and that all the people involved, from management on the client side all the way down to the most junior developers working on his side, had their chance to talk about if they're getting blocked by anything. All that gets communicated, and it's all out there in the open on a regular basis.
Are there any areas Lakeview Labs could improve?
When we first started working with Patrick, he had just started this development shop, so things were pretty scrappy and coming together. That would be the only potential negative. As a startup person myself, I know that it's not a negative; it's just a fact of life when you're starting out. Having worked with him then and knowing how he has worked on subsequent projects—because every now and then he'll look to bring me in on a project because I can contribute some design work as a contractor myself—I know he's gotten a lot more polished since then. That would be the only criticism, but take it as a very light criticism of a company just starting out.