What was the scope of their involvement?
Novvum had to go into the codebase of the original product and make some adjustments. Their first goal was to fix the existing product. That required them to have a fairly sophisticated knowledge of the codebase along with understanding our business case and business goal. They built patches we never anticipated in the first place because the original team did not do a very good job.
As we developed as a company, we realized that we had the wrong target market and pivoted away from HR and our original concept of video interviewing. We developed a new vision for the product. Novvum developed it based on the old product, but completely rebuilt. They are now working with React to build our MVP as an iPhone app. It will also be available on Android. Novvum also built a responsive web app for casting directors.
Novvum’s involvement has many facets. One would be platform reliability and consulting for our already existing platform. Another is bug fixes and performance improvements of the existing platform. After we pivoted, we worked together in product planning by outlining a scope of work. We retained them on an ongoing basis to begin to build these features we had scoped out in a very Lean and Agile way. Novvum developed our tech stack and its strategy, including our infrastructure, managing the backend and developing the front-end. We provided wireframes, but when where there are gaps in our product, they fill those gaps themselves. They are helping us through the process of customer development right now.
Our core value-creating activity is self-taping, and that happens with the iPhone camera. Raj and Rohit built a Native React component that allows for video capture, which is pretty straightforward on the iPhone, as well as review and redo. This allows the user to capture video, play it back before uploading it to our Amazon database, and then decide whether or not they want to submit or redo an audition. Since there are no Native React components that can do this, they had to build it from scratch. We’re one of the only companies now on the market that has that specific feature for React. Rohit built a web app that allows casting directors to review the auditions submitted for each production. It’s a split screen where half the screen is headshots that have come in and the other half populates with the video audition for that person as you click on each headshot. If you get 50 submissions per role, you can watch all the video auditions individually as you click on headshots. Novvum also built actor profiles similar to IMDb for the Native experience, but we have not pushed that codebase live yet.
How did you come to work with Novvum?
We shared an office wall with Novvum for months and were on informal terms with each other on a daily basis. As happens in co-working spaces, we talked about our projects and they wanted to take a look. Out of all the people that we interviewed, I could tell they had a legitimate interest in our product and not saying that only to get our business. They were also honest and transparent in their pricing.
How much have you invested with Novvum?
We have spent roughly $50,000 on their services.
What is the status of this engagement?
They became formalized in the project last September 15. We are increasing our business relationship with them. We recently implemented a process called macroplanning regarding organizational priorities. I see the beginnings of a team forming between us. We are encouraging some more broad strategic conversations with them relative to the future of their company.