Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
We wanted to create an MVP [minimum viable product] in time for a tech conference. Octobot created a working app which we could run from a phone, rather than an animated proof-of-concept. It allowed us to get a lot more attention, and gain leverage in our negotiations.
We had a technical difficulty before a meeting with Women's Health magazine, and it was critical that we got the app working properly. Even though I was in New York, while Octobot's team was in Uruguay, they were there for us, making the app work minutes before we walked into the meeting. That sense of reliability showed us that we weren't simply outsourcing a project, but bringing in a group of people who would have our backs. Octobot has incredible communication and accessibility, especially in the case of our two partners from their team.
Right now, we are in the beta-testing mode for the app. The best measures I can provide are regarding response and execution rate. Octobot has been very good at achieving our goals and handling unexpected circumstances. The team has been able to solve any problems which popped-up within the course of a week, on average.
Our app works with a specific bike mount, and we needed to add GoPro camera integration to the app. Within one week, Octobot delivered a prototype. Whenever we have a new demo, we're impressed by their work.
How did Octobot perform from a project management standpoint?
We almost have daily communication, and we try to have a full review of our achievements once per week. This gives me a good feeling over the collaboration.
Our project doesn't always involve building fully functional solutions from the start. We may look at proofing a particular feature, and within a week Octobot will deliver a result which we can test.
Octobot has Scrum management for the team, which is extremely effective. The group is very organized, working based on roadmaps and feature-breakdowns. They've pushed us at the same time to conform to the same organization.
Communication is mainly done through Slack, but we also have Google Hangouts sessions and in-person meetings. The relationship with Octobot is personal and approachable. The group isn't very bureaucratic, but they're still very organized. This allows us to brainstorm during every session, conceptualize, and take the app to an actual successful result.
What did you find most impressive about Octobot?
Octobot has helped us understand what was or wasn't possible. Even though we could unleash our imagination and bring new ideas to the table, Octobot always knew how to manage our expectations, which is important. Octobot never said no to anything, but they still let us know what our limitations were. Their abilities regarding software development are very strong. Octobot has been able to manage any challenge we put up, giving us good time estimates. They're also good at providing alternatives which may provide the same results regarding UX.
Are there any areas Octobot could improve?
Every startup will want to spend as little as possible, and Octobot is not the cheapest software development company out there. In general terms, we've never had a real issue, though. Any situations we've encountered in the past, like moving from email to Slack, were always improved on-the-spot. Keeping up with bugs and fixes proved to be difficult recently. We had a single channel on Slack for discussing bugs, but we've made a dashboard on which we upload videos, pictures, and descriptions of particular bugs.
It's not always the best to work with a team from another city, but we have overcome these things through technology. We couldn't be happier with Octobot. It may sound too good to be true, but it's the reason we've kept working with Octobot, even though we found cheaper solutions on the market.