What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
Surprisingly, I got good feedback right away and the largest boat retailer in the world agreed to let us launch the app in five of their U.S. stores. Immediately after that, yacht management companies became very interested.
The hardest part is getting people to change their software habits—what they're using—even if you have a better solution. Some people are only comfortable with email and just don't want to touch a mobile application. This wasn’t a $10 application either; people were paying thousands of dollars for subscriptions so we had to convince them that it was worthwhile. That’s where Prospus, and especially their owner, came in.
When it came time to deal with potential clients, the owner helped me through the process and taught me to analyze their needs, so as to better direct my focus. He knew the right questions to ask and the common elements across manufacturing processes that we could highlight to make people think the app was worthwhile to download, use, and pay for. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, in terms of forming a company around my software, but they helped extract the ideas out of my mind and turn them into something people wanted.
How did Prospus perform from a project management standpoint?
They were always there I when needed them and they always answered the phone, no matter the time of day, which I was concerned about due to the time difference. They communicated functionality outlines over Skype and Google Docs constantly so I was never sitting around and waiting for them to respond. In fact, I was a little overwhelmed by how much they were communicating and updating.
I was full of big ideas in the beginning and they helped me pare them down and organize my mind. They taught me how to talk to other people enough that they’re interested, but not say too much.
What did you find most impressive about them?
I’m a detail-oriented person but Prospus kept me focused on getting the apps working and into people’s hands. They didn’t let me get distracted by the small details. It was extremely helpful to have the owner there to be an intermediary or liaison. If I came to a point where I couldn’t communicate what I wanted properly, he would step in and guide the situation back on track, in the direction it should be going. Our point of contact was also fantastic, both at communicating my ideas to her team and always being available.
Another one of their strengths is the affordability of being based in India. Some people I’ve talked to who have had communication issues with companies in India, whether it be language or cultural barriers, but that wasn’t the case for us.
Are there any areas they could improve?
I can't give them any complaints. They were there for me and held my hand throughout the process, as this was a new world for me.
If they’d known sooner how big my ideas were and taught me to think smaller, that would’ve helped us deliver faster, but I can’t blame them for that. That was me wanting to build an enormous suite of tools and functionalities. They helped me scale back and focus on the MVP quickly.