STRATEGY. PRODUCT DESIGN. ENGINEERING. GROWTH.

Differentiate, disrupt and lead the pack. Rival Group specializes in strategy, product design, engineering and growth.

We are a nimble, fast-paced and cohesive team of passionate entrepreneurs, creators, and thinkers. We equalize the playing field for companies of any size to compete, grow and lead in the tech era, and influence the next wave of innovation by enabling visionaries to convert, invert and subvert in their industries. Send inquiries to [email protected]

 
$10,000+
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
2 - 9
 Founded
2016
Show all +
New York, NY
headquarters
  • Rival Group
    212 W. 35th St. 15th Floor
    New York, NY 10001
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

All Paws (Acquired by PetSmart), Translator.media, Goldman Global Arts, HyperVocal, DKNY, Contend, Concordia, NBC, Toyota

Reviews

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Development for Acquired Pet Adoption Site

"He looks at things often from a business perspective and a founder’s perspective."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Dec. 2013 - Oct. 2016
Project summary: 

One of Rival Group's primary members has served as the end-to-end developer for a highly trafficked pet adoption site for many years.

The Reviewer
 
2-10 Employees
 
New York Metro Area
Founder, Pet Adoption Site
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The site owner has had a positive working relationship with the resource and notes that his work ethic is strong, especially when taking on new challenges.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We are a pet adoption platform. I am the founder.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Rival Group?

We were looking for full-stack development.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We’ve gone with basically one primary developer. I was looking for somebody with strong skills, good Ruby on Rails experience, and someone who could really do end-to-end programming.

How did you come to work with Rival Group?

I’ve known Man Hoang for six or seven years. I had actually employed Man previously at a company that I co-founded before this, so we had a fairly longstanding relationship. He had left the previous company pretty much around the same time that I did, and we ultimately got together on this project.

How much have you invested with Rival Group?

We have spent $500,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

It began in 2013 and is ongoing. I don’t think any site is ever complete. Certainly, the original specs and the principal development of the platform is complete.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

We just were acquired by PetSmart, so we’re in a bit of a transition phase at the moment. We receive nearly a million visits a month.

How did Rival Group perform from a project management standpoint?

We primarily used Trello. For a period of time before that, we used Pivotal Tracker. Man is pretty flexible, so whatever you want to work with is fine. As far as project management, we were always in frequent communication. There were days where he was in the office, but if he was working from home, we would communicate by Gchat or something like that, or phone. We would certainly create tickets for smaller items. Larger items, we would usually talk about and then create tickets for.

What did you find most impressive about Rival Group?

Man has a few unique skills for a programmer. As far as what he’s done particularly well, he is an extremely talented programmer. To build a site like this, one that gets that kind of traffic and has been labeled rock-solid technology by everyone who’s looked at it, obviously requires a ton of skill. I would say he’s just a highly skilled developer. One thing that makes him fairly unique among developers is that he has a pretty strong business sense and entrepreneurial sense as well. I’ve worked with a lot of developers over the years who simply will follow your instructions and give no input, no opinions, nor thoughts. He looks at things often from a business perspective and a founder’s perspective. He has a lot of ideas and he’s not shy about offering input. He’s very proactive in offering suggestions. That definitely makes him fairly unique among the developers that I’ve worked with over the years.

Are there any areas Rival Group could improve?

I don’t know if it’s necessarily an area for improvement, but I guess the flip side of that aspect of Man is he likes to be challenged. He’s thirsty for new knowledge, new technologies, and new challenges. As a result, if you don’t challenge him, I think he can lose interest, particularly if it’s boring stuff. I think by having worked with him for a number of years, it’s something that I was familiar with and aware of. It’s certainly not unique to him in the development world, but I think he is particularly at his best when it’s something new and exciting for him to look on and it’s a new skill, new technology, or new feature that he can master. He is not someone who wants to work on the same projects over and over again. I have certainly worked with developers who are perfectly happy if you just give them something to do; they do it, and it’s a very transactional relationship. Man has much more of an entrepreneurial mindset and is much more eager to take on challenges, so I think it’s important to view him in that light.

5.0
Overall Score If you say that being acquired or having an exit is one of the key measures of success for a project or for a company, it’s hard not to look at everything as a 5.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Man works extremely quickly and extremely hard.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Rival Group built a tremendous platform for us that was ultimately acquired by a large company, so I would say we got good value.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Rival Group built a rock-solid platform from a technology standpoint that has been admired by anyone who’s looked into it and was ultimately acquired by a very large, nationally known brand.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Landing Page Design for Arts Site

"What I really appreciated was how light and agile their team was and along with that, their quote."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
September 2016
Project summary: 

The project required the creation of a three page site within two weeks, with a strong emphasis placed on stimulating video snippets and images.

The Reviewer
 
2-10 Employees
 
New York Metro Area
Chelsea Beloff
Digital Director, Goldman Global Arts
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The client was very pleased to work collaboratively to produce an aesthetically pleasing landing page on short notice. The price was also within expectation. Their UX design process wasn't quite up to speed.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Goldman Global Arts transforms spaces using art. We’re the curators of Wynwood Walls in Miami, so we’re taking that spirit of infusing art in unexpected places. We partner with third-party brands in development, cities, other types of brands, and we collaboratively infuse art into their existing business model.

I am the digital design strategist.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Rival Group?

We worked with Rival Group to actually build a preliminary phase of our website. We had a very short timeline in which to turn it around. We needed a basic landing page with some video content that we had sourced ourselves, but we looked to them to provide user experience design and the actual execution and development of the website. They turned it around within our two-week timeframe, which was awesome.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We still have another phase that we’re working on, but the first phase is just three pages. It was a landing page which had a video on the background, and then a Press page as well as a Contact Us page. We worked with them to synthesize what our goals were, and then they provided the user experience. I worked with their creative director, and then together, we collaborated over Slack and InVision and built out the phases together.

How did you come to work with Rival Group?

It was a personal connection, actually, from someone on my team with one of the founders. To my knowledge, they are still quite new, but she seriously vetted one of the founders in terms of personality and background, and it was enough of a sell for us to take a risk. They were also extremely price-competitive. Usually, providers come from bulky agency backgrounds, so what I really appreciated was how light and agile their team was and along with that, their quote. Their quote didn’t take into account all of the unnecessary players that a bulky agency would have in order to roll this out. It was really fair.

How much have you invested with Rival Group?

This is confidential.

What is the status of this engagement?

The two-week sprint for the first phase was in September 2016.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

It’s a preliminary version of the more extensive site that’s soon to come. We got a little bit sidetracked, so phase two is coming later than we anticipated. There is still a portion that is due; not their fault but we just haven’t gotten around to figuring out what we want from that.

How did Rival Group perform from a project management standpoint?

It was awesome and very organized. I have a UX [user experience] background, so it was perfect for me because I am used to working in a very conversational way with developers versus going back and forth with what we want and with feedback for their work. It was more iterative, and we worked as a team. It felt less like I was a client and more of a partner, which I personally liked. Kyle [Hahn, Co-founder], who does the overall management, was extremely organized and very diligent. We got updated schedules, project rollout steps, and deliverable dates. They always met the deliverables. They were never late.

What did you find most impressive about Rival Group?

Their communication and organization were impressive. They killed it.

Are there any areas Rival Group could improve?

I think that as developers, they are really incredible. Man, one of the founders, can really build anything. I think that they could use a little bit of help on the creative side. I would wonder, maybe if I didn’t have a UX background, if I would’ve been able to articulate what I wanted visually as well. It’s just because they are smaller, so I would imagine that that comes with growth. That would be the only thing they could improve.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Two weeks was a crazy turnaround time.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    It was a new relationship, so I still had to be quite hands on. Maybe the additional 0.5 would come later once we would have already established the tone for the project and they could run free with the design.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    It’s super refreshing and appreciated to have such open and consistent communication and organization.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    For sure.