What was the scope of their involvement?
Neon Roots helped us with the app. They had a program called Rootstrap which I would describe as a pre-development development. You take several meetings with them. They ask you a ton of questions and try to pull out from you what your real goals are and what you want the app to do. They give you a lot of feedback which helped us make decisions. It was very valuable. They were generous with their feedback and experience, and that helped us refine what we wanted to do with the app. Then from there, they helped us build out a template. They do some storyboards about how it’s going to look. They do custom backlogs as well.
If you take every potential story through a potential customer’s eyes and you say “I am an X and I want to do a Y”, you build out all these situations and that’s called a backlog. They create those for you. They apply a point system to those which they use to give you a quote for full development of the app. They also did some high definition click-through modelings. We have several pages of how the app would actually look. You can click through them and see how it functions, which is terrific especially when going in front of investors. I’m pretty convinced that having that in hand will go a long ways towards getting funding, especially since we are in a startup phase. Neon Roots provided us this in a fixed price in just a few weeks.
They also do their own market research and they determine whether they believe it’s a good application. If they don’t believe it or like it, then they’re not going to do the Rootstrap for you, which I think is cool. There were a number of points of very positive feedback and very encouraging movement in going through that process with them.
In the end, working with Neon Roots gave us a good look at what we could do. It gave us an idea of what the MVP should be for the app, and it gave us an idea of what it’s going to cost to build it out fully. Again, this was much cheaper than if I was wrong and I just paid an app development company to build an app for me.
How did you come to work with Neon Roots?
Neon Roots was my first choice based on what they offered. My wife and I decided that we wanted to work with a group a little closer to where we live, which is Denver. There’s a very well regarded firm in Boulder and so I took the Rootstrap description from the Neon Roots website and I turned that into a statement of work. I took the statement of work to this app development company and they looked at it and quoted it, and said that they could do it. We agreed to that and signed a deal.
I went up and had the first couple of meetings, and after the first couple of meetings, the owner said that they were overwhelmed and that there were too many options. She said that they thought we should do this a different way and gave us a whole different quote and took our agreement and ignored it. In that whole process, she decided that she had earned about 50% of our deposit and wanted us to put another deposit up so we could move forward working under her new plan, which would be on an hourly time and materials basis. Needless to say, we said no and fired them. We went back to Neon Roots and asked if they would take it on and they agreed. They saw all the things that the first group saw, but they had a much better grasp of what to do and how to address it. They got us the product they promised.
How much have you invested with Neon Roots?
We have spent $15,000. I thought that was very reasonable for the amount of effort they put into it and for the product that we got.