Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
After the February launch, we actually got featured by Apple on ‘New Apps We Love’, which was great. Their feedback was that the design and quality of the app were at quite a high standard for a new player. That was really good for us as a company, but also shows the work that Shakuro came up with in the end.
I think it’s a bit early for us to talk about sales and marketing, just because we haven’t done any yet as a company. We’ve been waiting for the Android to be out and changing the product, so I think that’s a bit of an unfair metric. I think the best one is the Apple feature. I’ve met a lot of people who have made loads of apps, but very few of them have been featured, or at least not at our size. To get that, the idea obviously needs to be great, but the execution needs to be good as well. I think they deserve a bit of credit in that space.
We’ve had really good feedback on design. That’s been the main focus for us. We don’t have a lot of the features that bigger companies have, so the design is an important part of why people are using the app. In terms of the code, I ran it past an experienced developer who I trust, and he said the documentation they set up on the backend is really easy to use. The Android developer commented that the backend docs were quite easy to follow, which is quite important as well and something that a lot of people get wrong.
How did Shakuro perform from a project management standpoint?
I think having a project manager was really great. I got very involved, but I just got more involved than I had to. I think they’re quite capable, which is great. I trust them. A lot of the time, I’m hearing suggestions from them, and they have more tech experience than I do. We use JIRA, which is fantastic from my perspective. It’s really easy to communicate with everyone and make sure everything’s efficient. I do trust them to do their thing when I need to. I’d say they generally met the deadlines. In the app world, meeting deadlines is very difficult, and we didn’t meet every single deadline. I can say that they really worked hard to make sure they did everything that was in their hands to do.
What did you find most impressive about Shakuro?
I have been speaking to other agencies and considered hiring in-house developers as well. I think what really stands out to me is that they’re very professional. The project manager we have has just been excellent, and his communication has been great. He’s very responsive, which I think is one of the most important things. He replies to emails and calls, and he’s online when we need him to be. They’re just super-professional, and I always know what’s going on there. They always keep me up to date on holidays or if people are away. It feels as if they’re part of the company, really.
Are there any areas Shakuro could improve?
I think it comes back to the timing. When you’re building new technology, sometimes it’s hard to estimate how long that’s going to take. Sometimes you just find out as you go along. At times, I think they need to manage that process a little better and manage their client’s expectations. I’ve given this feedback to them, and they are learning from that and they’ve been better recently. It’s something you just continue to learn as you’re building things.