Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or impact of the engagement?
SoluLab helped us test our idea and create a more tangible user experience. We gained some traction using the original model and were selected in an Inc. Magazine competition called The Coolest College Startups 2016. We also had a mention in an article about up and coming startups. SoluLab’s design gave us a little notoriety, which planted seeds with potential investors.
We were trying to build a pristine user experience with a number of features. We were trying to make a Ferrari, when all we needed to build was something simple, like a Ford Focus. We needed to let people grow the theme and add features as part of a natural evolution.
Our original business model was not scalable, and the changes we had to make led us to step away from SoluLab and look within our domestic networks for a software development team we could work with closely.
We gained a few thousand users during the 3 months when the app was live. Then, we shut it down in order to refine our business model and obtain funding. Certain aspects of the app needed to be simplified, and we had to focus on the core content—connecting people—instead of adding extra features like allowing users to upload videos. We didn’t need another Instagram.
The app had some initial bugs, but we did put SoluLab under pressure to release it quickly. There were some slight instabilities related to the app being a new idea. We released it in around 2 ½ months, compared to our current development run, which has taken 9 months.
How did SoluLab perform from a project management standpoint?
They were responsive overall. If we needed quick changes to be made, SoluLab set up meetings and kept clear lines of communication to understand and diagnose our ongoing issue. From a project management perspective, they handled the work well. We used Basecamp for tracking tasks.
What did you find most impressive about SoluLab?
I appreciated that they were able to help us grow our idea from a design standpoint. The wireframes and mockups we had were amateurish compared to what SoluLab was able to finalize. They manifested our concepts and were quite responsive. I emailed and called the team at random times, and someone was always available.
Are there any areas SoluLab could improve?
The app had some stability issues at times, but this problem goes both ways. SoluLab could have implemented some internal code review procedures, but we definitely pushed them to the max. They were trying to deliver to an American client within a rapid timeline. Our new company has taken 9 months to make a new release, instead of the 2 ½ months we gave SoluLab, and they had no frame to build from. They were still able to deliver some type of MVP within a short time. So, I can’t really hold this against them.