Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
We haven’t launched the company yet, so we’re still pre-revenue. Everything we’ve been doing represents the future of home fragrance. It’s been impressive for us to work with STRV, because they’ve been able to problem-solve different aspects that had never been touched or done before in this industry. It’s rewarding to work with an incredible team of smart people who can solve problems that don’t exist yet.
How did STRV perform from a project management standpoint?
We use Slack for communication. Weekly meetings are held through Google Hangouts, but we can also jump on a quick phone call with STRV, even though we’re in the U.S., and they’re in the Czech Republic.
A more straightforward project could have been done quicker and could have reached deadlines more accurately. In our situation, everything is brand-new, and we’ve had to pivot. Overall, we’ve been impressed with what STRV has been able to do, considering the limitations.
Things have ended up being more expensive than what we originally bid for because of the pivoting and reiterating. STRV has been incredible to work with, given that much of our money comes in through milestones, and we may not see the next chunk until certain aspects of the hardware or software have been built. We still have to develop, and the clock keeps ticking. STRV has still been cheaper than hiring full-time internal engineers, but they were more expensive than what we anticipated, as a startup.
What did you find most impressive about STRV?
During some of my previous ventures, I’ve worked with 2 different engineering firms. They were smaller scale, but they still treated us like back burner projects and didn’t have the right bandwidth. Working with STRV has actually been the opposite. They have a ton of people who can join the project at any time and are ready to get cracking, once we send them a task to work on. With other companies, we were waiting on them, while, with STRV, they’re waiting on us.
For someone trying to build an MVP, STRV can work incredibly fast. They can push out incredible UI and UX in a very short amount of time. We were very impressed with those aspects, and any startup, especially a software one which doesn’t have to deal with hardware logistics and headaches, will find them to be an incredible way to spin up an MVP and get it out to investors and users in a short amount of time.
Are there any areas STRV could improve?
I love working with them and will continue to do so, even after this startup. In terms of areas of improvement, it would have been good for us to be given a portfolio of engineers. Some might have fit aspects of what we were trying to do a bit better than others. Being able to pick engineers based on skill sets, and have them be more cohesive with our project specifically, would be good.
Most of their resources have been great with spoken English, and there were no real language barriers.
What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with STRV?
I and my co-founder aren’t technical at all, in the sense of engineering; we’ve had to basically get our education drinking through a fire hose. It’s been helpful for us to work with the account manager at different times. They’ve been able to be the middleman, and translate certain aspects into more technical jargon. If there can also be an in-house person brought to the team (a technical co-founder or similar) will help leaps and bounds for making sure things are accurately understood the first time, rather than having to have back-and-forths.