Was there any certain criteria when you were interviewing certain companies that made Y Media Lab stand out?
I didn’t know how to go about it initially. You're always kind of afraid that you have this great idea, and then somebody runs with it and tells you, "I'm sorry, we can't build that application." But, initially, it was just whether they'd be able to do it. I felt not knowing the business that well that the app would seem difficult to me because it's based on the wait time of every ride and every restaurant at the theme parks. So, you need a GPS point for every ride and every restaurant, then all the information that goes with every restaurant and every ride. So, I want to make sure I have somebody that had that kind of ability to do it with maps as you walk around, not just a cheap little Apple type of an app that a lot of the young guys seem to make. I want to make sure that the company will have the ability to do an app like that.
Just to be clear, the app allows patrons to be able to walk around the theme park, and then buy a ticket for certain attractions and shows.
We have an icon there if you need tickets. It brings you to the website, and you can buy the tickets cheaper than you buy them at any of the parks. Then, you'd also have a map on there. So, as you walk around, a little blue dot shows up, and you can see exactly where you are on the map. Then, every ride is also on the map, every restaurant is on the map, and then have that little circle that might say 20 being in 20 minutes. It shows you the wait time for every ride and every restaurant.
So, as you're walking around on the map, you go on a ride. This one says it's only a 20-minute wait. Oh, this restaurant here has only a 40-minute wait. If you'd find out that the wait time is slightly off, maybe it's a 30-minute wait, you switch the little wheel to 30 minutes and pushing that wait time and then you would, as the consumer, change it to the most accurate wait time. If you're not there, so you're sitting at your home and you're doing like some kid and go, "Hey, let's screw up this app today. Let's make them all say five minutes," it won't change unless you're by that ride, it can tell if you're by that ride with the GPS, find the ride or restaurant in GPS in your phone. Then, a pop-up would come up and say, "Sorry, you're not by this ride. You can't submit a wait time."
Is the app available for IOS and Android?
Just the IOS. We're working on the android now. We have seven apps. It would be a total of 28 IOS apps and 28 android apps. Eleven will be the California theme parks, 17 are the Orlando theme parks, and then you double that for Android. That's how you come up with 56.
And Y Media is developing all of these?
What is a general cost range for this project?
Well, all 56 apps when complete will be less than $200,000.
Is there anything special or unique when working with Y Media Labs that stands out compared to other developers you might have worked with?
Well, initially, the reason why I chose them, is that they actually call you back. They actually send you what they tell you they're going to send you. Whether it's the quote for the job, a change order, or something like that. they actually do it on the same day. Probably three-fourths of other companies didn’t even get back with you for awhile. Right away to them was three or four weeks. Then, all of a sudden, they call, "Well, I tried calling you" or what have you. You know they didn’t. The biggest problem for many companies is just being professional. Starting off on the right foot with you right off the bat. That determines how well you're going to like them, and you got to figure you're going to have a lot of phone calls, and a lot of going back and forth with them, whether it's my app or anybody else. There really has to be people-people, and that's what I felt I had somebody that I could work with the first initial calls. I want to be able to say I want to change this to that, and not have an argument.
Do you think there's anything maybe they could improve slightly or do a bit better in?
It’s probably a problem for everybody because it's hard to judge whether you're a contractor or an app developer of when exactly the time project could be finished. I feel some jobs always seem to run over whether I had a pool built in my house or a remodeling job, they always seem to run over most of the time, so you just need to figure that in your head.
It's always a larger problem with software where you're dealing with something abstract, rather than physical. So, I don't really don't entirely blame them, and a lot of that was maybe because as you see the project getting built. I feel that's probably everybody that's contracted somebody else for an app. As you see it getting built, so then you go, “Oh, it won't work good this way. It should really be this way.” Whether that’s on paper or in your head, you don't see it until it's pretty much done. Then you go, “Well, the purple doesn’t look good as a background with white letters and you can't see the white letters.” So, you might have told them to make it purple and white. But once it's built, you'd realize you can't see the letters. So things like that have to be changed. They didn’t make one dime for these types of changes, either.
To sum up, here are five quick questions. For each question, rate them on a scale of one to five, with five being the best. For the first one, what would you give them out of five for the quality of their work?
How about for schedule?
Four on schedule. Five on cost. Oh, it's another factor. Their cost was cheaper than everybody else and did return the calls. Five on the professionalism and five overall. I just wrote four in there for the schedule.
Would you recommend them to other people?
Yes. I’ve had about three people call me to ask my opinion, and I’ve always recommended them.