Here’s to the constraints! Limited budgets, passing time, scarcity of resources. Here's to the disparities, financial crises and growing competition. To all the things that require us to be more efficient, more innovative and more creative. They challenge us, they make us think, they motivate us. You can laugh at them, shout at them or try to cheat them but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. And while some may see them as impediments we see empowerment. Because once you learn how to embrace them, you’ve got the future in your hands.1
Times are changing
People say we live in the greatest times ever. With all the technology advance it has never been that easy to access the information and start building things. If you have a bit of time and energy, you can set up a business and start selling from day one. No matter what industry you're in or where you live. Traditional boundaries are vanishing with every day.
What some people don't notice though is that the rules of the game are changing too. Becoming successful is not all about brute force and size anymore, instead, the odds are shifting towards the small, agile and creative. They shift towards heavy innovation which is flourishing on technological progress and out of box thinking. In the old times money was used to solve most problems, but now - when products can be reviewed by thousands of customers in a matter of minutes - the only sure thing that can defend itself is quality. Things are changing so fast that being smart and being efficient becomes the ultimate competitive advantage, much more important than one-off traffic peaks fuelled by ad budgets and PR companies.
We've all seen that too many times. Entrepreneurs with revolutionary ideas, not caring about users because 'they know better', throwing money at products to cover every platform from the very beginning. No time to think, revise, question - just carry on with development, fool! After few months and thousands of dollars later, almost certainly, an unpleasant awakening happens. We've spent our budget, energy and a substantial part of our life and we've missed! We've missed our assumptions, the business model and selling proposition. We've got a beautifully designed and bespoke engineered app that doesn’t solve any problem, that no one wants to use. And to make things even worse we hear a story about this startup from around a corner getting $5m investment for a product that does one tenth of what ours does. But it's all too late now.
A journey to enlightenment
We've seen that ourselves and we hated it. That's why we took a step aside with our software development company, we slowed down with accepting new projects and took time to re-think what our work is really about. We spoke to our clients, our suppliers, our friends from the industry. We've attended events around the globe and spoke to tens or even hundreds of startups. We sought imperfections and most common mistakes and then brainstormed to reinvent solutions that are a better fit for our times.
As a consequence of our findings, we've redesigned our business from the ground up and brought StartupWorks to life with a single idea in mind - to help tech startups kick off AND be successful. While there is no single recipe for greatness, there is a lot one can do to scientifically increase chances of succeeding out there in the wild. It all starts with the right approach and realisation that more (money, resources, time) will not solve all problems. Instead, you need a smart team, right tools and processes that will let you tackle challenges and help you adapt to constantly changing market conditions. With this new approach in mind, we've embedded validation, learning and improvement deep down into each of our design and development practises. We ask many whys, question all assumptions and test everything that can be tested because, after all, “to make no mistakes is not in the power of man; but from their errors and mistakes the wise and good learn wisdom for the future”2.
The magic formula
Here is the list of fundamental factors that identify our business and help us deliver our promise:
Unlike traditional software companies focused purely on app development, we look at the bigger picture in order to create lean, self-learning environments where everything can be measured, evaluated and learned from.
- Analytical thinking, not only design and development,
- Agile project management (Scrum),
- Custom analytics implementation,
- Tools for tracking user behaviour and collecting feedback,
- Frequent product shipments.
Solid skills & experience
First and foremost we are a development shop and we realise no awesomeness can be built on top of weak foundations.
- We’re Python specialists.
- Over 140 successfully completed projects.
- Clients of diversified size (from 1-person startups to blue chip companies) from different countries (USA, UK, Germany, Ireland, Singapore, Switzerland, Poland) and industries (electronics, finance, law, media, medicine, non-profit, pharmaceutics).
Engineering practices & quality assurance
To safeguard the quality of our products we’ve incorporated the mix of Agile and Software Craftsmanship principles into our work style:
- Kanban alike project workflow,
- Code reviews & refactoring,
- Test-driven development,
- Continuous integration,
- Pair programming sessions,
- Automated deployments.
We realise startups have a lot of constraints, including budgets. We embrace them by consciously making our services as efficient as possible.
- Standarised list of services and processes to maximise our work efficiency.
- Bespoke scripts to automate repetitive tasks.
- Heavy usage of third party / SaaS products, not to reinvent the wheel again.
- Development office in Warsaw - a perfect match of high quality and reasonable pricing.
- Options to save on project fees when you book us early.
Spread the word
So, this is it in a nutshell.
- If you'd like to find out more drop us a call or email.
- If you'd like to share some thoughts with us, leave us a comment.
- If you'd like to support us - like us on fb or tweet about us - we will appreciate that.
Now off we go to building great products that will change the world one day.
1 Inspired by Apple, Think Different Ad (1997)