iRocket is a funded startup that provides a platform for children with special needs. It provides a mechanism for service providers such as doctors, specialists, therapists and legal advisors to connect with parents.
The Problem Statement
A naive founder, sly IT vendor, they promised the moon and the stars but when he paid up, they were gone.
“It’s unwise to pay too much, but it’s worse to pay too little”John Ruskin
A common theme in startups that we have seen is deals that were too good to be true ended up blowing in face. During our standard sails pitch we often advise customers to look into following facts –
- If your product can be created by using standard templates like wordpress then you are not a cutting edge startup needing high technology investments. Your business probably will not be run by a blogging engine
- When it comes to price consider monthly salaries of developers. Ask your vendor for a team composition, If someone is not earning at least twenty percent profit over their costs then perhaps they will not dedicate people to you.
- When possible insist the developers to work out of your location, communications.
- Keep source code and environments in your control, don’t go for everything including hosting included, they will milk you in the long run.
Our advice perhaps is not always followed because doing things the right way is more expensive in the short term even if it saves you money in the end. Many clients have been trapped in unethical practices of being held on source code ransom.
So with these words let’s begin our fantastic voyage that helped iRockit. It was the same old story we had heard a number of times, he was a naive founder they were a clueless vendor, they promised the moon and the stars but when he paid up they were gone.
iRockit is a funded startup that provides a platform for children with special needs. It provides a mechanism for service providers such as doctors, specialists, therapists and legal advisors to connect with parents. Within medical industry startup breadth of technology understanding is limited and both vendors and customers. Vendors typically do not understand the business and clients don’t understand how different practices and processes are.
iRockit like many customers had been seduced by the low cost solution but was being now held at ransom for money and source code. The team was not in a position to fix all issues and had lost interest for iRockit. The work not being technically simple, we suggested a combination of Augment and Dynamo from our services and with staffing of just one developer within a couple of weeks the product was launched.
The customer was reasonable and business was simple all that was needed was correct practices and giving customer back the control. It is our practice and belief that a customer who is in control will make correct decisions. The customer needs education about practices and importance of them. Source control, owning domain and hosting and many such things provide customer with control over there application.
Clear boundaries and division labour is key to success for non technical customers. Customers need to define business goals and what they want to achieve. The question of how, alternate flows and others must be answered by technical vendor. When customer starts to define how a goal will be achieved there is an issue.
As a customer when you have to define how a job should be done your team is either incompetent or vendor is not putting enough effort. These should send out red flags all over the place. Practices and division of labour was the clear issue with iRockit, once resolved there was a happy customer. With a basic business we did not see any need to change technology investment and rectified the site issues and launched on a dedicated amazon instance.
The application was stabilized and more complex features the site could be launched and next round of fundings could be shown for. The customer was able to obtain required fundings and expanded business.