Top app developers interview: ItCraft - Follow up

Marc Coll
Marc Coll, Business Development at AppFutura
Published on Mar 08, 2019 in App Development
Top app developers interview: ItCraft - Follow up

Karol Wegner is the Founder of ItCraft. In a recent interview with AppFutura, Wegner has explained what has changed since February 2018, when we first published a Top App Development Companies Interview: ItCraft. Back at that moment, the Polish mobile app development company had 35 professional workers. Now, it tries not to call new clients at 4 AM as they are globally expanded.

Your last interview was published in February 2018. What great apps has itCraft been working on since then?

We’ve been quite busy at it over the course of last year. We’ve completed more than a few interesting projects, and currently running several other serious developments. Due to contract restrictions, currently, I can name only one - Top Secret, which is a mobile e-commerce app for one of the leading clothing retailers in Poland.

We also created a blockchain based m-commerce app, a money transfer app for one of our UK clients, a business networking social app for a Swiss startup, stock trading app for a broker company.

Currently, we are working on several projects for clients from the U.S., Norway, Sweden, Poland, and Australia. I’d say keeping track of the time-zones and making sure we don’t call people at 4 am has been becoming a bit of an issue recently :)

Which mobile app has been the biggest development challenge for your app development firm?

2018 has been a challenge altogether. We had quite a few projects that gave our team a real run for their money. Most notably, creating an Ethereum based, Cloud-integrated Android app proved harder than initially predicted. Another challenge worth mentioning was taking over an already started project using Neo4J - a leading Graph Database. Lastly, an advanced audio/video conferencing app for our U.S. based client is proving a tough challenge being one of our largest developments to date.

What do you think will be the biggest smartphone release this year?

Next question, the hardware is not exactly my cup of tea.

Besides smartphones, what mobile device do you think is worth having first?

Lately, an ebook reader has been my number one device besides smartphone. Call me old school, but being able to carry more than a few books around without breaking your back is still an amazing thing to me.

How has the mobile market evolved in the past year for an app development company like yours?

I noticed that recently a lot of development companies concentrate on specializing and concentrating on particular technologies. More and more mobile out-of-the-box solutions keep popping up in the market. Cross-platform technologies are drawing interest, with React Native gaining traction.

itCraft has been concentrating on B2B and B2C developments, and we see a lot of interest from clients looking to develop solutions for their internal processes, social apps, Uber-like mobile services, real-time communication tools and the obvious chart topper - m-commerce solutions.

Many developers today are concentrating their efforts on AR and VR technologies and game development, but these areas are outside itCraft’s area of interest.

In terms of cross-platform development React Native is becoming the new leader among alternative, cross-platform solutions. Its popularity keeps growing due to cost-efficiency, good sized community, and Facebook’s marketing efforts.

Although not yet a fit-all solution, it’s becoming a strong competitor in the areas where high quality and performance are secondary considerations, and cost-efficiency matters.

Mobile apps evolve too, their features change depending on the device used. What kind of app has a greater future ahead?

I couldn’t give you particular names, but looking at general trends we’ve been observing I can say that the following types of apps have great future potential:

  • All Uber-type apps. Delivery services, regardless of their nature (food, people, merchandise) are an obvious number one worldwide these days. We see new ones appearing all the time and many of them are gathering an increasing number of users. itCraft created apps of this type for ordering doctors’ house visits, as well as for sandwich and catering delivery services.
  • Sharing/rental apps - there’s the latest trend to develop apps for renting various types of transportation using a single mobile service, Uber is integrating with public transport, cities across Europe are starting e-scooter rentals and clones of the Lime app are popping up everywhere. Sharing economy will keep growing if only for its economic viability.
  • Fintech apps - Open Banking initiative in Europe has opened the market to new possibilities. Access to banking interfaces paves the way for new, innovative services in the B2C services in the financial sector. Banks should be prepared for some interesting challenges and unexpected competition in the near future.

Is itCraft adapting to new technologies and devices coming along? How?

In our business adapting is a matter of necessity. Technology is evolving at an astonishing pace and to remain relevant we simply have no choice but to keep up. Last year, after testing and evaluation we introduced Kotlin for all our Android developments. For a company creating between 15-25 top quality applications a year, switching to new technology is a costly endeavor both in money and resources, but at the same time we need to make these changes to increase efficiency and keep our developers happy - no one wants to be behind with technology and knowledge. We do our best to keep up in all the areas of front and back end development. In itCraft 5-10% of our teams’ time is spent on developing new skills and implementing the latest technologies. We achieve this through internal and external training. We do our best to stay among the top Polish software houses.

What advice would you give to anyone with an app idea who didn’t know how to get started?

I’ve recently been considering writing a guide on this (not a book..yet) We get a lot of questions like “I’ve got a great idea for a mobile app, can you make it for me?”. There are still a lot of people dreaming about creating new Instagram or Snapchat.

My advice for first-timers and new startups is usually this:

  • Join a startup incubator to get some mentoring and support
  • Read some good literature on building startups/new products. I can highly recommend Eric Ries’ “Lean Startup”
  • Don't be afraid to talk about your idea, especially to your potential customers. If you’re worried about giving away a “million dollar secret”, I can tell you from experience that the idea itself is about 1% of the business value, the remaining 99% is the implementation.
  • Validate your idea with real users. The least you can do is ask potential customers for feedback on your idea. Before you start thinking about development, find out if your solution has any value to real people or fixes a problem they may have.

How has AppFutura helped you?

The platform increased our visibility in the market. Although not exactly the place to draw our level of clients (medium/large, high-quality projects), our profile on Appfutura is useful to our potential customers for cross-referencing. We feel our exposure to the international market has increased partly due to working with you.

Check ItCraft profile on AppFutura to know more about the company and how to contact them.

About the author
Marc CollBusiness Development at AppFutura

Marc has been involved with AppFutura since 2012. During this time, he has been in charge of different areas, from Content Management to his current position as Business Development Manager. After all these years, Marc has been in touch with the vast...

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