INTERVIEWED BY APPFUTURA ON JUL 25, 2017
Please present yourself and your business.
Jeff Wright, Co-Founder and Former VP of Product and User Experience at Sqord
Explain what your project was about.
A hardware software platform comparable to FitBit for kids, where the software component was oriented to a very visual, interactive, game/social experience.
Explain to what scope extend TechMagic was involved in your project.
TechMagic built the iOS and Android apps for our product.
How did you get to meet the TechMagic team and what led you to hiring them?
We were introduced by another client and fellow Techstars company. They came with extremely high praise and our interview with them felt like a good fit.
How was their project management?
They are fine project management partners. Techmagic will drive the project forward if given very clear goals, and all dependencies, assets, and direction. In fact, when well-prepared, they are extremely detailed. However, when the client side has lapses in attention, or misses a question that should have been asked, they may not be able to run with the ball as effectively.
Was the project completed as expected? Was the time and the budget the same you agreed on?
The project was not completed as expected, took longer, and cost more. However, I think Sqord legitimately shares some culpability for this, as we kept pushing for very near term milestones for demos and release announcements, and such, so the entire team was frequently focused on crisis deliveries, rather than the long-term plan. There was one very major miscommunication where their initial discovery on the project failed to reveal that our platform (as a game environment) should have been built on middleware, rather than as a purely native app. This cost us three months, probably, and limited our final deliverable.
Did you find their expertise up to what you expected? Did they require any kind of training from your end to understand your product?
Their expertise is top-notch from person to person, for the most part. They did not require any training.
Please highlight the best things of TechMagic.
The best thing about TechMagic, in my view, is the value. For the cost of an off-shore provider, they delivered good results.
Is there anything you believe TechMagic could improve on?
If I had it to do over again, I think the hiccups could have been avoided by more rigorously planning our project before kick-off, and making sure they understood the full scope of the long-term project. I think they could improve on their discovery process, and make sure they don't start writing code until they know what success looks like for their client.
Is there anything else about your experience with TechMagic that you would like to share?
One thing that struck me working with them almost daily for four months was that they legitimately cared about the project. Their project manager baked a cake to celebrate the launch, and the "Sqord Team" there had a party. They'd frequently work very long hours to catch up on a crisis deliverable, and spend as much time as needed with me on Skype and Slack to make sure they could implement our designs as closely as possible (and we held them to a high bar). Hide extended review