If you’re a startup with a marginal amount of money (that’s probably the entirety of your life savings) and you need to build an app, what are your options? It’s hard to find a developer that will work for equity. Freelancers may be cost-effective, but are often moonlighting to focus on their own thing. Taking an app overseas might mean communication barriers. Or, as of September 2015, you could turn to Blueshift.
The startup-focused software consulting firm is helping clients build the right thing at the right time to go from idea to success. Blueshift breaks their process down into three stages – concept, seed and growth.
Founder Raymond Chandler says two types of entrepreneurs come to them at the concept stage – the new and the more experienced. New entrepreneurs are referred out to a growing network of mentors and resource providers, which is another aspiration for the firm’s services, while the more experienced might be ready to build. Level one of Blueshift’s services get a good outline of an mobile or web-based app into a client’s hands to approach customers for validation.
The goal is to do it affordably as well. Mockups and wireframes for an app run just under a grand. Within the concept/validation stage, Blueshift can also build a more advanced prototype – actual code, actual product – that may not be 100 percent functional but looks pretty. It’s another solid iteration for rounding up customer feedback.
Blueshift does leave one very important thing out at this stage.
“We don’t tell people whether or not their idea is good,” Chandler says. “We’re not experts in the market.”
He feels it would be presumptuous and a disservices to tell a client with a retail app, for example, if it’s a good product when it’s an industry he doesn’t have experience in.
“The goal is to guide them, here is how you can go about validation,” Chandler says.
Blueshift doesn’t do the validation themselves, but is ready for the next level of service when a client finds a market for their idea.
“Once they have that funding either from a customer or an investor, they can bring that work back to us and we’ll develop out that app,” Chandler says.
At the seed stage, apps can go from validation mode to more of a tested, fully-automated build out depending on a client’s funds.
In comparison to bigger software companies, Chandler doesn’t call Blueshift more accessible, but accessible. Period. It’s a level of high-quality, professional, affordable service that’s not really available anywhere else.
As for their third rung of services – growth services – Blueshift has a slightly different market. As startups experience rapid growth, many software processes go by the wayside when trying to hire the next team member or get the next customer.
“What is the right way to transitions from these ad hoc process that we’re used to as a startup to something a little bit more professional that we’d find at a larger company,” Chandler says.
Blueshift can help establish protocols for not only managing software, but building and managing teams and workflow.
The company for entrepreneurs founded by entrepreneurs launched in September 2015, and has far exceeded expectations already. The startup has over doubled their goal revenue, adding two team members and is in the process of bringing on two more.
“We’ve taken off in a way I was not expecting,” Chandler says.
He finds people to really responsive to the idea that there’s a professional agency startups can turn to. The firm offers themselves as that resource because they have all been there in some capacity, working in the early-stage trenches.
“We’ve all failed a lot,” Chandler says.
As they succeed as a firm, they are still working through refining elements like their bidding process, but have found the reception to the concept overwhelming. Entrepreneurs see the value they provide.
“They really, really like the fact that we’re responsive, that we’re transparent, that we share with them everything that we’re doing that we’re alway available,” Chandler says.
They hope to drum up even more business through an experimental model. Blueshift is offering entrepreneurs two weeks of development services at zero risk. If they like it, Blueshift will be paid for the work and they will move forward together. And if a business doesn’t like it, they can walk away. No harm no foul.
For more information, visit blueshiftedtech.com.