Please introduce your company and give a brief about your role within the company?
10Clouds is an international design and development company, headquartered in Warsaw. Our aim is to help our clients change the world through technology. We specialize in complex end-to-end solutions and have teams dedicated to frontend and backend development, design, mobile, machine learning, and testing. We have worked with a wide range of global clients, from startups to large corporations such as Pinterest, Baidu, and Orange. I’m the CEO at 10Clouds, and am also one of the co-founders, along with Michał Kłujszo.
What was the idea behind starting this organization?
10Clouds was started when Michał Kłujszo (the other co-founder) and I were still Ph.D. students. I had left the previous company that I had been working for while studying because I didn’t like the way that it was run, and I didn’t feel that the founder treated the developers well. I thought we could do a better job, and to this day, ‘humanism’ is one of the key values of 10Clouds. Having done freelance work for many global firms, I also believed that we had a good international experience which we could put to use in our own company and this really proved to be the case.
What are your company’s business model–in house team or third party vendors/ outsourcing?
We have in-house teams that specialize in given areas of digital product development. But we also offer staff augmentation services to companies that need developers or designers for a fixed-term period, to complete a given project, or to backfill their own teams. We support businesses with international expansion and building dedicated project teams in Poland, a fast-growing hub of technological talent.
We also use third party vendors when we are short of staff (we currently have 140 permanent staff members and 6 contractors). And, we have a thorough vetting process to ensure that they not only have the skills and experience that we need but also that they are the right cultural fit for 10Clouds.
How is your business model beneficial from a value addition perspective to the clients compared to other companies' models?
We provide robust end-to-end solutions to our clients, meaning that we are a one-stop-shop for everything they need. We always ensure that we have the right people resources needed to complete a job on time and budget so that the client knows they’re leaving their project in safe hands.
We always adhere to the Manifesto for Agile Software Development, which stresses the importance of individuals and interactions, of collaboration, responding to change, and producing working software that has value for your business.
We plan to work in intervals called Sprints, which are usually two weeks long. We work closely with you to plan which features to include in development and how to implement them. We strive to deliver a testable piece of work at every sprint.
What industries do you generally cater to? Are your customers repetitive? If yes, what ratio of clients has been repetitive to you?
We have a vast range of clients, from startups looking for the development of an MVP to large enterprises that are broadening their project portfolio. The main industries that we cater to are financial services, IT services, education, and healthcare. We have a high ratio of repetition in all industries, with 74% of business coming from repeat clients in 2019 (compared to 48% in 2018).
Mention the objectives or the parameters critical in determining the time frame of developing a mobile app.
These include the number of available functionalities, their level of complexity, and design. The design elements can be very time consuming, but we always aim to give a realistic time estimate from the outset.
How much effort in terms of time goes into developing the front end and back end of a mobile app?
This depends on many factors, and virtually every case is a separate story.
In most cases, we try to transfer the business logic of the mobile application to the backend. This has many advantages, among others, access to greater computing power, faster changes that do not require updating the application in AppStore or GooglePlay, and having the logic in one place, on the backend instead of on two mobile platforms.
So during the backend development, the complexity of business logic that is reflected in the application is the most important factor. In this case, the key elements influencing the time of mobile application development is its size (number of screens), amount of functionality (e.g., integration of payments, chat, charts, etc.), and the level of design complexity.
What are the key parameters to be considered before selecting the right platform for a mobile application?
This highly depends on the clients’ business requirements and targets. The iOS and Android markets are quite different, and each platform has its own advantages and disadvantages. If we are talking about an app that is designed for a broad audience, we suggest cross-platform solutions to reach as many users as we can. If it is a tailored app used on a specific device, like a tablet to collect survey responses, we may select only one platform.
Which platform do you suggest your clients to begin with when they approach you with an idea (Android or iOS) and why?
It depends on the client's target market. Most of our US clients begin with iOS as it's a more lucrative market there. On the other hand, we are developing a large project for an African client, where Android is considered the platform of choice. For new products and MVPs, we would always suggest cross-platform solutions like Flutter, where, in a few months, we are able to release the first version of the app to both platforms.
Android or iOS, Native or Hybrid — which platform is best to use to build your app? What are your recommendations?
We are always trying to find the right tool for the right job. Native is our first choice if you have no limits when it comes to time and money. Cross-platform is a great compromise if you want to deliver your app to the market quickly and for a reasonable price.
What are the key factors that you consider before deciding the cost of a mobile application?
The complexity of designs and choice of technology for the backend are major costs when we are thinking about the mobile app as a whole. We can deliver this same business value for the final customer and build the app much faster if we go with simpler designs and choose, for example, Firebase as a backend. As I mentioned above, we are always trying to find the right tool for the right job, so we would suggest a different solution for a startup that needs to test its idea ASAP and a different approach for a mature scale-up.
What kind of payment structure do you follow to bill your clients? Is it Pay per Feature, Fixed Cost, Pay per Milestone (could be in phases, months, versions etc.)
We bill our clients either using:
- The Time and Materials Framework (Staff augmentation, full Agile or MoSCoW approach)
- Fixed Price (more limited projects).
Do you take in projects which meet your basic budget requirement? If yes, what is the minimum requirement? If no, on what minimum budget you have worked for?
Our budget requirements depend on the scope. Imagine you have an idea; let's say an app where dog owners can find someone who would take their pets for a walk. Such an app is called a marketplace, and it aims to link dog owners and dog sitters. So if you have an idea and you would like to bring it to life, we can support you with the business analysis, with UX flow, UI designs, and the development of the app with the most important features to support such matching. We are able to deliver a digital product of this kind within two months, at a starting price of around $50-60K.
What is the price range (min and max) of the projects that you catered to in 2018?
Our price range was from $10,000 to $1 million.
Which business model do you suggest to your clients enabling them to generate revenue from mobile applications? Why?
We rarely advocate a specific business model for a client. But we help them to make the right decisions by understanding their environment and sector and ensuring that they stay at the forefront of technological change. We know that disruptors now appear every few years and continuously challenge new sectors. This is why we do the following:
We analyze the latest technologies: Our teams follow news sources to keep abreast of breakthrough ideas. We identify the technologies that seem relevant, interesting, or useful, and assess how they could transform business.
We persistently assess the landscape: We help determine how each emerging technology could ignite changes to our customers’ industry, alter customer demand, or impact their inner workings and operations. We adjust our processes to prepare for new opportunities and stay ahead of competitors, who may make similar moves.
We shape our languages, tools, and processes to best suit our customers’ business: We help with pairing strategy with carefully calculated actions that help to mitigate some of the risks of adopting new technologies. It may be helping with implementing agile methodologies in your development teams or transferring the knowledge of new technology on an ongoing project.