Please introduce your company and give a brief about your role within the company?
247 Labs is a custom web, mobile and e-commerce development company based out of downtown Toronto. Our team of developers, designers, testers, product owners and architects focus on helping businesses with their technology and engineering needs.
What was the idea behind starting this organization?
Our founders were inspired by the fact that they were building a global team of developers working in different timezones. That's how they got inspired by the name 247 Labs. Working remotely, partnering and understanding clients’ needs at any time of the day.
What are your company’s business model–in house team or third party vendors/ outsourcing?
We have an in-house team of 38 professionals at the moment.
How is your business model beneficial from a value addition perspective to the clients compared to other companies' models?
We always work with a clear focus by defining the client's problems from the very first moment. We avoid the surprises that often haunt companies in software development due to their agile process.
What industries do you generally cater to? Are your customers repetitive? If yes, what ratio of clients has been repetitive to you?
We can say that we have clients from all industries, but lately, we have had many clients coming from the health, education and technology sectors. We view our clients as long-term partners. Many of them are partners since their foundation, and we are glad to be the development team of startups like Elite HMV and Fitwear.
Mention the objectives or the parameters critical in determining the time frame of developing a mobile app.
Analyze and define the problem or goal. Design and discover the critical steps in the development process. Quality does not happen by accident, especially in software. Test it over and over again. You need to be relentless. Always remember that communication with the client is essential. Define every deliverable, every milestone, and then register it and share it repeatedly with all parts involved. That will avoid frustration on all sides.
How much effort in terms of time goes into developing the front end and back end of a mobile app?
It can take maybe one month, maybe six months or even one year. That is why the Analysis stage and the Design & Discovery stage are so critical to the success of a mobile app. On this current scenario where 95% of the apps will not generate enough revenue to be profitable, you must choose carefully who you are partnering with.
What are the key parameters to be considered before selecting the right platform for a mobile application?
It's important to consider all parts involved and also the previous experiences. If you are a client building the first startup of your life from scratch, consider listening to the developers even more carefully. If you are a company that is developing your first e-commerce platform, research the market but try to assemble all the information you find and reach a conclusion. But try to go for "simple layouts". Don't waste precious assets trying to embrace the whole world in one attempt. Take one step at a time. Unicorns are not born; they are developed. They suffer during their trajectory and become unicorns after many attempts.
Which platform do you suggest your clients to begin with when they approach you with an idea (Android or iOS) and why?
We build for both platforms at the same time. Our expertise allows us to offer that to our clients, without extra costs.
Android or iOS, Native or Hybrid — which platform is best to use to build your app? What are your recommendations?
Every client is unique. Every scenario must be analysed in order to decide how we are going to approach it.
What are the key factors that you consider before deciding the cost of a mobile application?
It's important to understand the concept of the project. Is it to address a specific issue? More importantly, we believe in the lean startup approach, and we value every cent. It is essential to start with a proper design, requirements, and architecture to clearly define what we want to develop.
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 do all of them. It’s customized. It depends on each client's needs.
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?
We believe in amazing business ideas. If it's something extraordinary, we don’t look into the cost aspect so much.
What is the price range (min and max) of the projects that you catered to in 2018?
The minimum cost for a project in 2018 was $10,000, and the maximum went over six figures.
Which business model do you suggest to your clients enabling them to generate revenue from mobile applications? Why?
The first suggestion is to adopt a lean startup approach. Just offer the features you believe 1000%. If you think you have ten unusual solutions to offer on your app, think twice. Reduce it to the top one to three features that you think might target the exact problem you want to solve. Why would users pay the price you are charging? Are you sure that there's no other solution like yours in the market? Did you research the competition?
Then test the market and make the necessary changes as fast as possible. Communicate massively with your audience and with maximum transparency. You need them by your side, and you should at once take corrective actions if something doesn't please them. Bugs and issues should be addressed instantly and also keep them in the loop when you are working on new services that will solve their current and future problems. Many times you just have one big chance to do that. But if you are smart enough to pivot and offer an outstanding service after fixing whatever you need to fix, you may have a second chance in this competitive mobile app industry. And that's why you need a reliable and competent development partner that will maximize your chances of success by providing honest feedback whenever you need it.