Please introduce your company and give a brief about your role within the company?
Fueled is a digital transformation agency with a history of building award-winning mobile apps. Since the dawn of the App Store, Fueled has been building digital products for clients ranging from Fortune 10s like Apple and Google to unicorn start-ups like Warby Parker and QuizUp.
As Fueled’s executive mover and shaker, Ryan leverages his digital marketing background, entrepreneurial tendencies, and an acute eye for design to support a wide range of internal initiatives and client projects. Ryan built Fueled’s product, marketing, and business development teams from the ground up and continues to nurture them today.
What was the idea behind starting this organization?
About a decade ago, our founder noticed that while digital product shops were becoming more prevalent, there weren’t any that took a product-driven approach to launch apps and websites. Realizing that products would only succeed if they had been designed to solve real problems, our founder created his own anti-agency agency that would create products that would win in the marketplace, and that wouldn’t simply check off boxes of client requirements.
What started as a two-man operation working out of our founder’s living room has grown to become an international organization of over 100 in-house app designers, developers, product specialists, marketing gurus, and more, valued at $50 million.
What are your company’s business model–in house team or third party vendors/ outsourcing?
All of Fueled’s employees are in-house. We do not outsource or work with freelancers.
How is your business model beneficial from a value addition perspective to the clients compared to other companies' models?
Because all of our employees are in-house, clients can rest assured that only top talent is touching their projects. While other companies might outsource their projects or bring on freelancers, we ensure that our senior teams of product managers, account managers, in-house developers, and designers are providing top-quality work.
What industries do you generally cater to? Are your customers repetitive? If yes, what ratio of clients has been repetitive to you?
We are industry agnostic. Our products are designed to solve real problems for users, and problems come from all industries. We’ve engaged with pharmaceutical leaders like RiteAid, financial revolutionaries like Matador, fashion behemoths like Barneys New York, real estate innovators like Compass, the list continues. Clients often return to Fueled for maintenance, support, and for entirely new projects.
Mention the objectives or the parameters critical in determining the time frame of developing a mobile app.
A lot of factors play into determining the time frame of developing a mobile app. How much work has the client done so far? Do they have in-house resources? Will we be leveraging existing APIs? Will we be building a backend from scratch? Which platforms is this product best suited for? How quickly can our client provide feedback? How feature heavy will our MVP be? This is just the tip of the iceberg when trying to provide accurate time estimates.
How much effort in terms of time goes into developing the front end and back end of a mobile app?
The time it takes to develop a front-end, and back end depends on the scope of the project. Obviously, more complex projects will take longer to develop. That being said, we typically launch full-stack MVPs for clients in 2.5-3 months.
What are the key parameters to be considered before selecting the right platform for a mobile application?
Contrary to popular belief, choosing the best platform for a product comes a little later in the discovery and design phase. We need to know what problem we’re solving, who is affected by this problem, how our clients can benefit from the product and user data beyond solving the problem, etc. before we can decide which platform can best serve the users. Mobile is a great choice for products that need to be accessible on the go. Web works well for products that users need to really take time to engage with. Android might be a better choice is the majority of intended users are located outside of the US.
Which platform do you suggest your clients to begin with when they approach you with an idea (Android or iOS) and why?
As mentioned in the previous question, the platform depends on the problem and user-base.
Android or iOS, Native or Hybrid — which platform is best to use to build your app? What are your recommendations?
Native apps can be more customized with design, interactions, and animations. There’s simply a wider range of things you can do. Native is a good solution for apps that need a high level of customization. Hybrid or cross-platform development has its benefits, especially in long-term costs. While most of our projects are native apps, our recommendation can only be decided upon during the discovery and design phase.
What are the key factors that you consider before deciding the cost of a mobile application?
At Fueled, we bill at a blended time and materials rate. Thus, the more time and team members required for a project, the higher the cost. Projects that require backend development, multi-platform development, etc. will end up requiring more team members.
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 at a blended time and materials rate.
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’ve launched apps for $150k, and we’ve rolled out major engagements that were over $2 million. That said, we’ve historically launched first versions of products for clients in 2.5-3 months in the $250k-$350k budget range. We also offer the option to engage for product strategy and design sprints, with projects typically ranging from $70k-$90k.
What is the price range (min and max) of the projects that you catered to in 2018?
In 2018, we engaged in several product strategy and design-only projects, ranging from $70k-$90k. Our largest engagement (including product strategy and design and full-stack development) was just over $2 million.
Which business model do you suggest to your clients enabling them to generate revenue from mobile applications? Why?
There are a few ways to generate revenue from apps. By offering freemium vs. premium subscriptions, you give users a chance to leverage key premium features or services for a fee. In-app purchases are common to game apps and let users unlock higher levels or continue playing ad-free. Many users will pay a small fee to remove ads, especially for apps that they use often.
Kindly share your feedback on how GoodFirms has been doing so far in increasing your visibility among potential clients.
Our listing on GoodFirms has helped us receive several inbound inquiries, a few of which have resulted in high-quality leads or closed deals.