Kindly share your feedback on how GoodFirms has been doing so far in increasing your visibility among potential clients.
So far having the badge has been helpful in establishing credibility from a 3rd party for those prospects who are new to Slingshot. We look forward to keeping our profile current and seeing more leads come in.
Please introduce your company and give a brief about your role within the company?
Slingshot is a group of big kids & daredevils, building custom software and mobile apps since 2005. We work across multiple industries with a specialty in healthcare, and have worked with small companies to the Fortune 50. I am the CEO & Owner and oversee the long term vision and strategic direction.
What was the idea behind starting this organization?
I had always wanted to start a company and have a passion for helping people through technology. We wanted to be the best, which to us means driving the biggest return on investment for our clients. This goes beyond taking orders and just building something well at a technical level. It has to go deeper, and a large focus for us is determining what exactly to build that will have the largest impact. It also means placing a high emphasis on design, which has a dramatic influence on adoption.
What are your company’s business model–in house team or third party vendors/ outsourcing?
We don’t outsource. We use contractors to scale up on large projects but that’s different than throwing something over the wall and hoping for the best. Our process and standards are demanding because we don’t take it lightly when clients entrust us with their investment dollars. Good software development has to start with people on your team who you know can be counted on to deliver.
How is your business model beneficial from a value addition perspective to the clients compared to other companies' models?
Our value compared to others I would say comes from two things. 1) Experience. We’ve been at this since 2005 and every engineer on our team is senior level. 2) A focus on combing great design with great tech. Every great product or piece of software starts with great design. It’s what the client/customer/user sees first and leaves the biggest impression. If the guts of your software is good but it looks terrible or is hard to use the chances of success are lowered dramatically.
What industries do you generally cater to? Are your customers repetitive? If yes, what ratio of clients has been repetitive to you?
We have several clients that have been with us 10+ years because we continue to deliver as well as evolve and improve what and how we offer our services. We’ve worked in finance, HR, healthcare, insurance, government, education, and much more. We see this as a value because we can draw experience and perspective from so many different places. Healthcare is a specialty I would say because we’ve worked on so many projects. HIPAA provides unique constraints to software development and having experience there is very valuable.
Mention the objectives or the parameters critical in determining the time frame of developing a mobile app.
This is difficult, but it largely depends on how many features your app has an how complex they are. Typically a decent size mobile app takes around 4 months to deliver.
How much effort in terms of time goes into developing the front end and back end of a mobile app?
While it varies dramatically, good design and development takes time. Generally a well designed mobile app is 4-6 weeks of time from a UX Designer and 3-4 months of time from a single developer.
What are the key parameters to be considered before selecting the right platform for a mobile application?
Who are your customers and what devices do they use is the first question. In the US generally speaking it’s about 50/50 between iOS and Android while in Europe and other countries it skews more towards Android. These days most of the time you have to develop for both platforms, of course there are exceptions.
Which platform do you suggest your clients to begin with when they approach you with an idea (Android or iOS) and why?
This really equates to “who is your customer”. Find out what they’re using (Android or iOS). If it’s 50/50 you’re likely best off using a hybrid development language of which you can develop and release an app for both platforms.
Android or iOS, Native or Hybrid — which platform is best to use to build your app? What are your recommendations?
It depends. Generally speaking a hybrid platform will cost 20-30% less than developing native apps in both platforms. However, hybrid platforms do have some limitations you’ll have to work around and generally aren’t quite as performant. That being said, advances in hybrid platforms in the last few years has increased and it’s very rare there is a show-stopper to going hybrid. 90% of the time, I’d recommend going hybrid.
What are the key factors that you consider before deciding the cost of a mobile application?
First, are we working with a team that has their own developers? Will they be developing the back-end and API? If so this can cut cost quite a bit. What are the features of the app? Are they complex? Simple? Can authorization be through a common provider like Google, Apple, Facebook, LinkedIn or will the app need it’s own? Are there third party integrations? Payment processing? Most apps in order to be unique, have a feature or set of features that make them distinct. How complex those features are can change the cost of the app dramatically.
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.)
Generally speaking we like to work in Fixed Cost and bill per milestone completed on large projects. For support and ad hoc miscellaneous work we’ll bill per hour worked.
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?
Yes we do. What’s more important for us is the client. Are they a fit for us culturally? What do they want to achieve? Is the work something we can absolutely knock out of the park or is it better for another firm? We are not the low cost provider, we want to work with people who believe like us that the better the product, the greater the return.
What is the price range (min and max) of the projects that you catered to in 2019?
From scratch mobile apps can be done for as low as 50-75k but those are typically very simple and are more of an add on to an existing desktop application or product. Substantial apps that I would consider to be full products are oftentimes in the 150k range but that can go up dramatically depending on complexity.
Applications that cover web and mobile can be 500k plus. We’ve done projects in all those ranges.
Which business model do you suggest to your clients enabling them to generate revenue from mobile applications? Why?
There is no one size fits all to this answer. It really takes a deep dive into the business to understand best how to price.