mobile apps with attitude

5.0 (8 Reviews)
About Tapptitude
Tapptitude is a Product Studio that partners with funded startups and established brands to build interactive, mobile-first products that people love to use.  We work with our clients as Product Partners, supporting them proactively throughout the journey from idea t...
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$50 - $99/hr
50 - 249
Romania, United Kingdom
mobile apps with attitude
5.0 (8 Reviews)
Gabriel DOMBRI
Gabriel DOMBRI
Gabriel DOMBRI
CEO, Tapptitude

Please introduce your company and give a brief about your role within the company?

Tapptitude is a product studio, specialized in helping funded startups to define, design, and develop mobile-first experiences for their audiences. Our specialty is approaching the process of product building holistically, by providing end-to-end solutions, from product strategy, UX & UI, full-stack development, testing, and product management.

I’ve been the CEO for the last four years, time in which we got from a small development team of 10 people to a proper product squad of over 50 now.

What was the idea behind starting this organization?

The company was started by four developers. I joined after the first year. The main vision was to deliver great products to smart and ambitious startup founders who embarked on a mission to solve some relevant problems in the world around us. Soon after the launch, we found out that in order to build great products, coding alone was not enough, so we’ve brought in strategy people, product managers, great product designs, and testers. And we moved our approach from code-first to a process where we define a testable product first (what is typically called an MVP) that we iteratively build and test from a design-driven angle and focus on clearing out the main risks in the products’ business model. Such an approach positions us more in the space of product partners than in the space of development agencies, even though product development is still core business for us.

What are your company’s business model–in house team or third party vendors/ outsourcing?

We only work with an internal team, as the expertise, close collaboration within the team, and ongoing learning are key in what we do for the startups.

How is your business model beneficial from a value addition perspective to the clients compared to other companies' models?

The typical things our clients tell us is that we are a top-tier agency, in terms of quality of what we deliver - like the one you find in New York, San Francisco, or London, but with more affordable rates, creating tremendous value for our clients. We’ve been very lucky from that perspective, as having our product team located in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, we could afford to go with lower rates but still keep very high quality in what we delivered.

What industries do you generally cater to? Are your customers repetitive? If yes, what ratio of clients has been repetitive to you?

We are pretty much industry agnostic, as our main skills are focused on delivering great product value to the final users. From that perspective, we’re rather focused on understanding a certain market audience, real user struggles, and user motivations, as the process to deliver value to them after such understanding is pretty similar from one industry to the other. 
We typically build the first product for our startups, then accompany them as product partners while they scale, till the moment when it actually makes sense for them to build an internal team. We’ve had collaborations that lasted 3-4 years, some of them up to their exits, and in many cases, we still step in to help our clients’ teams even after they are fully autonomous.

Since 2019, we’ve had a steady focus on some verticals, like health tech and fintech, especially on the UK market.

Mention the objectives or the parameters critical in determining the time frame of developing a mobile app.

It all depends on how the product is defined, and its main scope depends a lot on the main objective the founding team has with it, to validate certain assumptions or to build a solid, scalable product. 
In the first case, we do a lot of validation scenarios and validation planning, based on which we decide what the testable MVP is. And in building such an MVP, we move pretty fast, with time frames from a few weeks, to 2-3 months.

In the second case, a scalable product may take a lot more, and the approach is based on creating some scalability scenarios, then designing a product architecture that can support that. The choice of the tech stack, coding decisions, and even testing flows can be pretty different in such a context.

How much effort in terms of time goes into developing the front end and back end of a mobile app?

This question is way too general to be able to give a relevant response. As you all know, you can have scrappy products that you do in a few weeks, as you can have behemoth products that are constantly in development, with ongoing releases over some years.

But to give you some examples, the typical timelines for the products we’ve built in the last two years were anywhere from 5 to 8 months to deliver something in the stores.

What are the key parameters to be considered before selecting the right platform for a mobile application?

It depends a lot on the audience the product targets. If we want to start with a proper MVP, it’s typically quite fine to go with only one platform initially, test that and then push the other into the market. Now, the choice of such a platform comes from what that initial audience actually uses in terms of devices. To give you an example, if you want to create a mobile solution on giving nutrition advice for upscale users in New York, most likely, you will find that those people use mainly iPhones, so it makes a lot of sense to build an iOS app first. 
But there are also situations where you cannot really choose one platform over the other, as the users would be split between the two (iOS and Android). In such a case, we either build native apps for both iOS and Android or give a cross-platform solution using React Native.

Android or iOS, Native or Hybrid — which platform is best to use to build your app? What are your recommendations?

As said before, there are cases when you need to reach both an iOS and an Android audience. The typical solution for that is to build two native apps, one on iOS and another on Android. The implication of that is that you will need to manage two products, though very similar, but still different, with different code bases, store accounts, etc. The alternative is to build a cross-platform solution, using something like React Native. In such a case, you only have one code base that is deployed on two platforms, and this may result in a smaller budget to build it and sometimes faster development.

Now, in some cases, a React Native solution works, but in many, it doesn’t, as it may struggle to give you proper customization in some elements of the product or hinder your scalability plans.

What we typically tell our founders is that if you can afford to build natively, you should do it, especially if your product needs to have top-class interactions, like a B2C app, and be ready to scale-up.

What are the key factors that you consider before deciding the cost of a mobile application?

As we build custom products that strive to solve some real needs for real people, the estimation of how much time it will take to build each of those products is a very individual process. We start from a very simple operational question, “Is this product fully and clearly defined?” 
If it is, and such definition has the form of technical specs, architecture documents, user flows, and some form of UX (wireframes, mockups, prototypes), a product team on our side will do a documentation debriefing, then estimate on a module or functionality level the time needed to build, test and release such a product component.

If it isn’t, the flow is quite different, and we move into a process of product definition, where do we product workshops, wireframing, prototyping, etc. This process can take from a few weeks to a couple of months. The deliverables of this process are pretty much the definition assets I mentioned above that would allow a product team to understand what functionality would be built, all the integrations such a product will have, and the major UX logic of the product. Based on those, the product team will estimate the amount of time needed to build each of the product components.

The budget is only a conclusion of this entire exercise, where we take the estimated time and apply our rate card for the allocated team. As we rarely work on fixed-price projects, such estimates are only guidelines from a budget and timeline perspective, and what really matters is the sprint or monthly budget for the estimated team.

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 typically work in an agile approach with a product team that is allocated to a product. Such a team is pretty self-managed, led by a product manager, and has all the functions needed to move the product from start to release in the store, developers, testers, designers, and some time product strategists. As we work as a product partner, our main mission is to help the startup founders define the right product to build for their specific business objectives, then build such a product as quickly as possible, launch it, test it, and then scale it into a sustainable business. From such an angle, we can be seen as the external product team for the startup, being paid every sprint or every month.

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 deliver two types of solutions, product definition solutions, and product building solutions. In the first case, we do workshops, UX sessions, design explorations, etc., and the budgets can start from a few thousand dollars to $15-20K. 
In the second case, lately, the smallest projects, quick MVPs or POCs,  were about $20-30K, while the typical scalable project is anywhere from $60K up.

What is the price range (min and max) of the projects that you catered to in 2019?

We had quite a few MVPs launched, for budgets mentioned above, but also many ongoing or big projects that ranged way over $100K.

Which business model do you suggest to your clients enabling them to generate revenue from mobile applications? Why?

Such advice is highly customized to the specific project we have at hand, where the business model fundamentally depends on the audience the product targets, the value it proposes to that audience, the competitive landscape they have around, and some other objectives and constraints they have. Our product strategists spend a lot of time advising startups founders on possible business models to test; then, the product teams build product offerings in order to test those models. But this is very specific to each project, and I don’t believe there is a ‘recipe’ that works for this.
Contact information
2A Lunii, Cluj-Napoca, Cluj 400068
3 Loughborough St, Vauxhall, London , London, London SE11 5RB
United Kingdom
109 S 5th St., NYC, New York 11249
United States
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