Lets do something together for Impact Recruitment?

Hello Jascha 👋🏻

Thanks for the call last week. We’d love to help Impact Recruitment build the ultimate recruitment tool. We believe we have a fair understanding of what you want to build and can help you make it a reality.
How? Glad you asked. We prepared a simple proposal to guide you through our process and proposed next steps as well as a sense of cost and duration of that process. 

working with entrepreneurs, startups as well as these slightly bigger companies

Working with
Entrepreneurs

We are used to working with entrepreneurs in shaping their ideas

We help great people with solid ideas refine, visualize and eventually build and launch them. We’ve worked with young ambitious entrepreneurs as well as with seasoned professionals looking to kickstart a side-gig or a new career. We understand that at this stage of the process not everything is clear and a lot of discovery will happen over time and together.

The current state-of-affairs

We understand where you are. We heard the idea and it makes sense. You want to build a platform that works as an underlaying backbone of your current business but also one that potentially helps further expand it. You want to create a “matching” platform between jobs (scrapped) and profiles / CVs, providing a match based on specific needs and specific skills. Now the challenge is how do you start? What do you build first? What is the UX that will allow you to have a smoother user onboarding and as such get more CVs? What are the built-incentives that can be added to your product so it that mechanisms for virality exist? 

Our understanding of your needs

We see a initial project as a mix between helping to define what a first project is (what functionality, what are the key needs) as well as to visualize it and the associated experience. How is information loaded into the platform? Are are the user interfaces? What is the end to end experience for the consumer? What are the must haves and the nice-to-have?

We’d work alongside you to define the functionality, the scope (details) and the wireframes of the first version of the product. 

Help translate ideas to product needs

First step in our process would be to have further conversations that allow us to understand what the “dream product” is — the version 100 with all of the functionality and automatism. We’d also leverage the research into the industry we’d have done before the conversations to understand what also exists, what are the needs, what are some of the other things we can learn from. When we have a good sense of the full-complete version, we’ll work together to define what are the must-haves and what needs to be baked into an initial version of the product. This is the roadmap we’d then work with throughout the further stages.

Identify potential challenges and all integrations needed

As we discuss functionality, we’ll be the “tech partner in the room” — to identify potential integrations, provide insight into some of the integrations you already identified and their technical feasibility and required effort. This input will also assist with prioritization since the time (and money) it takes to build something is a factor in prioritization. We’ll also try to outline the main challenges for the product (both at a technical and user/usage level) and we’ll brainstorm together ways through which we can overcome said challenges.  

Develop Scoping Document for v1 of Solution

When we have the features defined (e.g. “User can Register and upload CV”) we’ll do work in detailing how (rather than just what) each functionality will work. This is helpful to assist with wireframing, but will also be the base doc and blueprint we’ll use to determine costs and timelines for the actual implementation — be it done with us or whoever else. 

Identify the best technology stack to respond to needs

Given the needs and how the application should behave, we’ll make backed recommendations for the technology stack to implement the platform with. This is another important piece to aid in the future execution of the platform and in getting valid quotes later on — again, from us or any other provider. This recommendation will be based on the current available tech stacks, the project needs and the considerations around the long-term needs of the project (that we got from thinking through the “version 100” at an early stage of this process)

Clarify Questions on Implementation

Throughout the whole initial project, we’ll be your partners that bring the technology and user-experience perspective. We’ll be available to answer questions that help you inform business decisions and better understand and navigate the product development process.

Develop basic wireframes of the solution

Our UI/UX designer will work with your team to define and draw wireframes (basic) for all of the main screens of the functionalities prioritized for a version 1 of your application. This will help us think through the flow of usage as well as understand how the different functionality comes together into a cohesive product.

This is the first opportunity to VISUALIZE your product. We’ll do a few (up to 3) rounds of review to make sure the wireframes are valid and incorporate stakeholder feedback. 

Timeline

We believe between research, conversations and work the scope proposed above under “activities” will take between 1 and 1.5 months to execute. This will also depend on the exact needs you identify and feedback cycles, so this timeline should be taken as indicative and not final.

Cost

For the work under the suggested activities above we suggest a lump sum project fee of 5.000 EUR.

Payment is made 50% upfront, 50% on completion. 

Our Promise

We are in business to deliver value. We depend on it. We treat others like we’d like to be treated and we stay true to our values. Sometimes we’ll make mistakes, but we’ll always try to make it right. The below is what we truly believe in and it is also our promise to you if we’re ever so lucky to cross paths:

Aim for Excellent

We believe in doing excellent work. Good is not something we’re comfortable with. Excellent is also about around-the-clock support, pragmatic solutions to problems and a whole lot more than just coding whatever needs to be coded following proper standards, with documentation and associated tests.

Fair Price, Fair Value

We believe in charging fairly for everything we do. Besides alignment of expectations, there is also no point in charging clients twice as much just because they can pay for it. We would rather have the client come back for more when they see the value we added to their business. Additionally, we are not the cheapest around. We get paid for the value we deliver and make sure the people delivering the work get their fair share. We believe quality has a price, but a fair price.

Bootstrapped business and mindset

We are bootstrapped, we are independent and we like it that way. We make the decisions that better suit our clients, our team and our business. We are agile and resourceful, we don’t overspend (and thus don’t overcharge). We grow organically and we rely on hard work (and quality work) to live and prosper. That’s the best incentive to guarantee we’ll always do the utmost to deliver quality work, on time. Delivering quality work becomes more than a catchphrase and rather something we depend on.

We create things that matter

We create products and provide services that matter. We sell services that people actually pay for. This means we need to create things that add value and increase ROI. Daily, we work with real world problems and with real world clients in different industries with different challenges and opportunities.

Open and Improving

We are always seeking suggestions, critics and improvement opportunities. We are open-minded and we like it that way. We won’t do everything right every time and at first try. But we also don’t “embrace failure”. That’s silly. We avoid it. But we learn from it and try to do better next time.

Honesty

We are preachers of not reinventing the wheel. If something out there does a good job, and is available, we won’t reinvent it for the sake of billable hours or to make it look more complex. If what you want to do has already been done, we’d rather point that out. We will tell you when we disagree with you and have a contrary opinion. We’re not a “yes” team but rather people that care about you and your business. We will admit and own up our own mistakes. We will always communicate openly and directly — beyond office politics or ‘client-pleasing-lingo’.

True to who we are

We are true to ourselves. We are not a big company and we don’t behave as such. We are a small agile and growing team and we acknowledge and embrace that as an integral part of our culture and DNA. This has good things and bad things. For some projects we won’t be the best choice, for others we will be the perfect fit.

We care for ours

We have an insanely amazing team of people all over the globe. We embrace our diversity — the languages, cultures, beliefs. We treat our people well, we try to do our utmost to ensure they have all they need — so they ensure you have all you deserve. This means we also need to make sure you treat them with the same respect and care.

Deadlines matter

We believe deadlines matter. Plans are made with those in mind. Plans change, but unless they do, deadlines shouldn’t. All of our projects are backed with a solid deadline penalty guarantee that keeps us rooted in delivering well and on time. This is not just sales-speak, this goes into our enforceable contract.

Quality Assurance and Security

We create high quality, test-driven, expandable code that is commented and supported throughout. We do Quality Assurance on our projects. We do it by hiring talent and personality. If you are not happy, we’ll either resolve or refund. Our code and your data is kept safe according to the highest standards of security. However, being honest means saying nothing is 100% bulletproof in this DNA age — we’ll always try to make it as secure and reliable as possible, though. We don’t splash your work all over our website or plug our logo on its footer. Is your project, not ours.

You get real humans

Providing superior, around-the-clock support for us is paramount. You can reach us by chat, phone, email, skype and pretty much everything else if you need to. Part of the previous point (being small and empowered) means you’ll be speaking with people who can actually make a difference at all times. We are here as part of your team: We’re happy to discuss ideas, come up with solutions and change strategies. We will always try to help and provide our input based on our years of experience. We got you.

A guided process

We’ll walk you through a proven process. We’re happy to adapt and be flexible, while providing the structure you need to get the project to the finish line.

We avoid stress

We don’t want to live in stress. We avoid creating stressful situations be it in ensuring communication and expectations are clear or in avoiding “last minute” rushes. This also means we don’t like it when stress is created for nothing. We (respectfully) avoid these situations.

At the end of the day, we are digital natives. We are young-at-heart, optimistic and energetic. We understand the web and strive to keep up with the latest technologies. We move fast. We invest in clients and in our team. We’re proactive and make suggestions. Your project is also ours.

We want to make our clients happy. Everything else is a by-product of that.

CTO As a Service

Many of the founders we work with don’t have a technical background. In the crucial early days of creating their new digital products, they aren’t yet at a stage where hiring a team, namely a CTO, makes sense. Given our deep knowledge of the product (that in many cases we developed) and of their business (gained during the discovery stages), we work as their trusted technical partners and as an extension of their teams, as their CTO. This helps them gain confidence in tech decisions, clarify questions with partners and get the technical juice required to prove the technology is worth of customer trust or VC bet.

Some-Code

We’ve helped our clients leverage existing  technology and SaaS products to build products or improve processes through low or minimal coding. We call it “Some code”. See a blog post here.

Team Augmentation

Although this is the business we seek out the least, we’ve been successful at lending some of our talent to companies of all sizes to augment their teams during peak needs. We like to think of those engagements as 3-12 months and feel that if you’re going to need the developer for longer, you might need to hire someone. We can give you a few tips on that as well. 

We understand that at some point products will most likely need a rebuild but we never throw-away MVPs as we believe; that’s a waste of money. Instead, we like to think of these as building blocks. Although you can keep building you don’t need to trash everything done before.

MVP Creation

We work with entrepreneurs to materialize their vision. Our typical entrepreneur works at one of the FAANG or Big 4 consulting firms and has solid business and industry experience but isn’t (in many cases) technical. We work as their partner to help materialize their vision and apply their business acumen into a solid, future-proof, digital product. We don’t like MVPs and like to think of them as SLCs instead. But we help entrepreneurs balance the needs of their product and their ambitions with the pragmatism of building and launching a product that can get market validation. 

We understand that at some point products will most likely need a rebuild but we never throw-away MVPs as we believe; that’s a waste of money. Instead, we like to think of these as building blocks. Although you can keep building you don’t need to trash everything done before.

Design Sprint

Similarly to the above, we’ve run many design sprints in the past helping people navigate through the needs of the product, the audience and what it would eventually look like. 

Digital Product Strategy

We’ve helped countless entrepreneurs go from “rough sketch of an idea” to an “actual product”. Sometimes; we end up advising them against building something from scratch and suggest they leverage no-code (or some-code) to build these instead. We work as a trusted technical partner, a CTO of sorts and help them structure their needs and navigate sometimes-complex technical questions. 

Mobile Development

We can build native applications or hybrid (cross-platform) ones. This depends on your needs and we’re happy to advise on that as well. In either case we have the technical expertise in-house to build these applications, test them across different devices and connect them to backend services.

Web Development

Our team of backend and frontend engineers (with solid backgrounds and experience in real-world applications) work together to build test-driven applications that either we designed or you brought to us. We’re able to support a variety of programming languages and frameworks and have built applications that have successfully processed hundreds of millions of processes every day. We’re able to offer competitive rates enclosed in a process designed for success. 

Mobile & Web UI/UX

Our experienced design team is able to help you think strategically through a given need and build a mobile or web product that satisfies the business and users needs from sketches to wireframes, designs and static prototypes. We don’t just “paint” an interface but we like to think through it (we all know a pig with fancy lipstick is still a pig). We follow some of the industries best practices (e.g. Norman Nielsen, Baymard Institute) but give room for experimentation and creativity: we call it data-backed creativity. 

Mobile Applications

With mobile being “first” for many consumers, the need and appetite for mobile applications has grown tremendously. Sometimes it makes sense to develop native applications, in other cases it’s better to develop hybrid applications and for a lot of businesses, it doesn’t make sense to spend the resources building an installable mobile application, but rather a browser-based PWA that works and behaves just like a normal mobile app but with a myriad of advantages. You have a vision for your mobile application, you have a clear sense of what are the outcomes you want. We work with you, as your technical partner to understand what is the best solution and technology stack for your needs and then to build beautiful, delightful, smooth mobile experiences leveraging UX research and mobile’s best practices.

SLCs (aka good MVPs)

We help entrepreneurs — many with a non technical background — in building their first product. We don’t like the concept of MVPs — see here why — but rather prefer to think of these products as SLCs. We work with entrepreneurs as their technical partners (co-founders if you will). We challenge their ideas and learn on their expertise and industry know-how. We help define — through user feedback and research — what is the ideal set of functionality to bring the vision to life and prove the concept. We then build their SLC from the ground up. But rather than building a timed-MVP, we work to develop a solid foundation for a future project. You don’t create a SLC (or MVP) by making the tech poor and weak, you do it by deconstructing the number and complexity of the initial functionality set — it’s harder to explain this to entrepreneurs and so many default to patching things together. But a solid base is the only way you can leverage that SLC to continuously experiment and build — which you surely need as a startup. 

Digital Products & Applications from Scratch

We help entrepreneurs — many with a non technical background — in building web and mobile products from scratch. We have entrepreneurs that come to us with clarity and just want to execute… to be honest, we’re not the best at it. We help develop the concept further or just make it more clear for those technically executing it. We then understand how it can be brought to life — what are the steps, the technology, the form it will take. We strategise, wireframe and design the final product and then work to build a SLC version of it that serves as both a fast product to experiment with as well as a solid foundation from where additional features can be developed as needs evolve. These can be web as well as mobile applications. 

User Experience & Interface Design

Although most of our UI/UX work is done in the context of building a product end to end, we’ve also provided this service separately. There isn’t a perfect User Interface. Developing effective and delightful web and mobile experiences is synonymous with continuous experimentation. It is a mix of looking at data and drawing conclusions as well as of making assumptions and bets based on existing research and, yes, hunches. When we tackle a redesign project it is much more than just painting something or just about how it looks. It is how it functions, why it works or doesn’t. We work as a team: client, users, designers, project managers, strategists. We have exploratory conversations with users and internal stakeholders, define goals and then wireframe ideas to validate them. We’ll eventually make sure it looks as good as it functions too. In the end you get a homepage or an entire product redesign that won’t be perfect but will be functional, enjoyable to use and damn beautiful. They’ll convert more or simply decrease frustration and increase enjoyment.

Complex Robust Online Stores

These are great ways to get started, sometimes a simple pre-built e-commerce site doesn’t have the functionality to achieve the experience you want to create. You may need a far more complex order system for your product or to connect to additional back-end applications to do tasks like inventory syncing, creating custom prices based on account details or to create contracts as part of the automated sales process. You might have subscription needs that current platforms don’t cover. We have extensive experience with e-commerce development from small stores to complex e-commerce applications supporting millions in transactions, integrating with dozens of payment gateways and serving multiple audiences with highly localized offerings. One of the key things we’ve been helping customers with is building stores that focus on conversion through better technology and UX.

Payment Gateway Integrations

Data shows an increase in conversions when you provide users with payment methods that meet their needs. This is especially true as you expand abroad, having only Credit Card payment options won’t cut it and you’ll see an increase in abandoned carts. We’ve got extensive experience integrating different payment gateways and methods. Alipay? WePay? iDEAL? Boleto Bancário? Multibanco? Apple Pay? Amazon Pay? Google Pay? We’ve integrated custom online stores and checkout flows with all of these and more! And we’re not saying “integrating” as in “we configured a plugin” but rather we dealt with edge scenarios and complex business cases with specific needs. We can help with the integration as well as, leveraging our experience, in finding the right providers with the lowest rates.

Software Integration

Don’t you hate it when you can’t find a Zapier plug-in? Or when you’re doing that manual task 1000x times and just know it can be automated but can’t seem to articulate it or find the right tool to do what needs to get done? We come in at different stages of that process: either by hearing about an internal inefficiency or problem and working to design a solution that meets your needs or by executing a clear software integration you thought of and just need to get done. You have a list of reports you’d like to run, activities you’d like to automate and delays you’d like to take an axe to – let’s work on a fix. We’ve worked with dozens of software integration services – from POS systems, to payment gateways and CRMs all the way to proprietary bank systems.

Complex Corporate Applications

Wondering how we got some of our big clients? We went to them with a fresh idea for a problem we knew they had and a clear plan on how to execute it in spite of the internal politics and friction.  We have experience building applications for big enterprises. We’ve helped create entire applications from scratch and internal software (CRM, POS, ERP, HR Management) to meet very specific needs, customized sales leaderboards and much more. The people that buy from us at these companies look for a partner that can help them build sexy products that look like the latest consumer product but provide the functionality, expandability and soundness of what an internal tool needs. We’ve experience in highly regulated industries as well as with complex business cases and needs.