‘The Takeover Project’
Neal, the CEO of Octothorpe, reached out to us with a problem. The agency that was building his app (a well-known agency in Chicago) decided to stop working with him because they found a larger client, after building ‘most’ of his app, but not enough to launch.
Typically, we don’t like taking over projects like this, especially when they aren’t launched, but I felt as though we were in a unique position to take it over. This was mostly due to the computer languages they chose (PHP & native apps, which our team has years of experience with) but also because we’ve made similar photography apps for other clients in different industries.
After fully vetting the opportunity & seeing what we would need to do to bring it to market, we decided to take on the project.
Where to start?
During our audit, we knew that the project was riddled with bugs & was using a backend that couldn’t be customized too much, but we knew the #1 goal was to launch. So, we patched all the glaring things up, cut down on a few unnecessary ‘scale-type’ features & launched his apps for his first few clients.
Since the first team built such an inadequate product, we knew that a re-write would need to happen at some point. Simple things for experienced mobile app developers, such as memory leaks causing issues, were commonplace with the android apps & the minimal amount of reconfigurability in the backend were preventing the company from growing. So, we devised a plan to maintain, while building for the future.
What does it do?
Octothorpe is the first platform to reward users via their sharing of pictures in specific locations. To start, Octothorpe needs to be embedded (via an SDK) into other apps of large brands, (such as a large fast-food restaurant chain). Once the SDK is installed, users take a picture in the app, add stickers (from that brand) and get rewarded if they successfully share via their social network (Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter). The rewards are up to the brand but typically have been free items or a large discount on their next purchase.
What did it need?
Octothorpe needed a complete overhaul of their entire digital product. This included app & backend design, as well as app & backend development.
We started with a full design sprint for the app & backend, allowing for the full configurability: stickers, radius’s, & the ability to spin up new SDK’s, so Octothorpe could create custom SDK’s per brand & scale at a moment’s notice. The design was clean, basic & simple – something that would allow for fast conversion on the app & was easy to follow & set up on the web backend. The Apps were native iOS & Android apps, with a Node.js backend. We used AWS for infrastructure.