Pick inside tapptitude, a digital product agency from Cluj-Napoca going head to head with those in London
Our partners for the amazing 5th edition of Techsylvania, tapptitude is a digital product agency, specialized in building mobile products. The team behind Techsylvania was curious to find out what makes a company like tapptitude tic and what advice they might have for entrepreneurs trying to build a product. Gabriel Dombri, Product Strategist & CEO answered some hard and interesting questions and who better to introduce you to tapptitude then him. Take a look at the video and read carefully the interview. You might discover some cool facts.
Tapptitude is specialized in building full stack mobile products, with native technologies for iOS & Android devices. What sets them apart is their can-do attitude about the mobile projects they take up. They are a colorful bunch of 50 mobile specialists so let’s discover all we can about the process behind building a successful product.
Techsylvania: Is there a recipe for building a great product?
Gabriel Dombri, Product Strategist & CEO: No, there isn’t. It would be great if there would be a standard recipe for building a digital product, as it is for baking cookies. But, there is not. The thing is you start from an unique problem, and one way or another, you will have to find unique ways to solve it.
There are plenty of customization elements along these two components, the problem and the solutions, some of them have been used in other businesses, but their combination is unique in your case. After all, you have a specific audience, different struggles for them, certain ways to get them interested in your product and to engage them.
But, one process that can be pegged for a recipe is the development. After all, it’s almost the same in all cases. You have to define the product, make an interesting business model and then hope to have the product built as quick as possible and to use the lowest amount of resources. Afterward, to launch it in the market, validate it, get user retention and hopefully to monetize the product.
Techsylvania: When somebody comes to you, with an idea only, what’s tapptitude’s typical building process for a product?
Gabriel Dombri, Product Strategist & CEO: When it comes to developing ideas, or Product Definition Phase, we start with a workshop. Here, we invite startup founders at our headquarters and work together to decide a few things. For instance, the business model, where we cover things such as — what the problem is, who the audience is, how will they provide value for users and how their product will be different from the existent alternatives.
After we pinpoint the business model, we go forward and discuss the product itself — the core user flows, the tops of usage and how users will experience the product, what components will be in front of them and how the product architecture will look like.
Afterward, our UX designers create the wireframe, that will display how the experience will look like. Once the wireframes are agreed upon, the next step is to design the screens — the whole product.
Once we finish this initial phase of Product Definition, we will be able to give a good estimate on how much time will be required, effort, budget, what resources will be needed to build and launch the product on the market.
Techsylvania: What should a startup founder do before they come to tapptitude to help them build a product?
Gabriel Dombri, Product Strategist & CEO: Before coming to a product partner like ourselves, there are a few things a startup team should do.
First and first, you should have a team. We strongly advise single founders to have a team with them. Building a startup is a difficult journey and you will need that kind of support.
Another thing is to validate if there is a real need for your product, if it will tap into the market. That means to either make some market research, to receive user feedback or to know the specifics of the market.
It is also highly important to have a clear idea of what the product will be. This means to have product specs, designs or wireframes or a prototype at best. It’s important to have something to show to someone like us, so that we can understand how you, as a founder or a team, thought about the product. It might not be necessarily the right solution, but it will offer us important insights about the product.
Techsylvania: What are the best tips on building a better product, especially when you are a startup?
Gabriel Dombri, Product Strategist & CEO: Along these years we worked with startups, we noticed a few patterns. The most common one is the startup founders’ tendency to build too much of the product, in the first phase. This usually occurs in the moment they think that building a smaller product, will not bring enough value for the user. Usually, this is not the case, especially if you build something innovative. Because when the latter happens, you usually start from a point where you are uncertain if people need
that product and if there is a big enough potential user base for it. Also, there are several issues such as not knowing how to acquire your potential users, how to engage them with the product and so on. Thus, building too much of a product in the first phase ends up with an unjustified higher investment than the initial one.
Whenever you are thinking about building something, the first step is to validate it. Research on making sure that there is a need, a market and then create a first version of the product, without too many updates, so that the user can test it and see how they react to it.
Another pattern that we noticed is that startup founders focus too much on the product’s details instead of focusing on the business. Instead of thinking at acquiring users and validating the product, their main focus is shifted towards the colour of a certain button or how certain forms will be implemented. Such details result most of the time in lost time, lost opportunities to go to market and focusing on what the user want, instead of what they want as founders.
Techsylvania: Why would someone choose tapptitude?
Gabriel Dombri, Product Strategist & CEO: People choose tapptitude because they want a reliable product partner who will help them build the product, launch it and grow it.
Usually, before they approach us they look at our portfolio and are impressed by our previous work. They see that our previous clients appreciated working with us and that we always delivered. This establishes a fundamental trust basis for our work relationship.
After the first contact was made, we go into the specifics of the product, where we try to find the right match between what they need and what can we offer. In most cases, if their core business is related to mobile experience, we are more than able to help, since we have the experience and the resources for this area — strategy, development, product management.
Another key element is that we provide good value. We deliver quality products, exemplary services, all for a fair price. We’re usually compared to agencies in London, but we’re at a fraction of a cost of such an agency. And that provides a huge value for the client.