Towards the end of June, we started a new project called Bevvy.
Imagine working with a startup on a deal site about drinkin'! A dream come true? Then imagine, working on a deal site about drinkin', with a Great Bunch Of Lads from Ireland. In LA. On their time.
That's mostly what we did all July. It was a bit hectic. Many long days and nights, and neglected families.
Still, that's what made this a great project (not the not seeing my children bit, of course).
Everything was tight
- No money and they'd been ripped in the past
- A month to launch. They were getting on TechCrunch
- Insert generic 'Client thought they could design' statement here
The Bevvy guys were great craic to work with, although they were wary at the start.
They had a previous version of the app built in PHP, by an offshore firm that appear to no longer exist. This is the point where we were tentative. We do a lot of Rescue Missions, fixing badly implemented and broken applications.
Thankfully they realised the potential of our new designs would be constrained with such a bad starting point. So we started from scratch, in Rails! The cool thing? It was their idea. We concurred, and since they had already gone through the process, we had a reasonably good spec to work with.
Because they're a likeable bunch and they have a great concept, we really wanted to deliver what we thought was right for them. We went the extra mile and added some scope creep ourselves to get a solid first iteration out into the wild, we're really proud of what we've produced. It was worth it.
A great client, makes a project great
Delivering a fixed set of deliverables, for a fixed budget, in a fixed timeline is a dark art, or perhaps just good guesswork. Having such constraints on all sides, usually means that the project gets de-risked to guarantee delivery, within the timeframe and budgets:
- Budgets get over-estimated where possible due to
- Timeline estimates being pushed out, and just in case;
- Deliverables are reduced (under promise, over deliver!)
Everyone wants to deliver a project to its completion, on time, in budget. Especially clients!
Good clients understand these limitations and will 'flex' with you on budget and timeline to ensure a great product release. But there are always times when you have to compromise on deliverables, and the really awesome clients also get this. That's why Bevvy were so great to work with. They got the Agile thing!
That said, some clients will want to ensure all budgets, timelines and deliverables are met and that's ok too. But it often means a lot more work, typically by the client, creating a very detailed project specification to adhere to, and to allow for a more accurate estimate.
We like great projects!
Despite this year already being a bit mad, Bevvy has been a highlight for me.
Seeing everyone in the Rumble campfire room on a Sunday knocking down tickets in Pivotal Tracker, brought back memories of the nights and weekends we all worked flat out on Onotate. Sometimes, to 'Ship it!' you really just need to take things up a gear.
This is what we look for in Rumblers. We move with the ebb and flow of work and life. We love what we do. We love loving what we do! And of course, we love a good bevvy!
That's why the last month or so has been so enjoyable. Working with the Rumblers and working with Bevvy. A worthwhile effort and great craic. Oh, and they did get on TechCrunch. Superb!