By Russ Peterson
Kyle and I put our heads together back in March 2017 to take Bad Dinosaur to the next level. It's been an incredible 18 months, and we've achieved more than most people thought we would. Here's the 5 things that raise eyebrows when I tell people I meet.
1. Our team grew from 2 people to 8
When I met with an advisor in December 2016 and told him I wanted a team of 4-5 people within a year, he told me I needed to "be realistic". In November 2017 we were a team of 5 already, and now we've grown to 8 (plus a contractor!) with a further job position available in our team. We now have a different advisor, who actively encourages us to seek growth opportunities. It was certainly a lesson in being careful who you surround yourself with.
2. We got our own office
Myself and Kyle met at Codebase, an incubator-y kinda place in Edinburgh. In December 2017, we were all out of space - at one point we had 5 people sitting at 4 desks. Luckily, we found some pretty cool space down in the Cannonmills area of Edinburgh, where we built our new HQ. After some makeshift interior design over Christmas, we moved in on the 2nd of January.
3. We launched another office, in Glasgow
One office was not enough, and with more of our clients coming to us from Glasgow we decided to open some office space there. We now have space in Clockwise on Renfrew Street in Glasgow city centre. Clockwise have amazing hot desking, co-working and private office space, as well as being home to Glasgow branch of Codeclan (which 4 of our team are graduates of).
4. We lauched a bonus scheme for our team
It's almost unheard of: a tech company who actually shares money with their team, not just their shareholders. We wanted to do things differently by rewarding our team for their hard work and also giving them something that actually had a value that they could spend. The bonus is linked to our revenue, so it also means we've had to be incredibly transparent with our team about our growth and future plans. Furthermore, by linking to revenue instead of profit, we're not encouraging anyone to cut corners in order to get more profit - we're just incentivising growth.
5. We've worked with over 20 clients
Probably the most impressive figure is the number of wire frames (9.1%), apps (13.6%) and web applications (77.3%) we've built. Interestingly, nearly everyone coming to us wanted a native mobile app, but we've convinced most to go down the Progressive Web App route. PWAs have similar capabilities to mobile apps, but are cross platform (mobile, tablet, pc.. smart fridges!) and don't need to be installed. They're also a lot faster to build (roughly half the development effort) and don't need app store approval.
It's been a really interesting 18 months, and I'm looking forward to the future. I think it's good to be realistic, but not to set aims too low - after all, you can achieve anything if you set your mind to it.
About Russ Peterson:
I'm a director of Bad Dinosaur, a software design and development agency in Edinburgh focused on building MVPs through lean/agile, a collaborative "co-design" process, and good communication.
In my 10+ years of technical experience in software development I've worked closely with some of the largest name brands in the world to develop innovative business and consumer facing digital products. Now I'm helping entrepreneurs, start-ups and medium-sized companies build innovative apps and web-based software.
At Bad Dinosaur, Our mission is to provide a complete service for anyone who wants to build a digital product, taking you from an idea in your head to your first paying customers and beyond.
Find out more at www.baddinosaur.co.uk/services/mvp