Buy vs Build Software for large organizations on SE Radio
We talk with host Adam Conrad about building software in-house versus buying off-the-shelf software from vendors. Dan explains the benefits, drawbacks, checklists, and frameworks for choosing when to build your own software solutions and when you should reach out to outside vendor solutions, as well as which vendor to choose and why.
Technology Adoption through Incremental Change
Transformation is defined as a dramatic and complete change. It’s become part of our corporate speak and it’s meant to signify that giant leaps and monumental progress are necessary to keep pace and gain advantage. And yet, most changes happen through the accumulation of small steps that add up along the way. What if instead of taking on dramatic transformations, we approached technology adoption through incremental change?
Software is the way to scale your company with Estie Rand
Have you ever dreamed of creating a software product without any of the programming work? In this episode, Dan Moore shows us how that can be done and takes us on his journey. He has been a programmer since the age of 8. He is a trained computer scientist who crafts ideas into scalable products. Join us for an incredible episode packed with value, and business tips.
Every Tuesday, get an insightful conversation delivered straight to your inbox. Dan Moore, our CEO, shares our processes, perspective, industry trends, insights, and more in the world of product design, development, and management.
We encourage every subscriber to ask questions, share their perspective, and be connected with our community in the fields of Healthcare, Information Technology, Human Resources, and Real Estate. Need some insight? This is the place for you.
The Software That Can Increase Your Profits
In this interview, Dan shares some real-world case studies involving software they developed for healthcare companies, corporate recruiters, and more. Dan also shares some of the biggest myths their potential clients have about software, first and foremost, that it has to be big and expensive. Dan explains why that’s definitely not the case.
Human Resources, Talk
The 30-60-90 Day Job Posting
What's unique about this job posting, how it works, and how to build it for hiring success. The better way to do job postings to find talented, autonomous, and capable employees in your hiring process. This is how Vaporware hires their experts!
Customer Relationships through Digital Communication
How to build solid customer relationships through digital communication technologies. Dan leads Vaporware's strong customer relationships in consulting, which is mostly virtual due to COVID.
SaaS MVPs, Roles, and Handoff from Consulting
A rapid-fire podcast with Nathan Latka on the Top. While not a SaaS startup, Dan Moore talks bootstrapped consulting, roles required to build a SaaS company (with their salaries today) and how to do a proper handoff of an MVP.
How to Automate Everything
Joining Diane Helbig on Accelerate Your Business Growth Podcast, Dan Moore talks about the role that software can play in growing your business. Using software to automate basic functions can save you time and money so you have one less thing to worry about in a time where the most important thing is to be with family, not worried about how or even if you are going to be able to do your job. We talk through some great ideas on how to accomplish automation that works.
Startups, MVPs, and Staying Agile
Dan Moore joins Greg Kihlstrom on The Agile World - Today we’re going to talk about startups, and the importance of ensuring your teams are able to maintain agility throughout your development and growth. This means knowing how to configure your teams with both internal and external resources, and even when to build things internally versus externally.
Become a Software-Driven Business That Scales
Interested in scaling your business? Learn how to adopt software to streamline your operations and scale your company beyond just the people you hire. Dan Moore talks with Laine Schmidt of The Business Lab podcast on techniques and approaches to scaling your business.
Creating Awaiting (Part 1)
At Vaporware, we’re constantly looking for ways to help people and businesses be more efficient with their time and resources. One of the biggest challenges we’ve seen during 2020’s pandemic was how businesses could safely reopen with new capacity limits and policies in place to ensure a safe environment for their employees and customers.
Product Management, Article
16 ways to increase your B2B SaaS ARR
Here's the best strategies we've seen to increase your ARR. Working from the 3 levers of acquiring, monetizing, and retaining customers, where should you invest your efforts? with 3 levers, which steps do you take first?
CRE Ideas Into Software
A great introduction to launching new software ideas, Dan Moore talks with Joe Fairless at the Best Ever Real Estate Investment Advice Show on #SkillsetSunday. Tune in for how to see if an idea has merit, smoke tests for new ideas, and more.
A great overview to the entrepreneurship world of software design and development. Dan Moore talks with Jim Palmer, the Dream Business Coach, on how we enter entrepreneurship, innovation, and disruption.
Coding in a Ghost Town
Dan Moore talks with hosts Tom Alexander and Charles Epstein on World at Work's Work in Progress Podcast. From workplace changes to redefining company culture they discuss changes from COVID-19 and how we're reacting to them at Vaporware.
Scaling Down Your Business
Three EO Members talk about actual things they have done to scale down. During this webinar BlueHat Mechanical will share specifically how they planned when and how to scale their business back and consolidate their position. You will learn the framework that Vaporware uses to assess businesses for chances to optimize procedures through automation. You will also hear how Davis Moore Advisors worked with their clients and property owners during the 2008 recession to restructure leases ahead of the lease expiration, trading reduced rent and concessions today for more term
Real Estate, Talk
Custom Software Solutions for Real Estate Professionals
Custom software solutions can enable real estate professionals to be more productive with less costs.
Embracing shitty first drafts
The Dribbblification of design—our focus on polish rather than process or problems—means we don’t see the first drafts, iterations, or revisions it took to solve real business problems. This can make it easy to fall into the trap of thinking successful designers and product teams produce beautiful products and interfaces out the gate, but this simply isn’t true.
Tips to Work Better Remotely
Over the past 3 years, we’ve successfully worked with a distributed team and clients across the nation. While we’re not all-remote, like GitLab, and don’t have a history of 22 years, like Ars Technica, we have developed a unique culture transitioning in-office work to remote communication. If you’re like...
Why is organ donation twice as popular in Poland?
It’s an election cycle in the United States. With the democratic primaries behind us in North Carolina, we’re reminded not only how important our choices are, but the process in which we make our choices. Out of the 2.2 million registered Democrats in North Carolina, only 1.3 million cast their vote last Tuesday. With the following...
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
Teamwork doesn’t have to be difficult. One of the keys to building a strong team is building a shared understanding. If members of a team have similar backgrounds and can communicate well, they’re able to move far and fast as a cohesive team. At Vaporware, we’ve created a process to expedite our shared understanding through a series of exercises, that ultimately allows us to team up with new clients on transformative software in just one week. While there is a shared experience that only the trenches of the process can provide, I’d like to introduce 3 of our practices to see if...
Real Estate, Talk
Software Applications Mirror the Company Culture & Workplace
Multiple strategies to develop software, bringing computer science to the workplace, and how software mirrors the organizations it is created in.
Disrupting with Less Software
Last week, I discussed the benefits of incremental change over pivotal change. I was remiss in remembering Clayton Christensen, who passed late January, and his work on disruptive innovation, which has had a profound effect on our work at Vaporware. To correct that here is a relevant article to the disruption of healthcare by Clayton from...
The Power of Incremental Change
Change is hard. I won’t win any awards for that revolutionary statement, but it’s a fact we as innovators and agents of change often forget. Individuals and organizations are not naturally wired to accept and adapt to change, and can often seem like they are unable to accept change. Virginia Satir, author and therapist, best illustrated this natural response to change with her Change Process Model: ...
Process and Prototypes
This weekend I was hanging out with Asher, my 2.5-year-old son. After hard-boiling and peeling some eggs, I tried asking him to clean up the eggshells. After breaking it down for him, he diligently got 90% of them in the trash can and said he was all done. I asked about the remaining pieces on the ground, to which he covered them with Tupperware lids and said: “can’t see it.” Shenanigans aside, I was reminded of the Exact Instructions Challenge, as at 2 years old every task...
As we started a new year, we revisited the Vision of Vaporware. Your company’s vision is your dream for the future -- a final state that you can imagine the world in once your work is done. A company vision is a useful tool for aligning your team’s efforts around a common goal, activating their passions as part of your purpose-driven organization. While ours didn’t significantly change this year, it’s important to revisit your company’s vision...
Product Management, Talk
Buy, Acquire, Build, Partner
An overview of 2 popular (and 2 less popular) product strategies can help you successfully compare your next strategic decision. Covering the skills required for each strategy, the factors to consider, we'll discuss a framework anyone in your organization can use when evaluating software product strategies. Along the way, Dan will share a few key stories from the trenches across his 10 years of experience managing, building, and consulting with product organizations.
Testing protoypes (remotely) with UXPin, FullStory, and Netlify
Four steps for testing prototypes asynchronously and remotely.
Strategy in the Face of Buzzwords
How a good product team will look for product opportunities that are necessary and valuable (not just cool or purely profitable), and how Vaporware helps companies navigate through the sea of today’s tech buzzwords to identify true business opportunities.
How Healthcare Providers can Invisibly Improve Patient Experiences
Digital interaction between patients and healthcare providers should be simple. Although patients want to easily communicate with their doctors or pay bills, the process becomes difficult when patients have to download multiple apps. The problem stems from too many hospitals and medical practices trying to interact with patients across multiple channels to manage billing, view electronic health records (EHR), and schedule appointments. How can healthcare providers and medical practices better communicate or offer a more engaging patient experience? One option involves adding a new...
Innovation Isn't Just About New Technology
At Vaporware, we work with clients on innovative technology like Blockchain, IoT, and AI (or Machine Learning, as Jeff makes sure to correctly point out). But innovation isn’t just about new technology. The majority of innovation happens through old technologies -- by creating new ideas, products, or experiences. We use our cross-discipline perspective and cross-industry experience to bring innovation to all of our clients. Innovation in Healthcare We recently crossed paths with Bryan Fine, MD, the Founder and CEO of Percentric and PercyMD, two companies innovating in the...
Product Management, letter
Partnering for Product
At Vaporware we put a product lens on the solutions we create with our clients. We tackle all problems through the lens of scalable SaaS products for markets. Even if it’s for an internal or small user audience, we craft the same excellent level of experience. Since our founding in 2013, we’ve received over 10 offers from different clients to be hired as their full-time product team. While the financial offers are excellent, we’ve turned them all down. Why? It’s nothing against our clients and their potential - we love working with them and SaaS has 100x or more financial potential than...
A New Year for Vaporware
Have you recovered from the holidays? If you were more than a little excited to get back to it this week, you are not alone. We’ve enjoyed the break with family and friends and are back making an impact at work-- helping our clients overcome their greatest challenges. 2020 is a new decade for us here at Vaporware. New Office Last year, we created the collaborative space of our dreams and opened a new office. With standing-desks, a library of books and brain-teaser games, and modern office technology, we’re now fully equipped to focus on larger challenges in our own private...
Healthcare Organizations Need Better Tech: 3 Key Areas to Develop
In the 1990s, it was easy to define the tech industry; companies that focused on creating new hardware or software were “tech companies,” and only some other industries capitalized on those creations. Today, every company needs to be a tech company, at least in some respects. Every industry is leaning on specific software to communicate, stay organized, or out scale the competition. The healthcare industry is certainly no exemption. Medical technology is always advancing to impressive new heights, from better scanning equipment to ...
The Potential Modernizing Systems Can Bring to Your Business
Everyone always talks about starting a business with the "30,000 foot view" with details to follow. As businesses get established and run into bumps or market changes, management works to remove the impediments or adjust to the need and then gets back to the grind. How often do you think you've been in the same situation? Now, when was the last time you looked at the business as a whole and asked: "Can we be doing this better?" Unfortunately for most people, the 'if it's not broke' mentality kicks in quickly when trying to evaluate what could be better. During the...
Human Resources, Article
How Staffing Pros Deal With Prospect Droughts
In the recruiting and staffing industry, one of your crucial responsibilities is finding candidates for open positions in your business who have all the skills and experience necessary to succeed in those positions. But what if you’re going through a drought? What if all your prospects lack some critical skill, or you can’t find enough people who fit a given position? There are several approaches that can help you, whether you are an internal staff team or a staffing and recruiting company. Set and Understand Your Staffing Priorities First, you need to spend some...
Real Estate, Article
2020 Emerging Trends in Real Estate - 5 Key Takeaways
“We’ve always done it this way doesn’t cut it in real estate anymore. We need to find the best way to do it.” I recently sat in on a great discussion by Urban Land Institute (ULI) Triangle, Emerging Trends, discussion led by Andy Warren from Price Waterhouse Coopers and Greg...
Real Estate, Article
Software Developers Solve Real Estate Problems
Most commercial real estate businesses have issues spanning multiple departments, from marketing to staffing to actual real estate transactions to scheduling services with tenants. They know the right app or piece of software could potentially solve these issues, but they aren’t sure where to start. There are literally hundreds of apps serving the real estate industry (and businesses in general), promising to solve the biggest headaches by improving efficiency, connecting you to more people, or helping you stay organized. Choosing an app off-the-shelf may be able to help you...
Automation Leads to Faster Decisions and Results
Across all industries manual and repetitive tasks drain your overall productivity while reducing employee and customer satisfaction. Manual, repetitive work can limit your growth and ability to scale by increasing labor costs and the chance for errors. Just think about how each person involved in the execution of work at your organization can make one tiny mistake. As an example, let's take a company that provides field services. Maybe an office staff person puts the wrong service code on an order—just one number off. A technician writes down the wrong time to be on location. These...
Product Management, Article
Is Custom Software Right for My Organization? - 7 Questions to Help You Decide
We get asked the question a lot…”Is custom software right for me?” or “Why do companies create custom software?” Plenty of businesses come to Vaporware to look for custom software, but we take on a very small percentage. Why? Because custom software isn’t right for them. Custom software solutions are ongoing investments. Custom software can only be successful and beneficial if the right qualifications are in place. Our goal is to help businesses make the right decision for their company. Pragmatic Marketing and others have outlined the discussion under the common phrase “...
Real Estate, Article
Top Property Managers Can Profit From Short-Term Rentals
While legislature is fighting Airbnbs through zoning laws, enforcement remains low. In addition to day-to-day operational challenges, now many multifamily property managers are tasked with navigating short-term rentals and shared apartments. At Vaporware, we help property management and multifamily real estate companies leverage technology to turn these types of challenges into new business opportunities. Here, we share how multifamily property managers can tap into short-term rentals to drive revenue, fill vacancies, and gain a competitive edge, and how technology can streamline the...
Real Estate, Article
3 Ways Amazon is Disrupting Multifamily Real Estate
Amazon is directly disrupting every industry they can get their hands on, including multifamily real estate. At Vaporware, we help property management and multifamily real estate companies harness technology to drive long-term growth. In order to do this work (and do it well), we constantly analyze market forces and major disruptors so we can help keep our real estate partners ahead of the curve. Here we share 3 major ways that Amazon is disrupting multifamily real estate, and how these industry shifts might impact your property management business going forward. If you’ve...
Top 3 Reasons Why You Need a Customer Portal
Use the words customer portal and the average person thinks of a static unchanging system that is a gatekeeper that prevents them from accomplishing their needs. What most people don’t understand is many of the services they use on a daily basis are customer portals in everything but name. Simply put, a customer portal is any system that provides your customers 24/7 access to do business with you. A website that allows your clients to shop-til-you-drop (drop to sleep!) or a lawn service company that lets customers schedule their next bush trimming while their waiting on the bus or...
Break Down Information Silos With a Single Pane of Glass
What does it take to get work done in an all-electronic world? An ever-growing selection of web apps and dashboards brings us a specialized tool for every task. We should be rolling in productivity gains. But how much time are we really saving? Hopping from tool to tool, each with a separate login and disparate data, brings its own set of challenges. In the IT arena, especially managed services, enterprise and reseller customers alike have access to a growing arsenal of tools to support their data centers. Purchased resources, workload health, real-time and historical usage,...
Vaporware Now Featured on Clutch
In the B2B space, innovations in client engagement have shifted to cloud platforms. It’s a development that smart firms recognize, and the brightest firms take advantage of. Companies like ServusConnect, innovating maintenance operations for property managers through a user-friendly app and administration portal. Or Security Journey, transforming the way IT developers learn cybersecurity through an eLearning content management system. Vaporware clients do great things, and we’re honored to play a role with our custom software...
Human Resources, Article
Recruiting Software Technology Transforms the Hiring Process
Helping a client innovate tops our list of best ways to make a living. That’s exactly what we did for the folks at Scoutr. The Scoutr web app ranks and presents best-matched candidates to hiring teams, much like a dating app. Since the release of its MVP (Minimum Viable Product) in August 2018, Scoutr customers are experiencing a 50% reduction in the time it takes to source, interview and make an offer to a candidate, with retention times of new hires exceeding six months. Read on to see how Vaporware helped make all this possible, or see the full ...
Product Management, Talk
How We Talk Matters
Some learnings and insights from a product manager. Dan Moore shares some tips and techniques he's found along his journey that have led him to communicate with intention. Filled with different communication styles, stories, and idioms.
Breaking Into a Cold Market
At some point, every company and every salesperson is breaking into a cold market. If you’re new in town, have a new product or changing your client focus, you’re suddenly the new kid on the block and need people to talk to you. And they may or may not be interested. If you’re working to generate leads and find business in a new market, here are some tips to help you break the ice. Find people like you. People who are already knowledgeable about your industry or product type are great connections. It’ll save on the pitch time, cultivate a network of like individuals, and...
Like a lot of developers who learned to code 10+ years ago, I got started learning C++ and Java. The public static void main and int sum (int a, int b) syntax was intimidating but I was determined to power through it so I could make the next great video game. After struggling with endless compiler errors I discovered Ruby and my eyes were opened; why would I ever write types again?! After writing productive code for a few years (but never my awesome zoneless-Everquest clone sadly) I got sick of the constant...
Talking to Developers - Frontend Components
This is the first part in a multi-part series about tips for communicating with developers about all aspects of a web or mobile app. From feature requests to bug reporting to identifying the different parts of an app, communication is paramount for a successful development project. We’re going to start out simple with some basic frontend or UI (user interface) components that are common in many modern web applications. These were selected because they are often referred to incorrectly. Modal A modal (short for “modal dialog”) is a window that forces a user to...
SEO Friendly URLs in Phoenix 1.3
While Vaporware is primarily a Rails and React shop, we're always exploring new technologies that'll help our clients create the best possible product. Lately, I've been doing a deep dive into Elixir and came across the need to have some SEO friendly titles for a blog-like feature. There's a few resources out there already but none that I could find in the new Phoenix 1.3 world. We're going to start a new app from scratch but for the sake of brevity I'm only going to talk about the title-relevant...
Ensuring the Image Loads when Sharing Content to Facebook
When adding the ability to share content to Facebook in a web app, use this method to ensure the image loads correctly on the first try. Sharing content to Facebook is a common feature for many web apps. Ideally this should be done through Facebook's Share Dialog SDK. You simply provide the URL of the page you want to share. ...
Philosophies from the Top Software Companies
As a founder of a startup company, you’d want to know what your company would look like in 5 - 50 years from now. You’re probably constantly asking, “What am I really creating?” “What’s the purpose?” To answer those questions, we can look at the people that have come before us to find inspiration and see what feels right and familiar. We’re inspired everyday by the success and innovation of large companies - while also aspiring to achieve similar success one day with our own company. If we take a closer look into companies’ singular purpose and supporting...
JWT Fundamentals - How To Easily Share UI Components
When developing a web application, it is often appropriate to divide responsibilities across different "services" that each handle discrete functionality. While this can provide flexibility in the behavior of an application, consistency across branded UI components becomes difficult, as each service needs to maintain its own set of component markup, styles, and scripts. Background As a web development consultancy, we are often presented with the case where a client wants to have control over the marketing content that frames their application. This request introduces an...
Lean Startup Mistakes Everyone Makes (& How to Rectify Them)
If you follow entrepreneurs, startups, development companies, or Eric Ries then you’ve probably heard of the Lean Startup Process. Popularized by Eric Ries’ The Lean Startup and commonly discussed through the startup community. Buzzwords such as “MVP” and “Pivot” are often haphazardly applied when implementing the Lean Startup Process as the company business plan. In ...
Four Qualities the Best Dev Companies Have
At one point or another, most of us have had an app idea. Some amazing and some…. on the more creative side. You’ve decided that you want to pursue your amazing idea. You’re going to want the best to help you develop the technical side of building an app. The first step to building your app is creating a minimum viable product, or MVP. You can use our DefineMyMVP tool to help you start a lean process business plan and develop your idea a bit. Then, you have to decide if you will have the...
Finding Your Perfect Development Partner
Looking for a technical partner is, more often than not, a complex process. In a previous blog post, we provided a checklist of technical partner interview questions to help guide your search (you can check that post out here). Now that you know the right questions to ask prospective partners, let's talk about what TYPES of partners there are. When determining which type of partnership is right for you, there is a lot to consider, but ultimately, the largest difference between every provider is their alignment to your mission and goals. If you have the technical stuff down,...
Triangle Startup Weekend Giveaway
Our last blog post focused on those #OfficeHours we are always tweeting about. If you still haven’t set up a time to chat with us - well, now is the time! We’ve got an awesome giveaway for those who come to office hours. There are no strings attached - we’ll help you with whatever you need. That guy below is one of Vaporware’s founders. His name is Dan and he is one of the judges during ...
What are Vaporware Office Hours?
Have technical development questions? Not sure where to start? Come talk to the Vaporware founders - in person - for free - no strings attached. Whether you're a brand new startup, or you're on your way and could use some outside perspective, we're here for you. We've been through the startup journey and have made it our mission to pay forward all of the help we received from within the startup community. What is Vaporware? First off, what is with our name? The term "vaporware" is a widely known term in the tech industry for software that is widely promoted but...
Technical Partner Interview Checklist
Having trouble getting the tech work done with your startup? Maybe it's time to hire some higher-level strategic help - time to hire a technical partner. We've made a handy checklist of the questions and answers you should (or shouldn't) be looking for when interviewing technical partners. This is also a small preview for our eBook that is packed with information about technical partners (types, evaluating, comparisons, etc). How do you validate your work? A good answer provides a lot of details on their process of insuring they have solid development practices and test...
Product Management, Article
Top 5 Mistakes Founders Make with an MVP
Imagine that you're finally getting things off the ground and developing your MVP. It's a rough version, which an MVP is supposed to be. You're aiming to it out quickly and on a small budget. As the project progresses, you may run into a few common pitfalls that unfortunately, risk putting your project at a stalemate. Our blog post on MVP tips for success is a great place to start if you haven't gotten to the point of making mistakes yet! Don't let pitfalls deter progress for your MVP. We have made a list of the top 5 mistakes founders make when creating their Minimum Viable...
Product Management, Article
Why is Feedback Important for your MVP?
Feedback [feed-bak] noun: A reaction or response to a particular process or activity. The word "feedback" often causes an automatic kick-back reaction and becomes the root cause of therapy visits. It's like all of our traumatizing memories from grade school papers and assignments covered in red pen hurls itself back up to taunt us and say "not good enough". Although we're not in grade school anymore, feedback remains a constant in our lives, and has only gotten more complex. Feedback today comes in the form of surveys, user data, conversion funnels, net promoter...
Rails Feature Tests With RSpec and Capybara-Webkit
Using RSpec and Capybara-Webkit provide a great workflow for writing feature tests for your rails application. This allows you to write automated tests that are simulating page visits, clicks, filling out forms, etc. This can be extremely valuable in that it is checking every layer of code behind the processes that you instruct it to perform. Have more confidence in your code Testing code is an integral step in the workflow developing applications. It allows the developer to have a certain level of comfort while working, that the tested code won't be broken by...
Product Management, Article
Technical MVP Tips for the Non-Technical Founder
Do you have an idea for an app but aren't quite sure where to start? Are you looking to create a scalable company and be the CEO or leader, and need the technical role filled by others? Unsure of where to start with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)? Your time and money are severely limited when starting a business, so creating an MVP will give you the most bang for your buck. Your Minimal Viable Product will give you just enough features to enable you to send your product and get feedback to move forward with your development. You don't want to spend days creating a product...
Product Management, Article
Is your Minimum Viable Product Really Minimum?
Having consulted with over 30 startups in the last 3 years, we have experienced working with entrepreneurs that have never launched a company or product before into the marketplace. When learning the Lean Startup process for the first time, a first-time entrepreneur will come across the concept of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). While Eric Ries's book and...
Product Management, Article
How to Define the Features of your App
You've created the next Facebook. Billions of users are logging into your app every month to get the latest news and updates from the world -- but you didn't always have this success. What were the first two features that you launched? Minimizing your feature list is one of the most difficult and critical decisions product owners make in the beginning. What features do you build and what do you forgo? How do you make your Minimum Viable Product, the first version of your app, be completely minimum? At Vaporware, we receive feature list documents in all shapes and sizes, and work...
The Bottom Line
The majority of the applications that are built today are not inventing new technologies but are using proven technologies to deliver innovative experiences. For these applications, software apps are the core of a User Experience that is highly scalable and therefore profitable. But if you're looking to build one of these apps, how much should you expect to invest by the time it's complete? Startups engage Vaporware for our experience and expertise to provide the best software foundation for their new businesses. But there are a few inherent myths in the question we proposed...
A Focus on User Experience
Here at Vaporware, we're focused on delivering the right products to markets in short deliverable sprints. All products, including minimally viable ones, require the right team of people coming together in a streamlined fashion to deliver on the business goals. So far, Vaporware has taken the approach that responsive web is the correct business decision to delivering an MVP to early adopters and testing a business model. We've optimized our processes, stripping down design and limited technology scope to deliver functional and usable critical paths for our clients projects over the...
Learning from Failures
At Vaporware, we celebrate our capacity to fail. Whether it is the creative nature of development or our constant drive to improve, failure is a key part of our entrepreneurial culture. Learning from failures is one of the underlying principles of the Lean Startup -- and a practice we perform with our clients through...
Ongoing Communication, Development Valuation Part 3
To continue the conversation of valuing development, we're going to explain how we use the expectations (covered in the first chapter) to help mitigate the risks (identified in the second chapter) with the crucial concept of ongoing communication. While this defines a process and mindset that is used throughout the relationship, communication practices are often not discussed or considered at the beginning of a relationship. Vaporware takes great pride in defining communication practices for a healthy relationship up front. If the communication expectations don't match (or become...
Balancing Risks for Development Valuation
This week, we continue our ongoing conversation about the best way to value development projects. To recap, our 4 steps center around setting expectations, balancing risks, outcome analysis, and ongoing communication. Hopefully at this point, we're on the same page with some of our default expectations with every relationship we build. Have any expectations or questions we didn't answer? Reach out to us to continue the conversation on twitter. Even after expectations are set, there are still risks in every relationship. If you've been in a development relationship before,...
Setting Expectations for Development Valuation
Last week I introduced Vaporware's process for valuing products we work on, a four step process to determining how much we charge for a product. You already know the outcome, that we charge a weekly rate depending on the effort for a project. But let's get into the details. The first step to valuing development is setting expectations. It may seem strange, but our relationship with our clients starts way before we meet. It starts before both parties even know that the other exists. Everyone has preconceived expectations of how relationships work, and consulting is no...
Development Valuation, or Why Vaporware Uses Dynamic Pricing
Being in the consulting business, we’re approached by clients in a variety of ways. But out of all the possible backgrounds and variations, one thing is static: Payment. Investment can come in all shapes and forms. While companies have traded in very unique return structures — including equity, education, connections, licenses, credits, and legal documents — the most successful and standard is cold hard cash. This societal blank check is the universally understood and demanded purveyor of progress. Philosophical discussions aside, there’s plenty of long term discussion from...
How to Invest in Development
Is your development team an expense? Thinking about hiring developers or building an application? You've probably already considered how much money you're willing to spend. You may have even looked at a few companies and gotten proposals to fit your budget. But where did your budget come from? Was it money on hand, how much of a loan you could get, or something else? I've often been approached by companies that have a set budget and don't want to exceed that dollar amount. Unfortunately, while this appears to mitigate risk by locking in the scope before the project starts, it's...
Human Resources, Article
Job Application Sweeping NC
Over 10 years ago Morris Gelblum was cleaning an office in Raleigh. When he was finished, Morris found a way to replace himself - he invented Sweeps - a company that matches college students with jobs posted by clients. In the beginning, it was just Morris and his mother. Once Morris went to college, he discovered lots of college students were trying to find whatever work they could. To get the job-seekers together with the job offers, Morris started Sweeps with a website and...
Bad UX Design - Can it Kill You?
Recently, we read an article about how bad design had killed a little girl. Three nurses had missed an alert that was not clear in the new software. Death is always sad, but when it could have been avoided it is downright heartbreaking. Everything that can be tested, should be tested. If someone had taken the time to test the UX of the hospital's new software, a young life could have been spared. Technology is meant to make our jobs easier. However,...
What's in a Name?
The irony of our name is lost to most people outside of the tech industry. You know that friend you have that knows how to talk the talk, but can't walk the walk? That is what the term vaporware is known for in our industry. It is software that is promoted early and often, but then never released. We see this as the old vaporware mindset - making public promises before knowing if you can deliver on those promises. Now you might be thinking - why decide to name your company after something with negative connotations like that? However, we see vaporware as something with great...
Website vs. Application
If you're new to the web development industry or are looking to hire a contractor to develop a website for you, you might not quite understand the difference between web applications and websites. How are these different? Are there different technology skills required for each? Until I started working at vaporware, I didn't quite understand the difference between the two. Not all websites are applications. But all web applications are websites. Confused yet? Let's see if I can clear it up. A web application is something that is interactive. It is more than simply presenting...
From the Mountains of North Carolina
Just like millions of people do everyday, Justin Beard uploaded some photos to Facebook (of a place that he was renting). The landlord happened to see them and offered him Ski tickets and free dinner in exchange for the use of his photos on the landlord's website. This was Justin's "a-ha" moment. There are plenty of companies doing photo contests, but not a main hub for companies and customers alike to go to create and enter these contests. The idea for SnapYeti was born. Now that Justin had the idea, he wanted to bring it to life. But without the skills to build an application, he...
The (CSS) Journey is Better than the Destination
Whether you're a developer or designer, one unique property of the technology industry is our access to master's thoughts. Today, we're treated to not only the outcome, but the entire thought process behind @fat's CSS evolution process that was once internal to his head and Medium. While we have this great style guide for CSS as a product (included below) we also have the process and evolution, including his past pitfalls and future challenges to consume and build upon. We highly recommend ...
Road to Vaporware
Have you ever sat with a couple of your friends talking about ideas and how you can make things better, then have the realization, "We can do this!" That was the start for vaporware. After that conversation, it took four of us only one week to start the company. As part of the first Vaporware meeting, I bought everyone Eric Reis' book "The Lean Startup" and told them this was our bible. We started using it on our own products, launching Drafts to early adopters right away. Even when our company started to change, we continued to use the lean process. We started Vaporware as...
Vaporware, Inc. was founded on July 30th, 2013. puts "Hello,...