"Look at the bigger picture" Francis Underwood, House of Cards
This article has been created as a document for AppUnite investors, employees and partners as an attempt to predict the future of product development and how AppUnite will adjust to make it happen.
Over the coming decades and across the world professional tech product builder companies will replace internal product departments.
SaaS and subscription businesses will emerge in traditional businesses based on innovative products that will increase the productivity and well-being of people.
All of us will collaborate on ventures they solely believe in, supported by collectives that will help them build their careers and exchange experiences.
Companies will look for long-term cooperation based on joint venture projects that will solve big problems using technological achievements.
Startups are reinventing the wheel all the time
A real estate broker who wants to build a second Empire State Building to rent office space, won't start with hiring an HR department to look for architects and construction workers. Instead, they'll seek a company with know-how in skyscraper construction.
There are staggering numbers of founders who can’t take their ideas off the ground because they don’t have the strong technical skills to build out their often disruptive ideas. They sometimes look for a technical founder that isn't committed the same way to the idea as the original founder is.
We work with our customers as if we were an internal team. This speeds up time to market as well as focus on the results of the venture. Building highly performant teams is hard, but AppUnite can build them more efficiently because of experience and knowledge of inner motivations of each AppUniter. This reduces risks for founders exposed to building a team from the ground up. Our approach allows us to effectively move starting from product-market validation phases, through finding market-fit and ending with further growth of the product.
Most startups are losing a lot of energy to build teams responsible for their software, while those startups don't strictly solve software problems. They should focus on the transformation of the industry they work with. Is it logistics, communication, real estate, housing, medicine, poverty, goods exchange — technology is here to solve human problems. It shouldn’t be an obstacle.
AppUnite singular focus
Build the best teams to deliver software.
We are tech veterans that know how to create products, help businesses emerge, and transform their industries. Most software houses are optimizing software creation by standardizing their processes to deliver as many tasks received from a business without taking into account if these tasks are beneficial or harmful to those businesses. From our experience, businesses at different stages have different requirements from tech teams. We would like to build and share best practices on how to create products and teams from the ground up and become the best knowledge center in this area.
We don't want to compete with Accenture, Capgemini, Luxsoft, Infosys or Netguru. They are focused on staffing, project execution and skill allocation. We build products and teams around them with our partners to deliver software. We should extract best practices from each team we build, replicate them and further improve the best software creation processes for any business.
Improving our service
We want to integrate deeply with our customers as in our experience it creates the best results for businesses we work with. We want our intentions to be clear to the partners from the moment we start cooperation - long-lasting cooperation based on mutual gains. Our service needs to be way better than if they created their own product teams. We need to understand their vision, strategy and execute it well with tech context. Understand opportunities we get with the newest technology developments and use it solving business problems. Be focused on the outcomes of the business we aim to help.
We want to improve overall inefficiencies that exist in the software development sector. As a company we create autonomous teams that can experiment and learn from each other. We want to share this knowledge and experience internally and externally. We want to discuss verbally and in a written form how the products should be created. How to communicate with business, how to understand their problems, how to create environments for experimentation, how to pick the technology, how to transform it, predict problems, solve them, build engineers and product people careers, design software and products — to create best results for the businesses. Only a handful of companies do share the knowledge of how to build the best products. To transform the industry, we need to be the best one.
Investors frown upon outsourcing
Investors traditionally look for tech teams inside startups. Taking the skyscraper example, the investor should be inspecting the building after it is built, not the team that has built it. Over time, our approach will deliver the more efficient way of creating products, that's why it will have a positive effect on how our services are perceived by investors. Investors look at ROI, sustainability, effectiveness that in our approach to building teams and products will give much better results. We will be able to reduce the risks that the investors may face building the team for software development on their own.
Finding a talent
People want to work in intrusive environments, not in extrusive, corporate ones. The best talents want to feel the purpose of work. They want freedom on what they work on, not punch cards to work from 9-5. They want to see results of their work and an impact it’s creating on society or businesses. They want to experiment and try different environments looking for the best fit for them. We have a great number of ventures that we work on simultaneously. AppUnite therefore is able to meet different, long term needs of talents.
Teams will always try to keep the talent as long as possible. They know that knowledge that remains with each member can’t be valued, and most questions will be raised when a talent exits the organization. Especially at early stages, that’s something that may kill the business. We are able to address these concerns with a much bigger diversity of people with the same position/experience in our structures.
We work with a number of products at different stages of their lifecycle. Working closely with clients allows us to create positions in organizations as if they were their own. Therefore, we may create opportunities to grow for AppUniters for their desired career paths, internally create multiple architect, CTO, manager or expert positions with different products we work with. We know the strong and weak sides of each member and it’s never related to maturity. Therefore, will be much better at supporting these careers.
We will have an opportunity to connect business requirements with talent needs and retain knowledge when transitioning to a new, big opportunity in another product. Creating a workplace based on freedom and responsibility is our great advantage over single product teams.
A workplace created for people with the same interests, but different backgrounds will boost engineers’, product owners’, QAs’ and designers’ growth.
Software houses and talent marketplaces will exist
There will always be a certain number of companies that look for an expert or have a project to execute. They exactly know who they are looking for or what they want to build. Software houses and talent marketplaces will exist to solve these companies’ needs. We don’t want to compete with them, we might even look for help from such kind of companies in certain situations.
Moreover, over time, we will see specialization in software houses work, for instance, there will be specialized e-commerce software houses, IoT software houses, R&D software houses.
Our cooperation with partners
We need to have partners, not customers. We will open to new kinds of relationships where we will be a joint-venture or exchange shares with organizations we cooperate with. This will create a synergy where AppUnite investors will care about product value we create and product investors will also care about AppUnite’s value. Moreover, this way we are able to create ESOP plans that traditional early startups have for their early employees. It will even strengthen the intrinsic workplace of the future.
On the other hand, we will help young businesses with a seed fund, that will allow them to raise funds for their businesses way faster.
With our approach, we will be able to create sustainable teams working with partners as if they were built from scratch. We are able to think about product needs at different stages and take lessons from previous or other partners’ experiences, something that is not possible in a single product team. It will enable us to work much more efficiently with partners, that will benefit from this cooperation, reducing risks related to software development.