Anya Karya Ozmen, the founder and CEO of Redko, an LA based Dev Shop explains the mobile app and software development process and where to find dev shops. She explores why it might be a better option for many businesses than hiring their own developers.
Anya says she started out as a data scientist. In addition to mentoring at incubators and accelerators, she describes what Redko does as “Redko is like a tech extension of your team. We build apps, software and websites for entrepreneurs and businesses.” She programmes in over 15 languages and speaks 5. Her company Redko develops 10-30 mobile apps, software and websites for entrepreneurs and businesses per year.
Redko has a new stock market game in the app store. Redvest Stock Market Simulator aims to help beginners learn trading with play money before they start investing in the real market with platforms like Webull, Robinhood or TDAmeritrade. Redvest grants $100,000 paper money to users that they can buy and sell stocks in the live market with 0 risk. The app is available on Android Google Play Store and iOS App Store. Anya is a self taught programmer and she worked alongside with her developers to code Redvest Stock Market Game into life. She encourages aspiring entrepreneurs to dedicate themselves to their dreams. She talks about her experience and her recommendations to go from Brand to Product.
Anya describes their brand origin as “Redko’s origin is a funny story. I knew the name had to be short. I wanted to be big one day and most big brands have short names, like Nike, Apple and Fiji. I went through pinterest. Redko was great because it is easy to pronounce and has the name of a color in it. The name brands itself.” Branding is crucial but the hardest part is development. There are often two options for entrepreneurs and businesses either to hire employees or hiring dev shops like Redko to do the job.
Dev shops in most cases have advantages over starting in house. Anya describes the major 3 as “1. MONEY, MONEY, MONEY! Let’s do the math, one engineer in the US is anywhere between 70K-300K+ a year. You will need multiple to get things built and a project manager so multiply that by 3. You are looking at 200K to nearly 1M a year for full product development. Versus a dev shop usually costs less than hiring just one person. 2. One person can’t often do all the work. They usually have expertise in only a couple fields. Dev shops often have a lot of developers with different types of expertise. So they can build much more holistic solutions for you. 3. You don’t need to have an extra person to manage your engineers.” Most engineers are technical and User Experience isn’t their strong suit, companies also need a designer and a Project Manager to make sure their product is the best when it lands in the hands of users. Dev shops have all these team members usually included in their services.
Anya’s recommendation to young entrepreneurs is to start now. Redko helps their clients go from 0 to 100 all the time. She mentions that some entrepreneurs come to her with just an idea and her team turns them into apps and software. She advises strongly to do research, meanwhile not losing time and having a prototype which can be used to raise capital or improve the idea. Redko has built many prototypes that went on to raise $100,000s, some have raised Millions. As the first step, she suggests that they talk to a dev shop. Most dev shops have free consultations, where entrepreneurs can ask questions, get an idea of what to expect and what they need to do.
On the other hand, one of the biggest challenges more established companies face is having a technology that is outdated or needing an integration. Overseas teams often don’t live up to high tech standards, companies that used them have software from the 2000s that looks like a tamagotchi. Shockingly, even big companies might need a whole software revamp. Outdated technologies are not a good look for brands, internal employees or company value. Some companies might also be losing sales because they aren’t aware a major email campaign or forecasts could triple their revenue. One of Redko’s clients used to get $100,000 shortages a day on orders, losing millions of potential revenue because they didn’t have enough supply. Anya describes solving this problem as one of their biggest accomplishments as a company. “Redko built a forecasting system and their shortages went down to 0. That’s Millions in Revenue!” Dev shops can be a great way to start a new business or upgrade an existing business.