So over the years I’ve had my fair share of experience working with big companies (P&G, HP, BT, McKesson, etc) and tons of startups. At the end of the day, when it comes to delivering a mobile consumer product, their needs tend to not be all that different. Now that may seem ironic – but the major irony is that the big boys, with the big pocket books and thousands of talented designers, engineers, and product guys often have a more difficult time building the mobile app, or campaign that gets everyone excited. Below are 3 reasons why the Fortune 500 should take the “small shop” approach, or find a smaller studio (like Ora) to contribute to their next mobile initiative.
1. Cutting Edge Digital Experiences, Come from Folks that Build Cutting Edge Digital Products
I’m not saying that big companies can’t have really strong and creative in-house development teams, however with my experience, there isn’t the time, focus, or leadership expertise in house to build, maintain, and fuel these types of digital teams. Unless you’re a technology company, the majority of you’re resources are spent building your core products and providing your suite of services. I know what it’s taken to build Ora to the machine that it is today, and that’s having laser focus on doing a few things really well. With this said, if you’re looking to develop a mobile or web product that will stand out in the crowd – I’d recommend engaging a team that’s done exactly that.
2. It’s not about “what” the features are, but “how” the features are… I’ll explain
How many apps allow you to share photos, tell people where you are, check you’re bank account, create a to-do list, find new restaurants, etc. Why do some checklist apps have millions of downloads, and others have… well, not a million. Why did Instagram sell for $1 Billion and Hipstamatic did not. They all have roughly the same features, but some had teams that were good enough at their craft, and understood their users the best – these teams did something magical with “how” these features were interpreted. Large businesses may know their consumers better than anyone, and therefore understand “what” features would best suit their audience. However, they must invest in “how” these features are executed – and this includes UX, Design, Engineering, Branding, and the like. Imagine the day P&G releases the app that truly changes the way people interact with their consumer products… they have hundreds of millions of potential users out there. With the right “how”, their features could truly drive change to their brand in the modern world, increasing awareness and marketshare.
3. It’s all about Style (development style that is)
If you want your product to portray the style that turns heads and gets people talking, then it needs to be built in a fashion that embraces creativity and innovation. What I mean by this is, in order for product experts, designers, and engineers to do what they do best, they need to have the flexibility to learn, experiment, change direction, and pivot as needed – similar to most digital startups. Commercially there’s different ways to meet the needs of a big company, like making sure deadlines and budgets are managed – but the way with which these requirements are met is where it’s all about the style. Startups are successful when they are loyal to the product and their users. With the right team, big brands can capture this same energy to produce results that are remarkably original and yield high returns.