PIRQ is a local start-up founded by serial entrepreneur and Apprentice runner up James Sun. The founding team was formed with two expert PHP/server devs, Bill Chi and Daniel Azuma. Their goal was to create a locations based hyper local application that empowered businesses to advertise their products and services to potential customers on their mobile devices.
Pre-funding, PIRQ was on a limited budget and needed a wide array of development resources including server side PHP, MY SQL database, IOS and Android. In addition, being a team of three they also needed project management and test resources.
Believing in the project and the PIRQ team, Vinasource put together a contract with very favorable payment terms affording PIRQ the opportunity to raise funds which they did from [capital] then resulted in a long term full time offshore team.
Vinasource provided PIRQ with a team of one(1) IOS and one(1) android dev full time and one(1) PHP, one(1) test and one(1) Project manager sourced in Vietnam. To facilitate communications, a US based program manager was assigned to the PIRQ team whose primary function was to meet weekly on site, review upcoming requirements and discuss issues/improvements on previous builds.
The PIRQ teams main function was to drive high level requirements, code core server side and admin features and do graphic design.
Every project has challenges and PIRQ was no different. Part way through the project we learned through user testing that the UI was just not intuitive enough. This led the partnership group of PIRQ and Vinasource to re-evaluate, re-design and re-code pieces of the app resulting in about a six(6) week delay in the initial schedule.
The Lessons Learned
The general philosophy we believe in pertaining to development from a business perspective is that an entrepreneur is best served by getting an MVP (minimal viable product) that functions extremely well to the market as quickly as possible, then quickly iterating post release. With this particular project, we learned that it was really important to tighten up our build cycle and review process with the client resulting in our current model which is 1-2 week iterations with very specific together with the US Program manager and the partner.
PIRQ successfully launched in Seattle on November 1, 2012 and in Malaysia on February 4, 2013. PIRQ has been mentioned in Techcrunch, Tech Flash and many other tech publications. The app was also used by Apple to manage their employee discount program. The PIRQ app has won awards from TechFlash and Lead411.