Our very own Gabriel Dombri “virtually sat down” with Elena Vrabie from The Recursive to talk about the future of mobile apps, and how mobile-first products improve people’s lives. In this interview, Gabriel touches on different subjects and digital mobile trends, and also shares the driving force behind Tapptitude’s foundation. He also shares valuable insight about the Tapptitude team, and how the team manages to take startups all the way from planning and development, to testing and product management.
Gabriel also delves into Tapptitude’s growth journey, detailing how the company evolved from a mobile app development agency into a product building studio and how our work culture has been shaped by this. The interview also offers insight into how we manage founder expectations, how we handle biases, and ultimately, how we put our clients on the right track.
If you haven’t had the chance to check out the interview yet, we’ve highlighted some key talking points from Gabi and Elena’s discussion below.
Highlights from The Recursive interview
What inspired the launch of Tapptitude?
The driving force behind the creation of Tapptitude was the shared feeling of four mobile app developers that people deserved better mobile experiences than the market was offering. That’s how Tapptitude was born.
Let’s build better mobile products, because people deserve better experiences.
“I was not part of the initial founding team. I joined approximately a year later,” Gabriel Dombri, Tapptitude CEO, told The Recursive. Tapptitude was founded out of the dissatisfaction of the original team regarding the quality of the mobile products available at that time. That and their firm belief that people deserve much better. Yet it’s a drive that’s been adopted by everyone who has joined along the way, and that has shaped the journey of the company.
Our growth journey: from mobile app development agency to product building studio
Tapptitude started out as a ‘classic’ mobile app development agency, but over the last three years, it has been slowly transitioning into a product building studio. Now, we like to think we provide much more than just a great mobile product; we partner with each client and walk beside them through the entire product journey and beyond. It’s been a fun ride so far, and there’s still plenty of room to grow.
The product studio model starts from the assumption that a product is not good enough unless it grows.
Gabriel also offered The Recursive a little insight into the team and how it ‘operates.’ Internally, Tapptitude has a full product team working on UI/UX design, development, QA testing, product management, and more. He also provided some info on what it’s like working with external growth teams as a founder.
Managing founder expectations and debunking founder biases
In the startup world, the end goal is always a meaningful exit. However, as many people are building mobile apps and products nowadays, most of these products don’t make it for various reasons. Gabriel notes that Tapptitude’s job is to ensure that the product can ultimately succeed, by focusing heavily on validation in the first stages of the collaboration.
The way Tapptitude approaches any project and how it helps founders is by trying to de-risk their product and investment. The typical client usually comes to us with an idea for a product, and has a fair amount of knowledge about what they’d like to do and the solution they’re trying to deliver. Getting from concept to solution in a market worth tackling is a product studio’s main focus. Tapptitude helps with the entire flow, and finds interesting and innovative solutions to real problems. The Tapp team develops the product in an iterative way makes adjustments as they go to make sure the best possible iteration of the mobile product is delivered.
Wellory case study: A successful founder story
Wellory is a solution for people who struggle with what and how they eat. The app can help you form healthy eating habits, lose or maintain your weight, and much more. In The Recursive interview, Gabriel details the way we were approached with this concept. The main idea was that the founders needed an app that not only helps the user set straightforward diet objectives and a nutrition plan, but also helps them with accountability. With Wellory, you have an app that guides you and tracks your progress, but also tracks any deviation from your progress.
Emily, the founder of Wellory, did a lot of product validation prior to coming to us. She and her team started doing validation by connecting beta users with nutrition coaches, and app users would receive information via WhatsApp messaging. The team needed to move from an SMS solution to a system where the customers and nutrition coaches were connected through the same platform.
The initial scope was to build MVPs for both the users and the nutrition coaches. In addition to that, our team built a web admin platform, which is where Wellory manages administrative tasks between coaches and clients through dedicated dashboards. We integrated everything in one place, helped with the product launch, and to this day, we continue to iterate, develop and support their product. This is just one example of how we like to work: as a product partner that is committed to a client’s success.
We try to help our partners face and overcome all the challenges that come with a startup. And there are a lot of challenges to face in this process.
We want to make sure our clients understand what the experience will be, what the reality is, and what exactly it is that they’re tackling. First-time founders don’t really understand the journey they embark on, so it’s our job to guide them.
Tapptitude has vast experience in working with startups, as we’ve been in this space for quite a long time. We have hands-on experience with both success and failure, so we know exactly what to watch out for and how to build and validate successful products. In the interview, Gabriel also touches on what it means to have value anxiety, how important it is to know that time isn’t always on your side as a founder, and details the value we provide as partners to our clients.
Running a startup means surviving with something that doesn’t really work.
Before you go…
To learn more, make sure to watch the entire conversation between Gabriel Dombri and Elena Vrabie on YouTube. The team at The Recursive also wrote a short introduction about us, so make sure you check that out, too.
If you have an awesome idea, or a product you’ve been working on, but you’re not quite sure how to launch it, or you’re struggling with understanding how validation actually works, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re always open to hearing new ideas and we love a good challenge now and then.