Drivably helps used car dealers buy inventory faster and at greater profit margins. Today, the product includes data analysis features to help buyers and business owners understand their inventory and make better decisions.
But after struggling to build their product internally for several months, Drivably needed a different approach.
What Drivably gets with DevSquad:
“As a startup, obviously it’s critically important that we move swiftly and that we build products that work,” says Tyler Hall, CEO and Founder of Drivably. “One of the challenges that we had internally was we weren’t able to move swiftly enough with the technology stack that we were using.”
With a good enough runway provided by investor funding, Drivably had hired an internal team, and nine months in, the product was still not ready to launch. The product wasn’t as minimal an MVP as it could have been. “We had consistently poor feedback from users that the product would break and things wouldn’t work,” explains Tyler. “We started looking at a number of other solutions, and the reason why we were so impressed with DevSquad is that they came to the table and said we believe that we will work twice as efficiently as what you’re currently getting.”
After speaking with Phil Alves, the CEO of DevSquad, it became clear that Drivably’s internal team was using technology that’s much harder to build with. Other differences would soon come to light.
Having spent several months and hundreds of thousands of dollars, Tyler was skeptical. “I asked him to prove that his team could build faster,” explains Tyler. Phil invited him to fly out to Utah for a two-day Design Sprint workshop. “He said, ‘We’re going to build a prototype of the product and then give us 60 days and we’ll have something turned around.’”
Tyler was immediately impressed with the Design Sprint. “Based on how methodical the process was, I could see this wasn’t their first rodeo. They’ve done this for dozens of clients, and it shows. During the long working sessions, we got down to business and it was very clear what we were trying to accomplish. They took my time very seriously.”
Initially, DevSquad worked on the prototype. This was based on creative solutions to the business needs that Tyler shared. And then within two weeks, they built some core functionality in order to prove their skill to Tyler during a short period of time.
“Really quickly they had a starting version of the product that looked and worked better than our initial product and they built it fast,” says Tyler. “Those are the checkboxes that we were looking to see as our proof of concept, and because of that, we switched over.” Tyler and the senior leadership at Drivably decided to part ways with their internal development team and the resources who supported them.
After the first few weeks, Tyler remained impressed. Some of his favorite things about working with DevSquad are the trust factor, responsiveness, and genuine partnership. “There’s such a high level of transparency in timelines, deadlines, and expectations,” says Tyler. “Generally they exceeded our expectations, and things were done sooner than we thought they were going to be.
“We get a lot of creativity out of DevSquad,” explains Tyler. “They offer feedback to our ideas based on their experience. We give them a business need and they tell us what we should build, how we should build it, and why.
“With DevSquad’s monthly pricing model, clients benefit from their speed. Tyler recognizes that using technology that saves time is part of their secret sauce, but not all of it. “The new product is written in Laravel, but that’s only part of the reason why they were able to work faster than our internal team,” says Tyler. “I think it really comes down to their experience building products for early stage companies. They know how to build an MVP and it shows every day.
“Building a true MVP means you can go to market much faster and start generating revenue. After just 45 days, Drivably was able to start acquiring paying customers.
While Drivably does have some paying customers, Tyler is taking 30 days post-launch to collect feedback from their small user base. “We plan on adding a couple resources with DevSquad. We think that they give us the ability to get the company to a certain point. We’re going to continue to iterate and build something great before we invest heavily in marketing,” explains Tyler.
“One of the things we love about these guys is that we pay for full time engineers but we also get QA, and design, and other high level expertise through the partnership as part of the agreement,” says Tyler.
As for the distant future, Tyler plans to keep the partnership with DevSquad going. “When we talk to our investors and think about the future of our company long term, I think it’s important that we manage the development operations in house,” says Tyler. “There will come a point where DevSquad becomes an extension of our team internally.
“If Tyler had to pick just a handful of reasons while he’s sticking with his squad? He says, “It would be transparency, quality of code, and the partnership—it doesn’t feel like they’re an extension, it feels like they’re part of the team.”