What would you do if you had an idea only without having any technical background? Most likely, you would try to look for a team of developers capable of solving the tasks needed for your project. In Russia, people tend to go to vc.ru. On this website, developers can write technical-related articles and attract the attention of their prospects or generate leads. However, an article well written is not, how it turned out in our case, the work well done. But first things first.
On the wave of the tendency of the sharing economy, the future founder of Parkrent being inspired by AirBnB services came up with an idea of developing an easy-to-use platform enabling short-term car rental services. This is how Parkrent was born. This idea is relatively simple. Why owners of parking places should lose money at times when they are idle or available if they could make some money instead? A cool idea, is not it? The next step was to make it come true.
As a warning to others, Ilya, the CEO of Parkrent, found a team whose articles on the mentioned website above seemed to be quite impressive. Next, the scope of work was defined, a 2-page contract was signed and the work started. As you, my dear reader, might have guessed the problems emerged soon. Everything started relatively easily; however, chickens are counted after they’re hatched! All in all, it is a typical situation for young IT companies. To get a client more efforts are put in or even they do their best to turn a prospect into a client according to our saying as we normally say ‘All means are good in war' even dishonest approaches might have taken place and this does not sometimes reflect the real state of things. For this, you can be told what you’d like to hear, you can be lured by low prices, fast terms, and so on. Do not believe in the offers that seem to be too good to be true. Agreements with outsourcing companies, even in paper form, unfortunately, may remain only words or beautiful promises and nothing more. Whatever the reason, who knows, that is water under the fridge now as years passed by and all the members have been probably fired and the truth is not to be known. Anyway, due to lack of expertise in the field, little experience, lack of competence, wrong estimations, miscommunication, insufficient planning, and so on it led to the situation when the milestones were not reached and the deadline was not met. After the project re-estimation, it turned out that the finalization of the project would have cost more than the entire work that had been done so far in addition to the initial estimation. This was not acceptable not to comply with the agreement that is why the parties were looking for a solution to peacefully go their own ways.
One of the main issues was that the team of developers had chosen not a popular framework namely ionic. It is not widely used, hence the number of experience tech-savvy IT gurus is very limited.
So, Ilya, the CEO of Parkrent, went to Upwork and started to search for other developers there. This is how he came across Softmotions. After an estimation and some tasks accomplished, the cooperation has started. Despite the fact that the Softmotions team had not used ionic before, they managed to cope with it in a short time and joined the project getting involved in fixing and eliminating bugs and solving the main problem of that time — Activating acquiring or paying for rental services. Over time, other issues have been solved such as improving the interface to be more user-friendly, overall performance, and design in general. That said, there are no ready-made solutions for the ionic framework online, so the Softmotions team has to get many things finished and polished which take some additional time.
Furthermore, working on multiple projects has a positive impact on managing time therefore no urgent tasks or working in non-business hours or weekends have been required to date.
Regarding the current state of things, now the Softmotions team has been working on integrating Facebook SDK as this might help in advertising campaigns to be more client-oriented which is definitely good in terms of saving time and money. For the future, it is planned to add integration with major manufactures of parking systems and government/public services.
During my conversation with Ilya, he highlighted that in his opinion the lifestyle in the regions (where Softmotions is actually located) compared to the capital is more measured and therefore people are able to better plan their work beforehand. Despite communication can be at times emotional because of the personality of the CEO, on the other hand, the Softmotions team is always "open to constructive criticism."
At Parkrent, a funny incident has recently happened. There is a contact number of customer support on the website for clients to address. Once you go to the website, you will see the first line in big letters — ‘ParkRent is a convenient car rental service in Moscow.' A manager receives a call. "Hello! I have parked my car. How can I pay for it?" said a lady over the phone. It is a bit unusual since first you have to pay, and then a security guard will lift a barrier gate. "Did the security guard let you drive in?" asked the manager. "No" answered the lady. "Where are you?" asked the manager. "I am in Sochi" replied the woman. "Well," said the manager, "If you were able to somehow drive in the parking, it probably means that it is government parking, so you have to download another application for paying"
In conclusion, do not buy shitty candies in attractive wrappers! Measure seven times, cut once. Talk to a dozen of different teams until you find the right one. Please note, that Softmotions is focused on developing databases and payment systems. If you have any questions, drop us a line and we will honestly tell you how we would solve your problem and how much time it would possibly take.
Thanks for reading and let us be among those who learn from the mistakes of others!