We make mobile beautiful.®
There are many app development companies. Most do iPhone, iPad and Android apps, and some also do Mobile Web, Windows 8 and Blackberry apps (we do all of them). A few also do Facebook and interactive TV apps (we do). Many have great portfolios, references and awards (we certainly think we do). Some have a history of enterprise-level integration with large companies and their existing systems and APIs (we do). The best app development companies are relentlessly focused on design (we are), because you have to optimize a tiny piece of real estate. And many will tell you they use agile development concepts (we do) and have a significant focus on testing (we certainly do).
What makes WillowTree Apps different? What makes us one of only two app development companies in the Inc. 500, and consistently a Top 5 iPhone, iPad and Android development company as ranked by Best Web and Sourcingline?
One Location: Our designers and developers work in one open plan office. These days, that's a rarity. We don't outsource any work overseas, to freelancers or split it among locations. Developers and designers are in constant communication, permitting a highly iterative process. We have leads for iOS, Android, Dev Ops/Mobile Web and Design who are constantly mentoring their teams. Every Wednesday, we bring in lunch and the entire company watches presentations on emerging design and development trends. When picking a partner, ask them how many offices they have, how the teams are organized and who sits where. We think you'll find some striking differences.
Account Management: We don't have Account Managers. We think Account Management is so important that we have our design and dev teams lead it themselves -- no middlemen. Our clients interface directly with our designers and developers. Almost none of our competitors do that. If you want to avoid the telephone game, you'll want a direct relationship with the people doing the work.
Top Talent: We have built our team through managed growth and a rigorous hiring process. Ask us about it, and ask our competitors about theirs. A good designer or developer is not worth 1.5X a mediocre one -- he or she is worth 10x. Some app development companies have added hundreds of developers and multiple offices in a very short amount of time. Managing that kind of explosive growth in a talent business is very difficult. We prefer building our business the old fashioned way - by judiciously growing the team and acquiring new clients through word of mouth and great performance.
Our Location: All our design and development is done in Charlottesville, VA. Being in a college town allows us to hire and retain top talent, who enjoy a great lifestyle and a lower cost of living than similar developers in large cities. Furthermore, our team is stable and loves working here - we don't have mobile developers bouncing from company to company as hired guns. Real estate costs are low, and we can one-hop to any destination in the country for client meetings. Lower costs and a stable team are critical factors to many clients' hiring us. Read this CNET article on how we use our location to our advantage.
Flexibility: We're very open to customizing our approach to our clients' needs. Sometimes we're managing large projects autonomously. Sometimes we have mobile developers working in a staff augmentation role as part of a much larger client team. Often, it's somewhere in between. If we are leading the projects, you'll find us using our cloud-based tools that offer clients complete visibility into current status and holding weekly or more frequent check-ins. If we are on our clients' teams, you may find us using their project management systems and joining their daily check ins. Our developers have spent time at client sites, and we've helped train client teams on mobile development and maintenance. Our primary goal is to support our clients' needs in whatever way most easily fits into their current processes and resources.
"WillowTree is a great partner and brings a lot of mobile expertise to the table.
They are truly committed to the success of the project and work closely with our team."
Dave Weiss, CTO, BabyCenter, LLC, a Johnson & Johnson Company
“The WillowTree team worked side-by-side with our own developers on a very tight timeline to launch the SBNation Android app. Their expertise and attention to detail were invaluable in helping us manage this project within our timelines and budgets.
We would definitely look forward to working with WillowTree again.”
Trei Brundrett, Vice President – Product & Technology, SB Nation
"UVa retained WillowTree to design and build its iPhone app after a competitive RFP process, and we could not be more delighted with the outcome. The app was built on time and at budget, looks great and met all our technical specs.
Apple ranked the UVa app as #1 in "New & Noteworthy" for Education the week it came out. The project was a complete success."
Zachary Wheat, Director of Web Services and Interactive Media, University of Virginia