Hippo’s founder built a global mobile development team using Draftbit as the hub

 min read
Product Team Collaboration

The ambitious, 120+ screen social shopping network mobile app aims to change the way we buy products online. Using Draftbit, the Hippo Social team spun up a new, synchronous mobile development team across 3 countries.

Integrations: Scala/SPARK, Python, Docker, SLOR, Postgres, Cassandra

6+ simultaneous collaborators

4 months to build team and ship v1

3 days avg. ramp-up time for a new hire

World-Class Web Team Needs Mobile Expertise

The Hippo Social team was already comprised of experienced web developers, having built 30+ websites for everything from social shopping networks to sentiment analysis. A network of crawlers, web servers, and REST APIs underpinned their powerful deep data offerings.

But when the idea for Hippo Social was hatched, they knew that a web app wouldn’t cut it. The only problem was, they didn’t have mobile expertise in-house and had never launched a mobile product before.

So CEO Derek Pappas set out to find a platform that would allow his web developers to onboard a mobile team. It needed to be collaborative by default, and be an extension of their already-great HTML, CSS, React, and Javascript development team. As soon as he heard about Draftbit, Derek knew it was the perfect fit.

Building the App and the Team

But finding the right mobile app platform was just the beginning. Over the next 4 months, Derek would assemble a global team of front-end designers and developers and publish their v1 to app stores. 

Draftbit allowed Derek to onboard talented, junior developers with no prior social or commerce experience. Said Derek, “It is really rewarding to get new people up to speed who like learning and doing new things.” 

The key to ramping up so quickly? Collaboration.

“We can see the changes that others are making in real-time. We can test in real-time. And we can iterate in real-time,” said Derek, “That’s unheard-of in traditional app development.” 

What’s Next

Now that their V1 is in app stores, Derek says the plan is to shift resources to Growth, while continuing to iterate on their app. “Our goal is to list products from 1 million stores and brands in our app. Draftbit is a critical pillar of our future success.”

“We literally wouldn’t exist without Draftbit.”

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