Case Study: Delivering A Beta To A Startup Under Budget Constraints
Client: US-based startup that works in the music sphere
Business goals: Attract investors with a working beta for subsequent finalization and deployment of a fully shaped, scalable software product
Product: SoundStorming, mobile platform for musicians that helps to record and share music ideas, as well as collaborate on them; the platform comprises an iOS application supported by a BaaS solution
Applied technologies: Swift, AudioKit, CFNetwork, Core Graphics, Core Telephony, Quartz Core, PhoneNumberKit, Kingfisher, Firebase + Cloud Functions + Admin SDK, UI/UX design, prototyping, manual testing, Agile management framework
Getting the project vision at the very beginning
The clients addressed us with an idea of a mobile application that would help musicians record song ideas and collaborate on them remotely. Their first step would be testing the market and finding additional investors to develop the product further. Our goal was to build a viable beta for these purposes.
From the client's ideas and sketches to a compelling prototype
Our first task was to form the application logic and create a prototype which would fully show the product workflow. We formed the scope considering all the requirements and the main issue — budget constraints. All along this stage we consulted the clients and provided them with advice that would avoid dead ends in further evolution of their software product. Creation of a prototype before the actual start of the project allowed us to check the general idea, adjust and fix the scope. Eventually we minimized the budget by choosing the most important features and forming a fitting technology stack for implementation.
Anastasia Piskareva, Client Care Manager
"Involvement of the client's team is critical at early stages of such projects. Working closely together, we were perfectly synced on the business logic and product workflow from the very start. This collaboration also helped us overcome the main challenge in this project: select optimal technologies to solve complex tasks and at the same time minimize labor costs."
AudioKit as the key solution to the audio logic
AudioKit was used as the primary solution for implementation of the entire audio-related logic, including both recording and playback. As an add-on to the AVFoundation library, AudioKit solved the problem of setting up and mixing audio tracks, the latter of which is one of the most complicated tasks when it comes to audio software. AudioKit enabled flexible settings of both recording new tracks and superimposing them on the existing ones, allowing to do the latter without significant drops in quality. The core feature of any product is often the most innovative and time-consuming. If it isn't, perhaps there's still some place left for optimization.
Using Firebase as the back end solution
Considering all the constraints we had, Firebase became the optimal solution for this project. It is renowned for being a free out-of-the-box solution which reduces actual software development costs while covering the required functionality. It is currently one of the perfect quick-start solutions for minimum viable products typically created by startups to test the market.
It is also worth noting that Firebase with its Cloud Functions allows to avoid changes of logic in the mobile app whenever the application has to be moved to a full-fledged back end. All it takes in this case is to adjust the API. In the long run, this move would be inevitable. It was a forward-looking decision.
Preparation of the software product for potential investors
Quality assurance diligently covered UI, the server side, and API, making sure that all the components of the product work seamlessly and fully correspond with the prototype. Functional testing involved Bluetooth speakers—another device type that was essential to the main functionality. Eventually, QA took 35% of total time spent on the project, which is slightly increased in comparison with the standard fare. As you know, there's only one chance to make a perfect first impression.
Arnau Bosch, CEO SoundStorming
"I've played the guitar since I was 8. At one point, being aware of the big gap in social platforms for musicians, I did research and discovered that 90% of the musicians of all levels record their song ideas with their smartphones. That's how I came up with the idea of SoundStorming, a platform for musicians of all levels, dedicated to the creative process by sharing their musical ideas.
The idea required an expert team that would help me make it tangible, form a technical solution for a mobile application and outline a scope of work to match our budget considerations. MobiDev excelled at that with impressive precision and attention to detail. Now my app is a convincing starting point created with due quality and speed, and I'm eager to finally launch it this month."
Eventually we delivered a well-tested and documented beta version of the iOS app. It was ready as a showcase for potential investors, but what's more, it was perfectly prepared for development of additional features, quick relocation to a custom scalable back end in case of need, and further polishing and deployment as a full-fledged production-ready solution for musicians all over the world.
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