Devshop Stories #1 - The Story of Our Origin

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Devshop Stories #1 - The Story of Our Origin

Josh and Tanner talk about the challenges they faced when launching a software development business. They discuss how they got started in the business, the difficulties they encountered as a software development company before branching out into virtual reality and powder coating. They also share a

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Josh: Hey, welcome to our first-ever podcast on what it's like to start a development software company I guess I shouldn't just say it's just software where we do plenty of other engineering and mechanical and everything and I am Josh Hints and I've got with me, Tanner Barney. Tanner Barney and we are going to be going through a number of different episodes of what it's like actually running a software development shop. So we're going to take you through our experiences of what it's like starting a software development company.

Tanner: Yeah, definitely. Josh, you're the one who started this whole thing, right?

Josh: Well, I wouldn't say start. It's not like I originally set out to be like, when I graduate from college, I'm going to start a software development company. But it definitely was a path through it and stuff and if you were planning on sharing how it actually went and how we.

Tanner: Created it, yeah it's pretty interesting how it grew organically. I just kind of look back and it definitely wasn't the initial inspiration that we had it kind of morphed, and it's pretty exciting to see it grow from that.

Josh: But yeah, I think we're up to around 20 different employees, from developers to project managers, QA, and all the administration staff, and it's definitely grown from the original. Tanner, who's here was our first employer and first software developer and you're still in school while you're working with us, just a year before graduation or so?

Tanner: Yeah, I worked full-time with you guys while finishing my senior year in school. It was a lot of work, but it was super exciting. I could see the vision and kind of what we were building. From my perspective, it didn't actually matter what we were going to do, but we are going to be successful in it because we had good leadership, good vision, and very smart, technical, talented people who could accomplish whatever it was we put our mind on.

Josh: Yeah. So you asked me kind of the origin story, so let me just go through that real quick for the listeners out there. I worked at a company that was an engineering firm where we made radars for unmanned drones, and my partner McKay, who will be on the show on future dates, was one of the employees that work there with us and it was kind of interesting working with McKay because I ran a lot of the engineering department and McKay came in. His background was in web development, which is an area that I hardly ever spent time in. I was a strict kind of C++, just straight down to the metal programmer and he came in with web development experience, and I just kind of blew it off and like, oh, well, you can make web pages with it. What we do, you can't program on a radar so over this journey I've learned lessons that you can do quite a bit with JavaScript in the web world. But yeah, so the reason why is both McKay and myself are very entrepreneurial. We always wanted to start our own companies and he had a side gig that he was working on trying to make happen. I've done the same to myself. But the impetus where we actually started working together as a company was we actually had the opportunity to do virtual reality. So one of the employees at the company we both worked at was one of the first early beta purchasers of the HTC Vive. So it was a VR headset and I just remember the day that he came in and he just sent out a message to everybody at the company say, hey, I've set up my VR upstairs and come up here and try it.

Tanner: This was like late mid, late 2016, right, when that came out.

Josh: Yeah, exactly. I think probably be springtime or so of 2016 when kind of the first virtual reality headsets came out and so I went up there. I remember I was working with McKay and we both went up there and tried it out and we actually got to play a game where you're shooting zombies and everything, and it was just mind-blowing and as I pulled off the headset, I just looked around and I saw a line of people just waiting to try it out, taking time out of their day off the clock to try virtual reality and it was just amazing.

Tanner: Yes, I remember those early days when the vibe first came out like that. Man, for anybody who hasn't done it, it is an incredible experience. Your first time putting that headset on and getting that immersion right.

Josh: And so I remember going and kind of talking to McKay. I'm like, man, I wonder if anybody would want to try this. You know, kind of like an arcade kind of thing and we kept on talking, and I remember talking to him on the drive home and then that night, we just did a real quick, simple spreadsheet of how many people would have to be in an arcade, the expenses you'd have renting out a space and everything, and just kind of look at the numbers and it was just like, well, I think we can actually maybe make some profit. The amazing thing was, within a few days of that, we had contacted a mall. We went and met with the mall management, looked at spaces. We had kind of looked at how we would acquire different headsets because remember, they were in this pre-order phase and you just couldn't get your hands on them and so the only option really was just paying the inflated price off of eBay.

Tanner: Yeah, they were super exclusive. I mean, no one could get their hands on them.

Josh: Just the wheels kept turning and kind of long story short, within three weeks, we had actually launched and started a virtual reality arcade in the mall. We took off all of our PTO and just spent days setting it up and we had one of the first, if not the first virtual reality arcade. So we called it VR junkies. That was in an actual mall and we had, I think, three headsets set up at the time and we just started selling time on it.

Tanner: Yeah, I remember actually walking by that store. I didn't even know I had heard about the headsets and stuff, but I had never seen one or felt one and then I saw this store up there and I was just blown away. It's like, holy cow. I mean, it just came out. You can't even get these things. How did you guys start a store? It was impressive.

Josh: Yeah, I think one of the things that kind of came out of it, relating back to the software discussion here, is that when we first started going and we just thought, hey, let's just buy everything, and we'll put it up and one of McKay's friends or neighbors asked him, he's like, well, how are you going to license a software? And we're like license software. Yeah, that's probably a good thing. You can't just expect to go and rent a number of Blu-rays or buy a number of Blu-rays from Walmart and open up a movie theater and just start charging admission for it. You definitely get shut down and slap pretty hard.

Tanner: Yeah. So what did you guys do?

Josh: So we actually said both of us were software developers. McKay being more strong in web development and myself in writing kind of desktop application stuff, we decided, hey, what if we actually created software that tracks the usage of play with who's actually being used so we can actually time out how many minutes somebody was in and then send some money back to the developers and actually when we first reached out to a couple of the developers, we found a number of the games that we liked. We found their contact information, found their website, found their email, sent them an email, and said, like, hey, can we pay to use your game in our arcade? And the response was interesting. I mean, it was diverse. Some of them said, oh yeah, just use them, I don't care kind of thing. Some of them said, yeah, we're happy with that. Why don't you just send us $50 per headset per month? And some of them were like, yeah, we just don't want to do that right now kind of thing. But what we realize is like $50 per headset per month, what if nobody likes our game? So we're taking a huge risk upfront and so if there was a way that we could actually track the usage of that game and actually had people pay for it, or we pay the developer based on the usage, then it becomes a cost of goods sold model versus just a liability and we proposed that and a number of them did it. So now we actually had a step through building the software to actually track that.

Tanner: Yeah there's a lot there because you have like, the time usage, per headset, per booth, all of that stuff per game, plus like the licensing agreements with the game developers and the legal ramifications that could be associated with that. I mean, that's a pretty big undertaking, especially since you both have full-time jobs.

Josh: Yup. But we actually did it. We pulled it off. We created a cloud-based system that would store all the information of the arcade and track it. The good thing about being one of the first is you're in kind of this blue ocean where a little splash sends out huge ripples across and so we were able to get call up a number of different TV shows and news stations and they came down, they interviewed us, we got some national coverage, which really put us out there and we started having people that were looking at opening up their own arcade, start contacting us and saying, like, hey, how are you guys doing it? How are you running it? And so we were able to say, well, we just kind of wrote our own software and obviously, the first question is, like, what can we pay you to use your software? Yes.

Tanner: I imagine not everybody has that skill set that you and you and McKay bring to the table.

Josh: Yeah, so then we started thinking, like, well, maybe there's some money and actually licensing out our software and everything. Again, we're both working full time and so we obviously continue to develop when we could, but we realized we needed to bring in somebody else that we could work on full time and I just remember McKay being like, hey, I've got a cousin who's looking at graduating soon and programming. Let's have him come in and interview and stuff and so that's where we met Tanner.

Tanner: Yeah, that was my first introduction. I was working in another company full time while going to school and I got this call from McKay and he kind of told me what was going on, that you guys both were working full time, trying to just kind of bootstrap this thing yourself and get it up and going and I remember, I know there's a lot of excitement, especially in the space. It was really cool. No one else was doing anything like it. It was really interesting trying to convince my wife to leave a decent salary job with insurance and benefits and all of that stuff to go kind of be a solo guy for the most part, while you guys basically worked to pay for me to build this system. It was a pretty big jump, but it paid off. It was totally worth it for me personally. It grew a tremendous amount. I just remember walking into that old room that you guys had rented out just at that same building and I walked in and I was like, oh man, what am I doing? This is crazy. Sat down with you and you and McKay, and to me, it just clicked. It was like, okay, well, that's it.

Josh: Yeah, let's do this. So fast forwarding a little bit. We had Tanner come on and he helped develop and establish that. We then continued to grow the VR junkies arcade and we started actually licensing out the name. We actually started having franchises and multiple locations across the US.

Tanner: We had a couple of internationally too that popped up.

Josh: Yeah, Canada was one. Hawaii is not international, but it's not continental. Yeah, that was always fun. One of the things we'd always do when we opened up a new franchise is go out there and help them set up in their last couple of days before they actually do their grand opening and then be there as part of their grand opening. So getting a trip out to Hawaii was always nice. Another group in New Zealand opened up some virtual reality VR junkies locations. And so that grew along with the software needs of what we had to do to kind of manage and monitor all these different locations in there.

Tanner: Yeah, what was really cool and I think really set the software apart was that the whole time we still ran an arcade, the original arcade, so we really learned what worked and what didn't from the customer side too. It's really easy in software, as people should know, you make assumptions and they're sometimes right there, or sometimes way off base. But the fact that we did it we were our own customer, building the tool, I mean it really helped us get ahead of everybody because we had the capacity and capability to build those things out that we needed and it was awesome, it really set us apart. But yeah, so VR junkies was growing, right.

Josh: And then we continued on and we decided that, well, there are other locations that can't necessarily franchise, established family fund centers, trampoline parks, all that stuff, they're not going to rename themselves as VR junkies so we decided, what if we actually private, white-labeled, a virtual reality installation into their location, and so now they have VR, but they've got our software systems, they've got all that kind of stuff and so we actually renamed or started another company called private label VR, and that had more software needs and everything and we were trying to look at how we can actually grow our development pool there. So we actually hired a consultant, his name is Jan, and he actually helped us find other software deals that might actually bring some income in and this guy was well connected and he had a number of people that he knew and we were introduced to a company that specifically needed software development needs. Do you remember this one?

Tanner: Oh yeah, definitely. It was really kind of an interesting play. So this was built, right? They needed a video commerce system with real-time video streaming, live purchasing, all that.

Josh: In a mobile app.

Tanner: Oh yeah, all in a mobile app build plus a whole admin suite to support the system. It was kind of a big exciting task.

Josh: Right and more so than we could take on ourselves at our current because McKay and myself were still doing full-time work. Tanner was our only full-time software developer.

Tanner: Supporting all of Private Label.

Josh: So we actually were able to sign a contract with this company and be able to get some kind of stabilized revenues such that we had another friend that we were willing to hire on and have them work on this offer at that time.

Tanner: Yeah, that was a Tanner as well.

Josh: Another Tanner. We had the two Tanners.

Tanner: Yeah, we were kind of synonymous for a little while there. But yeah, he really got heads down on the mobile app for this group and I helped on the back end a lot, getting stuff going. But we had some hard problems to solve and that's I think kind of where you started to step in quite a bit. Particularly when we got into the video.

Josh: Streaming aspect of it, right, live video streaming low latency. I think the original task from the company that was hiring us, wanted it to be a replacement for what they're already doing with Facebook live video. Yes, Facebook was starting to crack down on Ecommerce or MLMs that were trying to use their live video streaming service and so the requirement was that it had to be better. Facebook usually had a delay of 30 seconds from when the video was shown and somebody is holding up a piece of article of clothing to when you start seeing the comments come in and so our requirement was, hey, we want this down to like a second or two or less of video latency.

Tanner: Yeah, well, the hard part with that too is their old paradigm was these submerged would just comment in the comment section on their live video that has a delay of oh well, I want this one, and then it would put the burden on that seller to go through the comments after the video and be like, okay, who was the first one to say that they wanted this article? And it was a really kind of daunting event that these women had to put on. So it was crazy.

Josh: Yep and so over time. I think the whole experience from when we were first signed on to when we had the actual software launched. So I think if I remember correctly. This would have been 2017 now and it would have been probably around June when we hired the second Tanner and we were at. I think they call it a back office or admin suite that was launched in December time for that. So an entire software suite that would actually manage all their inventory counts, their sales, their reps, all that kind of stuff, we did that by December, and then the app was probably launched around January the following year.

Tanner: Yeah, super, super early into 2018 is when we did that launch. But it was interesting. I mean, we had experience in VR and tracking game time and minute tracking with licensing, but I never built an eCommerce system, especially the warehouse and inventory management with multi-levels, and the chaos with that was exciting.

Josh: Now one of the things that's interesting about this particular contract is the way that we structured it. For some of our listeners out there who are wondering how contracts might work with software development companies, there are a couple of different ways you can go about it and we decided to build at a kind of lower reduced cost. You can obviously do hourly, where you have just a fixed amount per hour and it's just how many hours it takes. You could do kind of a firm fix and say, we will complete this project for X number of dollars, and then it's on the developers to make sure they come in at a reasonable time and they don't delay and stuff. With us on this one, we just received a monthly retainer, I think it was like $20,000 a month.

Tanner: Yeah.

Josh: But actually the reason why we were able to reduce the prices we actually negotiated upfront is that we get to keep the intellectual property of whatever gets developed and the person that the company that hired us on was okay with that as long as they had a two-year exclusivity carve out on their certain industries and so they're obviously in the women's clothing, women's fashion. So they listed a number of companies that they viewed as competitors that they didn't want this technology actually landing in on.

Tanner: Yeah, well, because our intent was to take that IP and build our own system relative to that. To resell it out to these other companies. At the time, Facebook was kind of shadow-banning people and companies. So it was almost impossible to find these events unless you have the direct link. Right, so we're trying to really solve that niche problem.

Josh: Yep, exactly and the thing that I think that we are trying to do is we are still trying to be like we do not want to be a dev company. We need to find a product, we need to find something. Let's use again, this software development, this income to create something else, and that will be a reoccurring theme as we talk through some of these other experiences. But in the end, we embraced the software development company.

Tanner: Yeah, we fought it for a long time, but eventually just embrace the nature of it. It was a good call.

Josh: So how did we get other contracts that might be a question that other people have of us. How did you go from, well, just you got introduced to one and you found another and that really, I think came down to word of mouth. We didn't really have any advertising. We didn't have that because again, we didn't want to be a development company, but we still needed income to be able to obviously support and pay for what we're doing and everything and so yeah, do you remember some of the other ones that we kind of took on afterward?

Tanner: Yeah. So that's always kind of the interesting part of it is how do you get your name out there to get work, whether you're doing freelance work or a dev shop, there's a lot of correlation there and that word of mouth. I think one of the next ones that we had come on was that route. Yeah. So Route came to us. I don't remember how the recommendation came to you. So Route came on and the build wasn't incredibly crazy. The expectation was working with Shopify and putting a custom plugin into the Shopify system for package insurance, and third-party package insurance, right?

Josh: Yes.

Tanner: And we worked on that system. It was actually McKay and I for quite a while getting into the weeds of that thing and trying to get some reading their emails and stuff too.

Josh: Yeah, Route is a Utah startup that has done phenomenally well. Essentially the idea is very simple, right? Let's add a checkbox. When you check out of Shopify or any of these kinds of large e-commerce platforms and it's for insurance on your shipping and it was the lesser of one dollar or 1% of the cost of the package, it could completely have changed by now. So the great thing about that is if you had porch pirates come and steal your package or anything, you can submit a claim and they would essentially refund or get you a new product, so a really simple idea, but executed really well and they had some phenomenal growth. They're kind of one of Utah's unicorns that hit the billion-dollar valuation a little while ago and so we were able to come into that company and they actually had a software team and they're on the throes of just mutiny, right, quitting, and everything. I remember us going in there and we kind of interviewed kind of the solo remaining developer in there and we talk to them and basically they had a lot of frustrations and we were like, well, we're going to come in and help and the next thing we know we got the call that person left as well. So they lost their entire dev team. Dev team. We came in and continued to get it going. They're running on AWS servers and getting all their software and the thing that you and McKay were working on is they wanted to not only do the shipping insurance, but they wanted to become the end-all for tracking your packages. So having a mobile app that was showing where your app is and everything and so you guys had to write parsers for emails, right?

Tanner: Yeah, we had to do SMTP tie-ins into all of the big providers and then parse through us, everyone's, this giant catalog of emails to look for certain identifying words, phrases, anything like that, tracking information that would pull out and extract shipping details that would then be fed into the app. So from a consumer, you'd have that one-stop shop regardless of whether you bought on Amazon or eBay or whomever, and it was all in that one place. So yeah, we started working on that. I remember bringing in some of the Route, had started hiring some developers. We brought them into our office for a few months and really kind of trained them on how to do some good coding practices and standards and really tried to help build the foundation underneath some of the developers that they were trying to bring on board because it was a little wild. Yeah, it was something.

Josh: But again, we still did not want to be a software dev shop and so we decided to take that IP that we created with the Epiphany and the live video streaming and we started a company called On Track and which later was renamed to Vendoti and we started to take that software and actually go out and try to sell it as a Display to a number of different MLMs. Do you remember some of the first ones that kind of signed on?

Tanner: Yeah, we had TruVision. It was one of the first ones that was really interesting. We got a lot of deep ties into these back offices. For those of you who aren't aware, the way that these MLM industries work is there are a bunch of big back-office groups that focus pretty heavily on the commission's engine for MLMs. Right. The nature of an MLM industry is going to live and die by their commissions. That's really what those organizations want to be known for, is the commission. They usually provide a front end, but it's pretty awful most of the time. That's not what they want to do, that's not their focus. They just have to provide it. So we really wanted to bolt in and provide our app, provide the vendor an app that provided the real-time video streaming, real-time purchasing, kind of all of those wins. It restreamed out to Facebook, right? All of those successful wins in the MLM space. So we started tying in really, really heavily into some of those big back ends, direct scaling info tracks. There were tons of them. I think we were up to like ten or twelve of them.

Josh: Yeah, but that came out of cost, right? The amount of development effort to actually achieve that was quite a bit and so at the time, we said, hey, let's go out and find some investor funding and take that on and hire up a team that's working on that and so we went all in and we actually raised around three-quarters of a million dollars and a number we basically double, tripled our staff that was in there and we basically built a number of different things and the industry is kind of interesting in the fact that it was really easy to get people to say, yes, they love the flashiness of the live video. They thought it was a really cool kind of tool. But as we went through and implemented a number of things, we kind of found that each integration was its own beast and its own set of challenges and everybody that we had signed up wanted things done in a different way. So we just were sinking tons of time and resources into getting it just the way that they wanted it.

Tanner: Yeah, because it's not just the way that the back end works, but it's the way that the business works too.

Josh: Lots of rules.

Tanner: Absolutely. A ridiculous amount of rules and variations as far as how things work. I mean, even on the same back end, you could have two companies that are entirely different. So that, one, integration didn't actually solve the problem for everybody as we had hoped it would and so we sunk a tremendous amount of time and money into building some of those things out.

Josh: Yes, now, we were successful in that we launched the app into a number of different companies and they did fairly well. But as we found out, not everybody wants to be on a live video. It's challenging to kind of want to put on a show and have your face be on there. I'd say 90% of the people that work in these network marketing companies, sign up either to purchase for themselves or they want to just maybe have some of their close friends and family just kind of purchase through them. But you have a few top performers. But by and large, the live video just wasn't getting used the way that we expected it to.

Tanner: No, no it sounded great and it was sexy and just flashy. It looked good, but it wasn't. It didn't fit into these businesses' processes, their paradigms. We were trying to inject this flashy thing that they just didn't have the people that would do it. So I remember sitting down and we were watching through people's live streams and you know we had scaled I know you had spent a ton of time scaling out that system for the real-time video streaming and stress testing and we just I mean, it was a little disheartening, you know, for me at least, where there just wasn't a lot of people using it and we put in so much time and effort to get that thing working.

Josh: So while we're having revenues come. In our expenses far exceeded what we actually had to have happened and this was kind of the end of 2019. We still had people on it and we're doing that and then we came into a kind of January and this thing called COVID. We started hearing a little bit about it. Our virtual reality private label, VR, was doing really well. We had a lot of contracts kind of set up to be able to have a number of installs and be very profitable, but we're still just fleeting a lot of cash, right? And again, our whole goal was we didn't want to be a dev shop and so we're counting on these different ventures to actually fund it, and then march hit and the weirdest thing happened. We just started having some of these contracts for a virtual reality be either put on pause or completely canceled and go on hold.

Tanner: Entertainment kind of died.

Josh: Kind of died, exactly. Nobody knew what was going to really happen. That the two-week shutdown that was going to be enough and we thought we actually had a couple of virtual reality contracts that just like, well, let's just put it on hold until this shutdown is over and then we'll complete the purchase, we'll send you the money and everything and it just got to the point of like, oh, this is not going.

Tanner: To happen, but we are still hemorrhaging money on Vendoti, it was a huge pain point too. Our biggest revenue stream just stopped.

Josh: Yes, absolutely and so with that, we had to make some hard decisions and we had to kind of essentially put Vendotti on hold and start saying, what can we do to bring in income? Immediately, VR was on hold too, which was funding quite a bit. Too and the main thing that we really tried to do is not let go of our staff. Right. We obviously knew that VR was going to be a long time to recover and so here's the funny thing, is one of the things that we had developed as part of our VR is we got really good at powder coating and for those who are not sure what powder coating is, that's where you take metal and you apply an electrical charge to it and you shoot out a gun that actually positively charges these paint molecules of powder dust and it sticks to the metal. You throw it in an oven, it cooks it, and it basically is a way of painting metal. Right?

Tanner: So you had a bunch of software developers trying to paint metal.

Josh: We had high school kids that would help us and everything and we were basically running a powder coating service for virtual reality and so when virtual reality essentially got put on hold, we said, what can we do now? Well, we can actually start a powder coating shop.

Tanner: Yeah, it was really nice and that's what's kind of interesting, is doing it all ourselves, right? I mean, for VR. It was a turnkey solution. So we found that it was better to just build the boost ourselves in-house instead of ordering from a third party and so it really helped us figure out a lot of the logistics associated with that process. So, again, just this kind of organic build, and the whole time the dev side is just well, we'll do this third-party work as a means to an end.

Josh: Yeah.

Tanner: Right. We're not doing the dev job. This is just a means to an end.

Josh: Yes. I mean, a little teaser. We do now have a dev shop, so we'll get there eventually. But we actually took that powder coating. We started a true powder coating shop. We rented out a building. We took the employees that we would have had to let go with VR and shifted them over to doing full-time powder coating. So we again wanted to develop software systems that would make management of this a lot easier. We had a pool of developers and so we started an admin site where we can manage orders we can invoice, could track the flow. We wanted to put a lot of metrics onto the entire process, so we knew how long it took for this one article to be completely done as far as paint time, as far as cook time, as far as how much material it actually cost to actually produce that.

Tanner: So yeah. Was it how can we leverage the existing staff that we don't want to let go in an industry that has no tech and apply that?

Josh: Yeah. What was great about doing all these kinds of different ventures is we had to always consider cash to development time and juggle those things. Right. Because everything we've done other than the MLM Live video has been bootstrapped cash that we've made off of our other types of stuff and so I think that really helps us when we actually do software development projects, to really actually work with the customer and the client and really say, hey, we should probably cut back on this. We don't need to do this kind of thing to have the same performance. Right.

Tanner: Yeah, absolutely. That's a lot of what's kind of, I think, established the mentality that we have today is we've been that person over and over and over and that's kind of the perspective that we've taken from development, is being that partner. Because we've only really I mean, yes, we've had some contracts here and there up to this point, but we were in a dev job. Right. We're working on our own internal stuff. So we were always the dev partners. We always worked with the client because the client was us. So that was the perspective that kind of followed us through a lot of this.

Josh: Yeah. So here's an interesting dev project. Do you remember the autonomous lawnmower project?

Tanner: Yeah, that one was really cool. I never worked on hardware like that and to build this autonomous system, the way that they were previously is you'd have to bury ground wires, right? And then the lawn mower robot would follow these ground wires for your cup pass. But we are kind of tasked with kind of a really different perspective, right?

Josh: Yes. So we had a really good acquaintance that actually started a company that made RTK real-time kinematic GPS and for those who don't know, essentially that's a GPS that can be down to the centimeter or two position accuracy and so he developed this sensor and had a really great GPS and wanted to move into robotics and they started using this as a platform for guiding different robotics around and they were making an entire system that would do visual cues and motor wheel encoders and GPS, and basically make a really smart autonomous lawn mower so that you didn't have to go and bury those wires. But they were not app developers and so they asked us to, hey, can you make a mobile app that you can actually control, drive around, measure out your yard, and say, hey, this is the region we want you to cut and everything? So it's actually a really fun project. Do you remember some of the kinds of technologies we used with that?

Tanner: Yeah, it was really cool trying to tie in with the base stations. A lot of those pieces we had what was that, the type of antenna? I know you and McKay had gone back and forth quite a bit on the range of the antenna, and it was convenient because you both have a lot of experience in radar. It fit really well into the wheelhouse.

Josh: Yeah and the key communication path that we actually use is Bluetooth low energy and so I remember one of the first applications we wrote for them was basically a gamepad on your iPhone. So you could actually use your thumb and steer around and drive around this autonomous lawnmower. It was actually really fun and then you would then go into a mode where you actually drove using that gamepad, the path, the region boundary of your lawn, and then hit go and they had a whole bunch of planning stuff that would then take that region and basically mow it back and forth. But again, another example of we just basically fell into another project from word of mouth, which you'll find is a very common way of how you start a software development company is you get to know people, you got to have some network, you got to do well with your current clients, those referrals and everything and then so by the end of this and we're now kind of full into kind of the COVID pandemic, we realize maybe working at a dev stop and actually trying to embrace it a little bracelet is a good way of going.

Tanner: Yeah, I think it hit us enough times that we realized finally that we can make money there. We're really good at problem-solving, regardless of whether it's hardware, whether it's software, web, or tech, we can solve problems and people have a lot of problems to solve.

Josh: And so once we made that kind of mind shift of like, alright, let's be one of the best developments offer shops out there in the world, once we made that shift, we said what can we do to improve upon how we do stuff, how we deliver to the clients, how we measure and track and all that kind of stuff? And that's what this podcast is all going to be about. Those are the things that we're going to try to COVID basically our lessons going through some of our hardships with clients, some of our hardships with contracting systems that we put in place. Hiring, for example, is a task of its own. You know, getting the right people on to your team and then sometimes firing and laying off and everything. Those are the topics that we want to COVID in this podcast series and dive down into them even more and significantly.

Tanner: Yeah, we really want to help. Can you just talk about our experiences with it? The information that we found to be very helpful both for us internally and for the client. There are things that we can do and provide that really help give both of us a mutual win and as we had mentioned, that word of mouth is kind of what we live and die by. You have to perform and they have to have a good experience. You have to have a good experience and make enough money so that you don't die. So we're excited to share our experiences with you guys and help you participate in the journey that we have on this development experience.

Josh: Absolutely. Alright, that about wraps up. Thanks for listening and we'll see you the next time.

Tanner: See you guys. Thanks.

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