Exclusive Interview with Jordan Gurrieri – CEO, Blue Label Labs
In this exclusive interview, He shared his experiences in IT and several more things. Let’s check his success story and thoughts.
1. Tell Us about yourself how you start your career in IT Sector?
I’m Co-Founder and CEO of Blue Label Labs, husband and father of two. Before starting Blue Label Labs over 10 years ago, I spent over 7 years with Microsoft developing internal line of business applications as well as Microsoft’s consumer mobile and web products, which at the time were Hotmail, Messenger and SkyDrive. I studied Electrical & Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto. But, my start in IT was from a very young age when I took a passion in playing with, programming, and building early PC and Mac computers.
2. Tell us in brief about your company and the leadership.
For over 10 years our team at Blue Label Labs has helped ambitious entrepreneurs and enterprises with their digital strategy, design and development. When my Co-Founder, Bobby, and I started Blue Label over 10 years ago we didn’t necessarily have the vision for what we are today. We started developing apps in the early days of the app stores and helping build new startups in the industry. Over time our services matured to help more established large brands and companies with their digital transformation, offering more strategic consultative support, user centric-design, and solid, scalable engineering. Today we are nearly 70 people strong, having put over 300 products into market and helping great companies solve very interesting and big real world problems with technology. That’s what we are passionate about.
3. What is your outlook for 2021?
Our outlook for 2021 is very strong. COVID accelerated the pace of digital transformation by 10 years. As a company, we’ve been on the forefront of helping new startups and established brands bring new digital products to market for their customers. Large consumer brands and enterprise companies need to rethink their traditional marketing solutions to customer feedback and seek more innovative product strategies like we provide. 2020 was our best year ever from a topline revenue perspective and 2021 is looking like it will be even better. We feel quite fortunate.
4. How do you assess the role of research agencies like Top App Firms in bridging the gap between clients and service providers?
Agencies like TopAppFirms are important for creating visibility and connecting companies with service providers with the right services to meet their needs. We believe that the objective and curated assessments and reviews provided by agencies like TopAppFirms help clients find truly exceptional service providers in a crowded industry.
5. Any particular technology or industry you would be targeting? How do you plan to prepare your workforce for the upcoming technology upgrade?
We focus the products we build on mid-market consumer and B2B brands. We are particularly targeting the food and beverage industry, entertainment and hospitality, healthcare, and companies in the on-demand gig economy which have been impacted by the acceleration of digital transformation caused by COVID. Our team is always on the forefront of the changes in technology. It is necessary for us to be able to provide the right solutions for our client’s challenges and goals. Ongoing extra curricular learning and prototyping with new technologies on internal projects is encouraged to better understand and prepare for the constant pace of technology changes.
6. What all services do you think you would add to your offerings in 2021?
At Blue Label Labs, we are adding more strategy and planning services to our offering in 2021. Our client’s priorities center around continuing to grow their businesses. The challenge is being forward-thinking and anticipating what the market needs and then executing on that concept. We are one of the best mobile app development company in nyc. Our clients have a lot of opportunities to grow their businesses, and figuring out how to prioritize these opportunities is challenging; that is where we help.
7. What are the challenges you see in the outsourcing industry and how much you’re prepared to face those challenges?
Outsourcing is necessary and becoming more commonplace. With non-digital-first companies moving more and more digital they are beginning to compete for designer and developer talent with the likes of Facebook and Google–companies paying top dollar for top talent. Unable to recruit top talent will lead many companies down the path of hiring agencies like ours to fill that need. While many companies are just starting to embrace the opportunities and benefits of outsourcing, we are evolving our operating model to the next phase to leverage the economies and efficiencies of outsourcing across a number of geographies in parallel–i.e., an on-shore/off-shore 24-hour product design & development cycle.
8. How helpful are the Web and mobile apps developed by your team, for enhancing your clients’ business?
Anecdotally, we just helped a specialty coffee company looking to scale a new drive-thru concept by launching their web and mobile app ordering system. The client was delighted with the final app, which resulted in almost a 40% increase in revenue and garnered about 7,000 users from a single branch. The client has also exceeded the expected proportion of orders processed in their app by almost 50%. We see tangible commercial success like this regularity which are helping to enhance and grow our clients’ business.
9. What according to you are the best practices to attain client satisfaction?
The most important practices for attaining and retaining excellent client satisfaction are maintaining strong technological competence, providing thought leadership and strategy, being flexible with our engagement approach, and focusing on consistent communication and a cultural fit with our clients.
10. Tell about some successful projects?
Blue Label Labs is the exclusive provider of strategy, design and development services to a major world-wide streaming content provider, iHeart Media—including 2 of the top 10 most listened to radio shows/personalities in the United States. Our work to re-imagine, re-design and re-develop their apps has led to a 10X per month increase in subscription conversions and improved user rates from 2 stars to over 4 stars in the Apple App Store and Google Play.
Another example of a breakout startup success is bopdrop, a music sharing and discovery app. In its first week of launch, bopdrop gained nearly 20,000 users and broke into the ultra-competitive App Store Top 10 Music Apps category. User activity and engagement is also well above industry average with 2x Time in App Per Day and DAU/MAU than the latest industry benchmarks in the category. bopdrop was also recognized with a Webby nomination for Best Apps & Software in Entertainment and now has over 100,000 daily active users.
11. How do you help your clients in choosing the right yet profitable platform for Web development?
Blue Label Labs begins most client engagements with a Design Sprint. The reason the Design Sprint is so effective is by virtue of the highly focused nature of this method that addresses the foundation of what’s needed to make an idea come to life, make decisions and build a prototype. We use this process at Blue Label Labs as it’s proven effective to rapidly turn a product idea into a viable business idea while also helping to define the right technology stack for scalable and profitable development very early on in the engagement. Design Sprints are also useful to rally disparate stakeholders across an organization around a shared vision so that ops, design, development, sales, customer service, etc. are all on the same page and excited about the vision.
12. What is the price range (min and max) of the projects that you catered to in 2021 after COVID 19?
The average price range for a project with Blue Label Labs in 2021 is $250,000-$500,000. At minimum our Design Sprint engagements start at $25,000. There is no max, but large scale platforms that require a large team from strategy and planning through design, development, maintenance and production support can easily have a price range of $1M or more in their first year.
13. Please describe the operational structure of your company- from the moment a client walks in, to the product deployment.
From the moment a client walks in, our Client Solutions team works with a client to outline the scope of the effort and produce estimates and contracts.
Most engagements then start with a Design Sprint; an intense, 5-full day discovery process that ends with empirical validation with real or potential clients.
Next our Product Team sets the stage for design by looking at the competition and the client’s brand positioning. Information architecture, user personas, user stories and a product roadmap are created.
Then our Product Team works to create an elegant, user-centric design system & brand identity that incorporates the latest trends and is focused on connecting with the client’s target customer.
Our Product Team creates a UX prototype of the product’s core flow for qualitative and/or quantitative user testing. A UI prototype follows for another round of rigorous user testing.
In Development and Testing, agility is the name of the game. Our Scrum-based Agile Methodology ensures frequent product releases to users and allows for continuous testing and product adjustments.
Getting a digital product live on the web or in an app store can be a tricky process. We help every step of the way to get the product in market and execute a launch strategy–so that our client can start monetizing.
14. After service is a necessary part of development. How do you provide customer support to your client?
While a product is live in-market, updates are essential to a digital product’s success. Using both qualitative and quantitative tracking tools, we help our clients identify opportunities to improve the digital product based on user feedback and data. We offer our clients four options in post-launch support ranging from simply critical failure/break-fix support to an indefinite retainer of their core team with the highest levels of SLA and technical support to keep their product operating seamlessly while in market.
15. Android or iOS, Native or Hybrid — which platform is best to use to build your app? What are your recommendations?
There is no silver bullet answer to this age-old question. Different product challenges and goals call for different solutions when it comes to going native or hybrid. It’s best to engage a firm like ours early on and be transparent about your challenges and goals with us. Let us help you understand your situation and formulate the best solution architecture together with you. Our go-to “hybrid” technology is React Native as it’s the most stable and well-supported with a large ecosystem of potential third-party integrations.