Elance Blog

Startup Cloud Winner: snapp

You’re a startup, have big ideas and need to get things done, right? We’re here to help! Tell us about your idea and which online hires could help you get results, and you’ll have a chance to win $500 in Elance services.

We spoke to our recent Startup Cloud winner, Jack Osborn of snapp, about the mobile application business he started with Tom McQuillen and Rob Humann, and the plans for their prize winnings.

Tell us about your business—what do you do, and what is the ultimate vision for your company?

We are a young team of high school friends from Melbourne, Australia with lots of great ideas! We have decided to strike out on our own and start a business. Unfortunately, we are all currently working full time to pay the bills, which makes it hard to find time to get together and work on our passion.

We build mobile applications for smartphones and tablets. We are specifically looking to target small businesses and help bring their operations into the 21st century through smartphone technology. We help them access a whole new market of tech-savvy customers and clients who have embraced applications wholeheartedly. People say “there should be an app for this” on a weekly basis and we decided that we needed to build a company to turn these concepts into reality.

What type of Elancer would you like to hire with your prize?

We are looking for an Elance coder and designer, who like us, is enthusiastic, passionate and possesses the skills necessary to turn our ideas into reality. Due to our time constraints, we are unable to develop entire applications ourselves, so Elance was the natural option for us. We hope to find someone who can work independently, communicate online and would like to develop a strong and lasting business relationship. We realize that Elance has an enormous pool of qualified talent at a competitive price, which gives us the confidence to put our trust in the online work movement.

We are hoping to hire someone who:

  • Can provide basic application design skills
  • Has exceptional programming experience
  • Demonstrates positive feedback and repeat work from previous clients
  • Can boast an impressive portfolio of Mobile related work

Should we find such a candidate we look forward to building a long-term relationship with them and Elance to implement our long list of ideas!

Tell us about your entrepreneurial past—if you have one. Why is this the time to start your collective first company?

The three of us had been talking more and more about how we’d do things if we had our own business. Although none of us had done this before, we had the support of our friends and family and decided that now was the time to stop talking about it and actually do something. With the availability of services like Elance and the proliferation of successful applications overseas we thought that it was time to take the plunge and start working for ourselves.

How do you think technology has changed the way potential entrepreneurs approach starting their own companies? Is it easier now than it was years ago?

Taking our age out of the equation we think it would have been infinitely more difficult without the technology that we take for granted today. These advancements have significantly reduced startup costs that would have previously been a huge barrier to entry. The online revolution has allowed us to fund the company with our 9-5 incomes while our company finds its own feet!

We were able to find amazing advice about setting up a company via Google and devouring blogs by people who had shared their start up experiences. We utilized Elance, as well as online project management, collaboration and accounting software to become a really lean startup. Essentially we could have done almost everything from a tropical paradise - providing we had a decent internet connection! This is something we don't think could have been effectively 10 years ago. With companies like Elance available online, I think more and more people will embrace their entrepreneurial spirit and begin working for themselves!

How did you first hear about Elance? What are your impressions now that you've used it?

We began by reading blogs written by other app startups and one that stood out to us was all about the crowdsourcing movement and the success they’d had with outsourcing, which instantly inspired us to do some searching. It wasn’t long until we stumbled across Elance. Unfortunately in Australia we have a local skill shortage in technology, especially in iOS and emerging technologies – Elance was the natural place to find some of the world's most skillful developers. We loved that you could review contractors’ previous work before engaging them – an outsourcing heaven! The other major attraction to Elance was the ‘one-stop’ nature of the site. With inbuilt NDAs and escrow payment facilities, the admin side of things was taken care of and we could focus completely on our core business – building apps!

About snapp
snapp was founded by three friends – Tom, Jack and Rob in January 2011. They have experience working across banking, finance, IT and business development in the professional services industry. Connected by their common passion for applications and the desire to be masters of their own domain, they decided to form snapp with the following guiding principles:

  • Work should be fun and creative!
  • Applications are the future
  • Bring ideas to life
  • Our business should be honest, friendly and rewarding?

We have nearly finished our first application which was an idea generated internally at snapp, sign up to our RSS feed or follow us on twitter [@snapp_apps] to get the latest updates on ForgetMeKnot.