The founding team at Aromeo got in touch with GitStart at a critical time as they were working on their MVP. The team had excellent design and product capabilities but lacked engineering expertise to convert designs into fully functioning code.
After successfully launching the Aromeo Smart Diffuser product and its companion mobile app, the company has received major market traction and has been featured by the likes of Bloomberg and South China Morning Post for their wellness based innovations.
Says founder Michelle Fno, “GitStart came in at a crucial time when we were getting close to launch and running short on engineering horsepower. They made massive improvements to the codebase. It’s what allowed us to meet our launch dates and quickly iterate post launch.”
The core product in Aromeo’s line is a smart diffuser that uses essential oils (such as patchouli, jasmine, lemongrass, rose, lavender) to diffuse a wide array of aromas into shared living spaces, intelligently based on user preferences. The product required a deep integration of hardware and software to create a seamless experience for end-users and ensure they get full value from the product.
Onboarding and Process Improvements
Aromeo had one part-time engineer already working when the collaboration with GitStart began. Due to limited engineering capacity, their software development process was extremely slow and releases were unpredictable. As is often the case with early stage startups, there was a lack of methodological progress while ensuring accountability and consistent delivery. GitStart expanded the technical depth of the team while making their workflow more agile. GitStart is known worldwide as a pioneer for its agile, remote culture which brings together top developers from around the world to work collaboratively.
Freeing up core team to focus on product
The GitStart Community is powered by engineers with years of production level experience in technologies like React and NodeJS. Senior architects ensured that the software architecture was well built while medium skill coders accelerated the releases through successive bi-weekly sprint releases. This really helped the core Aromeo team to focus more on their existing hardware and IOT related implementations while Murcul complimented their efforts on the software side. Hiring software engineers in-house often leads to additional management complexity creating thriving pressure on the management team. This can quickly become a significant problem for young companies that are iterating on their design and product experience quickly.
Integrating the workflow for improved productivity
GitStart’s customer success team was able to work closely with the tech lead at Aromeo to instill a strong data driven culture and agile process. This began by running discovery and coding sprints in parallel. Tech specs were submitted for new features as part of the discovery sprint. Discovered and defined tasks would then move into the coding sprint for which developers would submit a series of pull requests. The fact that GitStart's development community is comprised of a crowd sourced talent pool allowed Aromeo to utilize the benefits of parallel execution, through greater number of developers working concurrently. This further accelerated engineering velocity during critical periods, such as post launch.
Saving substantially on engineering costs
GitStart provided burst development capability and an upfront credits based pricing model. This helped Aromeo reduce costs by 3x as the other alternative was to hire local talent in Hong Kong. The credits based pricing also allowed them to better manage working capital. A major constraint for them was scaling engineering capacity efficiently while the product design itself evolves. Murcul provided short bursts of development every time a new UX flow and new designs were incorporated into the product spec, resulting in cost savings during periods of idle time. Not having to hire extra engineers meant that they did not have to incur monthly salaries.