Google Analytics is solid. They give us what we need, and practically for free. Google is already a core part of the company, so it was a no-brainer to go with Google Analytics. It’s all wrapped under one roof with app analytics, SEO, SEA and our corporate email.
We use a Midwest-based company called Story Vision Video for whiteboard videos. They’ll produce a 90-second whiteboard video for about $1,500. And they’re high-quality videos! Everything else we encountered for videos was very expensive, so I highly recommend them.
We use WordPress for our website.
We’re using MailChimp’s backend, and we’ve highly customized it. I ran an email company for 13 years, and because we’re email people, we didn’t need anybody to help us with strategy--we just needed the tool. If I needed something more advanced, I would’ve used ExactTarget or something more advanced, but I just needed a good tool, no expertise, and MailChimp fit the bill.
QuickBooks Online is good, with no pros or cons to speak of. A lot of these tools have matured a lot over the last 10 years, and are really solid and cheap now. When I launched my first business in 2002, you couldn’t find these tools like you can now!
If anyone is looking for a great PR company, I would highly recommend PenVine, a New York-based PR company.
We use a tiny boutique creative agency in Orlando called Z to A Creative. They’re a small team, with about 5 or 6 people, and I’ve worked with them for about 15 years on over 120 projects. You cannot get a better bang for your buck for quality vs. cost. They’ve been amazing.
I haven’t encountered any cons with Applause yet. They have a very usable dashboard and good customer service. They charge me $4,500/month for unlimited cycles of testing, which is an extremely reasonable price. We fixed most bugs before we gave the app to them, but they still found about 50 or 60 bugs. They were mostly outliers, but they still found them. The version we’re launching is actually version 2. Version 1 was never released to the public because our goal is to launch a very robust service on the day of launch.
UserTesting is great because they’re there to help you help yourself. And it’s cheap. I can get small things tested without going through a whole process. We used it a lot when we were developing the concept. It allows you to easily introduce concepts to testers and ask them questions. We would show testers some whiteboard videos and then take them through 20 questions while they were watching. You get their answers, but you also get their thoughts as they’re going through your video, too. It was very useful for us for determining our pricing model.
We use a dev company out of Orange County called XTOPOLY for development. I’d give them an 8/10 rating. They won an RFP with us and, overall, the process has been good. I’d definitely recommend them.
If a company needs a good patent attorney, I would highly recommend an L.A.-based firm called Moradian Law. They’ve done all our patent work, and it’s all very cost-effective. You can get $1,500/hour quality for $300/hour.
Basecamp is great, and it’s done what we need. But there is one downside: We’re using an outsourced testing company called Applause (formerly uTest), and Basecamp is not one of the platforms Applause supports. So we have to manually transfer the bugs across the two systems, which is a pain.