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Meet Brad Wiatr of User10 in Scottsdale

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brad Wiatr.

Brad, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I helped found User10 about 5 years ago. The initial goal of the company was to create a full-service agency – assisting with everything from social media management to native iOS and Android development for applications – that could support a labs division that would be focused on building out our own SaaS products.

For a while our plan was successful. Our agency was bringing in more business than we ever had and we were able to raise an initial seed round of funding for one of our products called Storybyte – a photo journaling application for iPhones. The constant jumping back and forth between product and service ended up taking its’ toll though. We weren’t able to remain focused enough on either of our ventures to raise the level of success to where we wanted. As marketing trends began shifting towards a storytelling as the path for brands to engage customers, we had our opening to make Storybyte a success. Competitors in our space that didn’t have to concern themselves with supporting agency clients’ quickly passed us by. The early traction they gained put them so far ahead that we could never catch up. The whole experience forced us to ask ourselves hard questions about what we really wanted to do. Two founding partners departed during that process and two new partners were added in their place (Andrew Phelps & Josh Mountain who had been managing the agency side of our business while we were building products).

With a new leadership team on board and a renewed desire to find a singular goal to strive for, we came to the realization that we’d rather specialize and excel in a narrow domain that we loved than to try and be everything to everyone. Our core focus has always been to provide world-class user experience and user interface (UX/UI) design. We loved building applications for our agency client’s and now, because of our own SaaS startup experience, we had the knowledge to counsel our customers on how to best build their own software products. We could be a true digital partner and not just an outsourced design and development team. That fed our desire to become the best software design studio we could imagine – creating applications and websites for enterprise-level tech companies like Dell, MicroAge, Insight, and CDW.

Has it been a smooth road?
The constant jumping back and forth between product and service ended up taking its’ toll though. We weren’t able to remain focused enough on either of our ventures to raise the level of success to where we wanted. As marketing trends began shifting towards a storytelling as the path for brands to engage customers, we had our opening to make Storybyte a success. Competitors in our space that didn’t have to concern themselves with supporting agency clients’ quickly passed us by. The early traction they gained put them so far ahead that we could never catch up. The whole experience forced us to ask ourselves hard questions about what we really wanted to do…

We’d love to hear more about your business.
User10 is a software design studio that creates applications and websites for enterprise-level tech companies like Dell, MicroAge, Insight, and CDW.

We believe that great software comes from understanding people and that design and technology should serve humanity. Challenges can be big and complex but the best solutions are elegantly simple. The best part is, the process is no secret. We work with our clients to improve lives every day.

We separate ourselves from the pack in 2 key ways:
1. We’re a design focused development shop – world-class UX/UI design is at the center of everything we do. It allows us to solve problems and find efficiencies before we start developing – saving time and money.
2. We consult with our clients – a lot. This is huge for us — it’s the single best way we’ve found to continually create value for our clients. This typically means we: spend time researching possible technical solutions, whiteboard or design comps to better illustrate how we’d solve a problem, or get outside the box and respectfully challenge their core assumptions. We’re frequently able to identify risks that people haven’t been able to see on their own.

For more, see “Adding Value Before a Sale” – https://blog.user10.com/adding-value-before-a-sale-8b5250299a62

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Absolutely. Scottsdale – and the greater Phoenix area – is a gold mine for anyone working in the tech industry. Cost of living is still far below that of LA, San Francisco, Austin, and it’s attracted a lot of amazing talent, growing companies, and investment money from those cities. The best part is, it’s a young city that’s just getting started so things are only going to improve from here. We also have an insanely generous startup/tech community with organizations like #yesphx (yesphx.com) leading the charge to support entrepreneurs.

From an improvement standpoint (everyone can get better) we’d like to see more tech investment in the community. There is a lot of money dedicated to the healthcare industry, but we could do with a more diverse allotment to allow other sectors to thrive.

Pricing:

  • Clickable Prototypes start at $7k
  • Typical applications range from $35-60k
  • Websites generally start at $10k
  • Initial consultations are always free so we can determine if we’re the right fit for a potential client

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Aaron Kes Photography (aaronkes.com)

Getting in touch: VoyagePhoenix is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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