Blog / Business Thoughts and Ideas

How to Hire an App Development Company

With thousands of app development companies in existence choosing the right one can be a daunting task. Finding the right partner is more important than saving a few hundred or thousand dollars in building your product. The right partner can add value in more ways than just development, which will help you maximize revenues for your app business. Below are the key aspects in what you should look for in an app developer to make the right decision for your application.

10 Ways to Tell if your Organization Procrastinate…

If you've ever listened to a business book, motivational speaker, or high school guidance counselor you've heard about how people procrastinate but you've probably never thought that companies can procrastinate.  The sad truth is that most companies are better procrastinators on IT projects then college kids are during finals week.  Take this simple test to find out how your last IT or Web Development project went.

Why do Small Businesses out Innovate Large Corpora…

After working on web based projects for the last 14 years I've been asked this question a lot.  I've seen some of the most innovative web project ideas come from departments in large companies.  I've seen large companies sign contracts for initial web prototyping on their mobile kiosks, web apps, etc. but there is absolutely no question that large companies are at a tremendous disadvantage when it comes time to implement a web or mobile application.

What is a Backlogged Project?

Every company struggles with backlogged projects.  There are always too many projects and too little time.  The problem is that a lot of backlogged projects are important and are time sensitive but they get delayed (often indefinitely) because companies don't have a way to prioritize them.  

Web Analytics Dashboard Layout and Design

As more and more companies start to build web enabled dashboards there are a lot of considerations in just how they look.  It's not just about color anymore.  Concerns range from how far from how high off the ground will the screen be, will it be accessible on a phone, and do you need to have a print version are all important considerations.

The Advantages of Shadow IT Projects

We are probably going to make a lot of IT departments mad by publishing this but we think it's an important subject to discuss.  "Shadow-IT" often has a very negative connotation and with all the press on vendors doing really stupid things that ultimately exposed companies like Target to cyber attacks we understand why.  However, Shadow-IT does not have to be dangerous and in many cases it's needed to get the job done at large organizations.  If you follow a few simple guidelines you can have security and a successful project without the hassles many IT projects face.

Making Data Meaningful

The largest challenge with building dashboards and custom reporting is not getting the information.  It's about taking the wealth of information and making it meaningful.  Find out why miles per gallon, megabytes, and calories are completely irrelevant to your life.

The Low Information Diet

Do you find yourself feeling overwhelmed with the amount of information that is given to you each day? Or how about struggling to meet with different members of your office to reach a specific goal or quota? Then we need to talk. About your diet. No, not what you eat (go ahead and have that donut, we won’t tell) but the low information diet. 

What The Checklist Manifesto teaches us about Busi…

Atul Gawande's book The Checklist Manifesto has quickly become a business classic.  If you haven't read it an oversimplification of the book is that using a checklist massively increases quality and accuracy and prevents errors.  He works through how checklists allow skyscrapers to be built in months with a failure rate of nearly zero.  How pilots used checklists to make routine tasks like takeoffs become safer, and ultimately how they help in his industry, medicine.          

3 Keys To Getting Your Company Dashboard Up To Spe…

If you’re running a successful business you’re probably looking at some important numbers on a weekly or monthly basis.  While there are a number of names for these number reporting systems (Scorecard, Critical Numbers, KPI’s) most of our clients call them a Dashboard.  We’ve helped a lot of clients automate these over the years so we wanted to share a few common problems that clients develop when they use a company dashboard along with a few quick ideas to make them easier and more beneficial to use.

Working With Agile-Based Development - When You're…

One of the big buzzwords that everyone has probably heard of when working with, or working as, developers is Agile Development. A large sect of this methodology does not directly impact a client and is more how developers work, as such we will gloss over those for now. Agile, as it relates to clients, be they big businesses, mom and pop shops, or single-person operations, is excellent when it comes to getting client involvement, engagement, and most importantly getting a client what they want and need, whether or not they can articulate it without seeing progress as it goes on.

Fitbit As A Metaphor For Improving Your Business

People Seem to enjoy using their Fitbit; It Magically makes staying in shape fun. I hear people talking about how they won X competition or are ahead in Y group almost daily in our office. Yet, the Fitbit itself does absolutely nothing to help you exercise. It doesn't weigh anything, it doesn't suck fat out of your blood stream and it doesn't increase your heart rate. You just slap it on your wrist and go about your day like normal.   What it does do is measure progress against a goal with regular updates. This helps achieve a bigger result. Per this famous quote from Peter Drucker, "What gets measured gets done".  

Do Companies Have Bad Habits?

We all know that people have bad habits. Some people may bite their nails, swear, stress eat or drink too much coffee. We’ve all had our fair share of forming and continuing bad habits within our own lives. While we aren’t really sure why or how a bad habit is formed, it is clear that […]

Benefits of Detailed UX Design

When we talk about user experience, or UX, we tend to think about wire framing. This is for obvious reasons: it is simple, cheap, and does a good job of conveying what we will provide to our clients. Even still, wire framing cannot provide the details clients need to make informed decisions and fully appreciate […]

Cross Team Development with Vagrant

Here at Switchbox, we have two development teams, focusing on different languages and technologies. On one side, we have a .NET team focusing on Microsoft technologies – Windows, SQL Server, and C#/ASP.NET. On the other, we have an open-source team primarily working with Linux, MySql, and Ruby on Rails. All of our developers are great […]

Our Favorite 404

One of Switchbox’s client, AppRiver, headquartered in Gulf Breeze Florida, specializes in email and web security and protects their users with the latest spam and virus protection possible. They offer web security, email encryption, and Office 365 backed by 24 hour customer support. Attention to detail can be found throughout AppRiver.com and their 404 page […]

JSON-API: Convention over Configuration with Stand…

One of the most difficult things a developer faces is choice- which language, framework, method etc. and when to use something or when not to use something. The stress for most developers is palpable, and the choices are a crippling part of this anxiety. Enter ‘convention over configuration’. At its core, the concept of applying […]