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Evertrue: Mobile Technology Development

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Discussion Questions

1. What development options are  available for EverTrue. What are the pros and cons of these options? Which technology development strategy should EverTrue pursue?

2. What are the similarities and differences of oDesk and Dashfire? What are the growth options and emerging opportunities for oDesk and Dashfire?

3. How would you take EverTrue global? How would you harness the best of globalization?

 Develop an overall analysis of the case and in the context of the analysis address the assigned questions. Do not answer questions one by one.

•         The recommendations need to follow from your analysis. Provide specificity to recommendations if feasible. Such specificity might include such things as to who should be in charge, what resources are needed, and evaluation metrics or followups are needed.

•         Draw concepts and models from our course readings and discussions, and apply them to the analysis. Any tables or figures submitted as appendices is not within the 2 page limit.

EverTrue is an iPhone application that enables networking and fundraising among school alumni. Its originator and founder, Brent Grinna has developed this idea based on his experience raising funds for his alma mater, Brown University and he is currently seeking a way to bring this idea to life by creating a prototype for the University’s alumni Association presentation taking place in 8 weeks’ time.

To develop a prototype of the EverTrue app and get it ready before the presentation, Brent needs to consider the following options based on trade-offs between cost, speed and intellectual property rights protection to make a suitable prototype development decision. Amongst these options are:

1) Recruiting Local Programmers: This is the most time efficient option because all Brent has to do is employ a suitable programmer via craigslist. It also ensures that Brent keeps control of his intellectual property. However, it is an expensive option as the wage rate for a quality job per hour is $150 which is above Brent’s current budget.

2) oDesk: This option involves hiring a programmer through an outsourcing company, oDesk. It is as cheap as $30 per hour and also, oDesk takes care of all the administrative which is also time efficient. Brent also gets to keep a 100% stake in Evertrue. However, there was a risk of having intellectual property issues. The programmers recruited via this platform may also leave the job for a higher paying job anytime since they are paid weekly.

3) Dashfire: This option also involves using a third party to develop Evertrue, Dashfire. It is a cheap option for Brent’s idea as he will get to pay as low as $10 per hour. This option however involves giving up a stake of Brent’s business and it is not time efficient as a lot of necessary negotiations to be agreed on before the project can start.

4) Finding a CTO/Co-founder: This option involves getting a partner to share the load of bringing life to this project. This was the cheapest option as Brent wouldn’t need to pay salaries but he may have to give up some stakes in Evertrue and it may also be time consuming in terms of getting a partner if his friend Arjun is not willing to join him.

Some similarities and differences exist between oDesk and Dashfire. oDesk and Dashfire happen to be outsourcing firms where start-up companies can find the expertise they require to fill their capability gaps. Their differences however is in the way they choose to be compensated. While oDesk chose to be paid out rightly for its services, Dashfire chose to be a part of its client’s business as a partner through stock holding. These methods are not uncommon in today’s business as the strategy and outlook of outsourcing firms are going beyond just providing the needed services to sharing in the risks and rewards of their clients. Also, while oDesk uses independent contractors, Dashfire have in-house teams for every job and employ a vertically integrated structure to carry out projects and where there are no projects, Dashfire programmers work on training modules to improve their skills.

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