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Q&A | A Conversation with the 52inc Team, Startup

May 26, 2015 - Posted in Carolina Money by Andrea Esselman
52inc Team, Startup

52Inc is an app-development company based in Columbia, S.C. Their focus is quality custom apps on a deadline. Carolina Money contacted co-founders Brendan Lee and Christopher Thibault to find out more about what 52Inc has to offer to businesses in the Richland and Lexington County areas. The 52inc team as a whole responded to our questions. 

Q: What was your inspiration for creating this company? Why “52inc”?

Chris Thibault & Brendan Lee (Co-Founders): 

Back in 2009, Brendan and I were writing iOS apps that we found helpful in school. One of these apps, smartNote, was noticed by a South Carolina investor who ended up helping us start 52apps. The original idea was to build one app a week—hence the “52”. Since then, we’ve expanded our business to include custom app, web, and server development for clients, so we decided to drop the “app” from 52apps Inc and just run with 52inc.

Q: What makes your company stand out from other app-creating companies? Why should people choose your team?

Chris Thibault (Co-Founder): 

I think it comes down to the focus on design that we’ve made the core of all our projects. Having a good user interface and user experience can really set an app apart in the crowded app marketplaces.

Brendan Lee (Co-Founder): 

We place a big emphasis on quality. Many app development companies will build your app for cheap, with little thought to usability or design. We pride ourselves on taking extra time to pay attention to details, and to really get the app “right” for our clients.

Drew Heavner (Android Developer): 

We’re a tight-knit team that works closely together to build high quality, polished apps for our clients in relatively little time. We’ve proven that we can deliver, and we work closely with our clients to exceed their expectations.

Q: 52inc is a team of pretty young people. Is this ever a challenge when dealing with the marketplace?

Chris Thibault (Co-Founder): 

I’ve never been in a meeting where age has been an issue. We do have more seasoned business leadership that keeps us going in the right direction.

Brendan Lee (Co-Founder): 

I’ve never been in a meeting where age has been an issue, either. As long as you can deliver great products, no one questions you.

Q: What is the most difficult project you have worked on so far, and how did you tackle it?

Chris Thibault (Co-Founder): 

Nowadays, we keep many of our client projects private, so I can’t really go into them here. But I can say that one of the hardest parts of running 52inc has been the “growing pains” of project management, when the team began growing to the point that I couldn’t keep track of everything myself.

Q: What are your goals for the company in the future?

Chris Thibault (Co-Founder): 

I would like to see 52inc continue to grow organically. We’re constantly on the lookout for new projects and new team members.

Brendan Lee (Co-Founder): 

I look forward to growing our team with more talented developers and designers. It’s great to work with A-team people, and we’re constantly on the lookout for more of them.

Q: What is a day in the life of the team like? Especially as an all-male team, I’m sure you have some interesting stories to tell!

Gabe Will (Designer): 

We try to make it as fun a place as possible. We all work right beside each other, so it's a really collaborative atmosphere. You'll usually find a few people whiteboarding upcoming features, another couple working through design problems, and then there's always someone playing with the office corgi. (And if you're listening, you'll hear the distant ding of a bell as someone takes our office scooter for a lap around the floor.)

Even though our team consists only of guys, we all come from pretty different backgrounds. But, we'd love to have a more varied team; our lack of diversity unfortunately speaks to how the tech scene as a whole looks.

Q: A young person interested in a career in technology and computer science asks for some words of advice. What would you say?

Chris Thibault (Co-Founder): 

Go on GitHub and find an open-source project you like and check out the code. See if you can find any bugs, fix them, then submit a pull request on the fix. Repeat.

It all comes down to practicing your art. The world of coding is so vast that there will always be something interesting you can contribute to. And don’t be afraid to ask questions when you don’t know what's going on.

http://stackoverflow.com/

https://github.com/

PS: Don’t forget to have fun!

http://thecodinglove.com/

http://www.textfromxcode.com/

Luke Irvin (iOS Developer):

You have the only valuable asset on your side: time. Use it to learn. There are great resources that can be found on the internet. Don’t make excuses. Put in the work. Execute. That’s the only thing that matters.

Drew Heavner (Android Developer):

One thing I always try to tell students and aspiring developers is to invest your time in the work, even if it’s your free time. If you want to be successful in this field, simply taking courses and doing your homework is going to leave you sadly underprepared. You have to go above and beyond your teachings and spend your time outside of class building your knowledge base and honing your craft.

Brendan Lee (Co-Founder): 

Learn everything you can. Don’t wait for someone to teach you things; go out and learn, explore, and build on your own. Even if your first thing isn’t great, the experience you gain will eventually help you to build awesome products.

You can learn more about 52inc from their website at www.52inc.com

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