SubwayTalent connects event planners with musicians looking for gigs, including small parties, major corporate events, and weddings. The app allows planners to book talent directly from their phones. SubwayTalent is the brainchild of Bens Hilaire, a south Florida entrepreneur who is also a musician himself. Earlier this year, Bens was invited to appear on Apple’s new series, Planet of the Apps, to pitch SubwayTalent to investors. The show boasts Jessica Alba and will.i.am among its judges. However, the app needed to launch prior to the show’s airing, creating a tight deadline for Bens’ team.
Challenge: Hiring talented developers on a tight timeline
As a non-technical founder, Bens needed skilled developers to make his vision a reality. Initially, Bens was hesitant to hire an external contractor, due to a negative past experience building a demo. But with his Planet of the Apps appearance looming, Bens didn’t have an additional one- to two-months to screen and hire in-house talent. He needed developers he could trust to complete the work on-schedule.
To augment his team, Bens turned to Tara’s global contractor network. Tara utilizes machine learning to objectively rank developers’ coding skills, so Bens knew he would be connected with talented developers. Within 24 hours, the Tara platform recommended and assigned Bens a team.
Tara’s AI scoping system examined Bens’ project, and determine that he needed both front- and back-end developers. “Over the course of working with the Tara team, I learned several programming languages, from Swift to Objective-C, as well as the difference between front-end and back-end developers,” says Bens.
Value Added: Hands-on customer service and willingness to go the extra mile
Tara identified front-end and back-end iOS developers, as well as a product manager, to build the SubwayTalent app. With weekly check-ins and progress reports generated via the platform, Bens was continuously aware of the app’s development, and was able to schedule sprint meetings with his developers and the Tara project success manager at a moment’s notice. Bens shares: “The developers assigned by Tara were invested in making sure the app was successful. They were hands-on not just in coding, but also in sharing ideas and finding ways to solve problems. Their specialized skills really enhanced our existing team.”
“Tara’s contractors are about doing their best work as developers, and making sure our final product was successful.”
Bens reports that Tara’s developers were part of his team. “I’m in New York, so there was a big time difference between some of the contractors and me. Even at 2am their local time, they hopped on calls and went the extra mile. There was constant communication.”
By the time Planet of Apps aired, SubwayTalent was ready for musicians and event planners to download, and Bens had the opportunity of showcasing his app to millions of viewers, and celebrity judges including Jessica Alba and Gary Vaynerchuk.SubwayTalent is now available for download on iTunes.
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