In 2009 Tom Tancredi and his twin brother, Dominic, founded Dom and Tom, a digital development shop. To date, they’ve launched over 250 projects across multiple platforms including Web, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Google Glass, Oculus, iBeacon, and Android Wear. Their customers include GE, Hearst Publications, Tyson Foods, Esquire Magazine, Priceline, Bloomberg, Cliff’s Notes, and the Emmys. In 2015, they made the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing companies in America for the second year in a row. Before starting Dom and Tom, Tom worked as a film projectionist, gymnastics coach, preschool teacher, bartender, collections agent, client relations for a law firm, and an executive assistant, all within five years. He says that he was a horrible employee jumping from one job to the next in less than a year, but believes this experience ultimately made him a better boss.
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- [05:50] Tom describes the opportunities that are available with mobile technology. Dom and Tom have helped Priceline make vacation recommendations to those who are stressed, and have worked with the University of Chicago to explore medical opportunities with Google Glass.
- [06:00] As Chief Strategy Officer, Tom can work on any technically feasible project. He helps clients understand hardware capabilities and discusses their ideas with them until they can determine if what they have is a future business or simply a hobby.
- [09:32] Before starting Dom and Tom with his brother, Tom had five jobs in five years, studied to be a TV writer, earned a masters in finance, and has used those experiences to shape him into the leader he is today. He now knows what he wants, and it has propelled him to success.
- [10:29] Dom and several other members of the team have a background in creative arts. Tom shares his insights into why he believes there is a direct and powerful correlation between being a successful developer and remaining engaged in creative activities.
- [12:20] Communication is critical when developing projects, understanding the details of what the client wants, and keeping the production team on the same page. Tom discusses how he finds people who are good at writing code and communicating with other humans.
- [16:22] With SaaS products it can be difficult to strategize your offering, get off the ground, and manage your product development and company growth. Tom describes some of the SaaS products they have developed and why it’s important to start small, do a prototype, test, and move forward using feedback from the users.
- [18:44] Scalability, documentation, architecture, security, databases, and frameworks are all critical elements in producing successful apps. As an agency, Tom and Dom have a track record of broad experience that enables Tom to guide clients through these challenging components to find success.
- [22:35] On average an application requires 5700 man-hours to complete. While that’s a price and time commitment that big companies can make, it can be a seemingly impossible barrier for startups. Tom shares how startups can work within their limited resources to create an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and develop apps and strategies that will help them find growth and success.
- [24:29] Clients can save themselves a lot of time and money by being well prepared before they come to Dom and Tom. Tom gives a detailed example of what a well-prepared client looks like and the preliminary work they did.
- [30:39] After establishing a core set of features, mocking up the product with paper prototypes, and creating an MVP, it’s time to iterate, experiment, and determine what features customers are using. Tom discusses how to establish who beta testers should be, how to gather info from them, and how to make the right pivots based on that feedback.
- [31:40] Tom got his start because people were willing to talk with him and mentor him. Tom still spends a lot of time mentoring and talking to startups that have no money. Every startup is an opportunity for a new career and a new life. Tom finds a lot of value in creating a business that builds more businesses.
- [34:25] Is entrepreneurship the wave of the future? Will big corporations be able to make quick decisions and innovate new ideas in a way that will keep them fresh and their employees engaged? Tom thinks that entrepreneurship is the wave of the future, but also shares his opinion on how big businesses will be able to partner with entrepreneurs to help them remain relevant.
- [37:00] Are colleges training students with the right skills for today’s needs? Tom shares his views on the future of college for his family, alternatives to traditional university programs, and the benefits of university programs. It’s not a simple question to answer and not every person needs the same educational path to find success.
- [41:49] Do you think you have a great idea for a SaaS app? Tom shares his advice on what you should do to lay the best groundwork for the app. It’s all about keeping it simple, removing the risk of human errors, and making it rewarding for users.
- [44:05] Tom shares the best piece of advice he ever received from his mom. Surprisingly, it’s not about following your passion; it’s about getting angry and using that anger to break through walls and overcome obstacles. Being an entrepreneur is not a happy life initially. It’s fraught with frustration, doubt, and fear.
- Dom & Tom – Website for Dom and Tom Tancredi’s development company. They are specialists in user experience and app development for iOS, Android and Web.
- Tom Tancredi on LinkedIn – Another way to connect with Tom Tancredi.
- firstname.lastname@example.org – Tom Tancredi’s email address at Dom & Tom if you want to reach out.
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