5 Years of Running D Shop
I started Wepala to create a company that would build amazing things. At a time when outsourcing work to Asia was the thing to do, I realized that the Caribbean was better positioned to deliver (no time or language barriers). I was pitching Nearshoring before there was a buzzword for it. Over the last five years, we’ve developed relationships with our clients as we built out minimal viable products (MVPs) for them and watched as they’ve found their place in the market. We’ve also been able to develop our products, and we’ve learned a tremendous amount along the way.
As we look forward to another five years, I want to continue this hybrid agency model of not just executing one-off projects but helping our clients and their products evolve. We’ve formalized our processes and focussed on an iterative approach to product innovation and development. In just a week, we are able to build a functional prototype and validate new innovations with actual potential users. With a prototype in hand, entrepreneurs, CTOs, and CPOs can make decisions understanding what can work. An excellent example of this is the North Coast Jazz mobile app we created. We used the design sprint to brainstorm and validate with patrons what should be in a festival app, and two weeks after the design sprint, we had an app in the App Store and Play Store.
As an entrepreneur myself, I know the frustration of having something in your mind’s eye but not being able to see it come to fruition. Your idea may not always be a hit but not knowing is worse than failure. I’ve been most happy about being able to try a lot of the ideas that have come up with the team (including trying bitcoin mining). I believe everyone has great ideas, but it’s the execution that matters.