Russ: Hi I’m Russ Capper and this is BusinessMakers USA brought to you by Insperity, inspiring business performance. We’re in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida today and my guest is David Hartman, the Founder and CEO of The Silver Logic. David welcome to the show.
David: Hey Russ, good to be here.
Russ: You bet. Tell us about The Silver Logic.
David: So The Silver Logic is a custom software engineering company. We partner with startups and enterprises to build technology solutions with them. Anything from an IOS app, Android app, websites, API integrations as well as APIs, but aside from that also the more cutting edge technology such as IoT – Internet of Things – Blockchain technology, Alexa skills and the one we’ve been focusing a lot on is augmented reality – AR. It’s been very exciting.
Russ: Cool, how old is the company?
David: The company is 5 years now.
Russ: How many employees do you have?
David: We have 32 or so, it’s growing. We’ve been on a plan of hiring one new employee every month and the only exception we’ve made to that is when we’ve hired two instead of one.
Russ: Wow, so are they predominantly Developers?
David: Yes, the vast majority of the company is software engineers. We obviously also have UI/X designers, QA engineers, and just very recently we started to build a marketing agency within the company that we then started also offering those services to clients. So in addition to the software services we have and technology we build we started also doing marketing services.
Russ: Okay, I was just getting ready to ask what do you do to get business so I guess you must have some marketing expertise there if you also have a marketing agency. How do those work together? What kind of marketing services do you offer?
David: So for the marketing a lot has been word of mouth. Clients work with us long term; most of them – even ones from the very beginning of the company – are still with us and most of them have worked with us for a year or well over – 2 or 3 years – so most of our marketing has been word of mouth. Just people loving to work with us and then recommending us.
David: We then, just because we have been growing very steadily, we wanted to grow also our influx of deals and add on marketing. But also in addition to that we’ve noticed that hey, we built amazing technology for our partners, it’s very scalable, but it’s lacking usage and users. SO it’s out there but just because you built something amazing doesn’t mean people come. So that’s one reason we went hey, we’ve been amazing at doing software, let’s also add marketing to that. Where people love the way we do software, let’s do marketing with the same values, transparency and value-driven principles that we can provide those services as well.
Russ: So you’re actually going back to your system customers and saying let us help you get more users and viewers and everything else?
David: Yes. We’re offering to a mix of be it completely different customers, but we’re starting it – we’re trialing it out with we selected two of our customers that we saw hey you are in need and you’ve been looking and asking me about it and asking me if we can expand our marketing services to also offer to external clients. So with those three we selected we decided with you you’re sort of in different fields, we’ll try it out to also offer those services externally.
Russ: So you mentioned a fairly wide array of products, mobile and both categories there and augmented reality I believe. Did you say AI too? You’re doing some of that and IoT; did those evolve just because the technology became available, it became popular in demand and you felt confident that your engineers could handle it?
David: Yes. We started with the classic ones, let’s say the IOS, Android as well as web and API, because you can build most utility platforms with those; most social networks or food ordering platforms, even medical photography platforms that we’ve built and compliance software, those things we’ve built before. Then yes, over time as these technologies evolved and emerged we decided hey, let’s spend some R&D money of getting familiar with them, do some internal projects.
And in the example of AR actually what we did was one of our guys was at WWDC, the Apple event in California, and he was in the session of ARKit, Apple’s version of augmented reality, and he found it very interesting, loved it. We went to a hackathon here in Miami, eMerge Americas, and we were like let’s try it out, let’s play with it for a weekend. A hackathon is a programming competition where you have 24 hours to build a prototype. At the end of that you have 2 or 3 minutes to pitch that prototype presented in front of judges to compete for some prize money. So we used it there, came up with a pretty neat little augmented reality shopping experience using augmented reality and an Alexa skill that we built in, presented it and won the hackathon.
David: Yes, which was pretty exciting because Visa was one of the sponsors and they liked our presentation and the way we competed so much that they then invited us to go to Money20/20 a very big hackathon, the biggest FinTech hackathon in the U.S. or the world, in Vegas.
Russ: Has that already happened or is that in the future?
David: Yes, it has, in October. And out of 100 teams we took it away and won the overall hackathon.
Russ: Congratulations. So has that turned into a consumer or customer’s product at this point in time?
David: It’s in the works still because the first one in Miami where we won was end of June. So we developed the product more – we had a first prototype, we’ve since developed a full version of the product, and with that product we are now, besides helping us actually and championing us to make connections with merchants that they have, so that we can get in front of the right people to get that solution to them. It could be a solution that brings a little more life into brick and mortar retail because the cool thing about AR is that for one, everybody has it on their phone, everybody can use it that has like a 6S or newer on the iPhone.
So you have it very accessible which is a bit different from VR where you need more equipment. So that’s why that space is very exciting to us and yeah they feel like this could be something that it can make the shopping experience more exciting if you can pull out your phone and pan it across different logos and it recognizes the logo and then tells me Macy’s or Ralph Lauren has a deal for buy something and get 20% off.
Russ: Cool. So your company probably is at a pretty interesting stage now, 5 years old, 32 people – isn’t that what you said – so now managing it has to be a little bit more of a challenge and stuff and when you select what prospects you go after and what applications are you personally, as the CEO, are you still involved in that or has that been delegated out to your team?
David: So I’m involved. Mostly my role is networking; going to different events, making connections, building relationships. And then just because I enjoy it very much I’m still very heavily involved in the architecting. Every team has three senior developers that will handle it but I love technology and building technology so I enjoy getting involved in the beginning of a project to see how are we building these things out, what’s the different components; what are the priorities? Because one of the things that we focus on when building something is what delivers the most value to that customer?
What can we do so that with a minimum budget – not that we don’t want you to spend money – what with a minimum budget can we deliver with maximum value so that those things can be dealt with first and then we build on, always delivering value. That’s why I also call people our partners; since we believe in building those long term partnerships where as we build technology we help others grow by introducing technologies to their companies and then we can grow together.
Russ: Okay. So before I let you go I’ve gotta ask this name – The Silver Logic – how did y’all land on that?
David: A little bit of a funny story. Picking names for me has been tricky always; whenever I had my little sole providership before it was tricky. But we knew we were building software, we wanted something that implies that, so that’s how we picked logic because logic is a very important part there. From there we were like okay, logic itself is obviously not a name, let’s put something valuable in front of that. Obviously the first thought was gold but that’s too cliché. Platinum is a little pretentious. Bronze, not quite the value implication there so we came up with silver. Which silver then also has a lot of other meanings behind it which are all positive, good meanings and that’s how we resulted in The Silver Logic.
Russ: Okay. Well David I really appreciate you sharing your story. It sounds like you’ve got a successful company there coming.
David: Yeah, thank you very much.
Russ: You bet. And that wraps up my discussion with David Hartman, the Founder and CEO of The Silver Logic and this is BusinessMakers USA.
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