Company Size

Startup

Company Location

California

Testing Type

Functional, Exploratory

App Type

Web & Mobile

Testing Coverage

US & UK

Greenstack

Avoiding Another Costly Mistake

Like many startups, Greenstack – a mobile and web company designed to help people aggregate their membership discounts – was giving testing their best effort with few resources. The company’s employees were often recruited to test products pre-launch. Right away, Greenstack CEO David Hehman knew this wasn’t a good approach.

“The downside was that we were using our development talent to test, which isn’t the best use of their time or talent,” he said. “And with the rest of the team we were using people who were inexperienced in testing.”

Then the worst happened. Greenstack released a version into Apple’s App Store with a major bug.

“There were some corner cases where the app wasn’t compatible with something and we ended up with an app in the store that was broken,” Hehman said. “Had we had the right QA process in place we would have avoided that and the scramble to get Apple to replace the app.”

The growing company encountered another problem when they expanded to the web.

“With our web app version, we found that we didn’t have enough people to focus on broad-based browser testing as we quickly iterated on the UI design and business logic,” Hehman said.

Hehman turned to Applause to help Greenstack cover the complex matrix they were tackling and test the app around the country.

The Cost of Applause

Hiring another full-time employee, or even some part-time help, wasn’t economically feasible, according to Hehman. Applause, on the other hand, gave Greenstack testers when and where the company needed them. It also gave Hehman the peace of mind that Greenstack wouldn’t experience another major post-launch bug because of a lack of testing.

"The cost benefit analysis is pretty easy when you look at the salaries of your engineering staff and the cost of not having a mistake, mistakes can make or break you these days."

Applause's crowdsource solution proved to be the perfect fit for a fast moving startup like Greenstack.

"For much less than the cost of a single full-time QA engineer you can get 5-10 testers plus a dedicated uTest (now known as Applause) lead to manage them. For a small, entrepreneurial team, it’s a deal."
-- David Hehman, CEO, Greenstack

The Benefits of Applause

While working with Applause, Hehman said Greenstack was able to identify and correct high priority bugs, push more releases and get better testing coverage. According to Hehman, Applausehelped Greenstack face challenges like:

  • “The complexity of mobile today makes testing difficult. The landscape of what you need to test, you can’t do it in-house. You simply can’t cover the different use cases that are out in the market.”
  • “With uTest (Applause), you can have people out testing where you need them wherever people will be using your product. If someone wanted to know which restaurants offered a AAA discount in Kansas, we couldn’t test that alone.”
  • “Work with uTest (Applause) could be throttled up and throttled down and you could put the focus on the right project at the right time.”

In addition to catching high priority bugs, Hehman feels that Applause's testers also helped improve the quality of the product overall by being extremely thorough.

“Some of the bugs were not a priority at the time, but the comprehensiveness of uTest (Applause) helped catch additional opportunities to improve the product in the future and that’s what it’s all about – putting out a good, high quality product,” he said.

Conclusion

Applause provided Greenstack with the cost-effective, wide-reading solution the company was looking for. By moving QA out of the office, Greenstack’s developers were free to continue their quick iterations and address the most important, disruptive bugs first.

The entire process helped Greenstack become more efficient, avoid scrambling to correct another post-launch bug and adequately cover the wide geographic and device reach of the company’s users. In the end, it all contributed to putting out that good, high-quality product Greenstack was aiming for.