‘Great’ people power process

INTENSE FOCUS: Team members are assigned only one project at a time so they can deliver the best results for a client. Above, Courtney Fanning and Andrew Shedd, member-services supervisors, use a clear board to examine an issue. / PBN PHOTO/RUPERT WHITELEY
INTENSE FOCUS: Team members are assigned only one project at a time so they can deliver the best results for a client. Above, Courtney Fanning and Andrew Shedd, member-services supervisors, use a clear board to examine an issue. / PBN PHOTO/RUPERT WHITELEY

Yes, these are boom times for software design and development, but that’s not the only reason for the explosive growth at MojoTech LLC.

The client roster is growing in part because of how company leaders run the business.

“We challenge your assumptions, offer feedback to make your product better, and genuinely care about your success,” said Nick Kishfy, MojoTech founder and CEO. “We empower you to make the best decisions for your business by providing total transparency and operating as true partners. It’s how we ensure you don’t just get a product, you get the right product that delivers the right outcome.”

That formula has certainly been successful. The company grew 177 percent from 2012 to 2014 and has added about 30 jobs, with most of them at the Providence headquarters. “We’ve essentially been hiring since we started in 2008,” Kishfy said. “We currently have 10 openings listed on our website.”

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Finding new talent is a big challenge at MojoTech, in part because of the company’s high standards. “Our acceptance rate is well under 1 percent,” Kishfy said.

To cope with the staffing problem – and to meet clients’ needs – MojoTech is now casting a wider net. The company has expanded beyond Providence, and now has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Boulder, Colo.

Kishfy launched MojoTech in 2008, after several years working as an engineer for two venture-backed startups.

“Each one sold, which is typically considered a successful exit,” he said. “For me and my fellow engineers, however, those exits weren’t exactly champagne-popping moments. After going through the experience twice, I realized I wanted to work with great people, and know we wouldn’t get the rug pulled out from under us at any moment. I started MojoTech to create the company I wanted to work for.”

In Rhode Island, MojoTech has built Web or mobile applications for Teespring, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, Brown University, Batchbook, ShapeUp, AutoRaptor, Dockwa, Groove and others. Of course, the company also has clients beyond New England.

One of MojoTech’s success stories was helping PINCHme develop a new way to have consumers sample products and gather feedback. The standard passing free sample to passersby is hugely inefficient. Aside from the product waste, brands get little to no feedback from consumers, Kishfy said.

MojoTech also helped develop RandomRun, an app used with wearable devices to help runners, joggers and walkers find new exercise routes. RandomRun creates new routes and gives users turn-by-turn, voice-guided instructions.

At each Mojo office, software engineers and designers work in teams, and are assigned just one project at a time to ensure they stay focused. Office space is arranged to group team members together to enhance collaboration.

“Our process works well, but it’s our people that power it, and that’s how it all starts. … We expect constant improvement, at all levels, forever. No matter how good someone gets at their job, it doesn’t get easier, the bar just gets raised higher.” •