A series of Forbes Insights profiles of thought leaders changing the business landscape
“Capitalism demands the best of every man – his rationality – and rewards him accordingly. He leaves everyone the freedom to choose the job they like, to specialize in it, to exchange their product for that of others, and to go just as far. the road to success because his abilities and his ambition will lead him. –Ayn Rand, For The New Intellectual
What does a Lithuanian-born computer and software engineer, quoting Ayn Rand, do to rethink the software design and development consulting industry? Aurimas Adomavicius and his four partners (all of Lithuanian origin) created Devbridge Group not only bringing their customers a higher level of know-how in creating software solutions, but also providing an unusual business model that focuses on full transparency of its invoicing and customer service.
“We’ve been in business for six and a half years now. We see ourselves as an engineering partner to our customers and we focus very strongly on empowering businesses through technology, ”said Adomavicius. Customers come to us because we guarantee delivery of a digital project to market within a set time and budget and we have a proven method and workflow for doing so.
Devbridge is positioned as a global software design and development company that creates complete and customized solutions for enterprise mobile and web, with a sleek design aesthetic to deliver exceptional results to category leaders in industries. manufacturing, healthcare, financial services and retail. The company produces more than 100,000 hours of engineering per year, creating custom mobile and cloud-based solutions for mid-market customers and businesses such as the Art Institute of Chicago. Although growing rapidly, the company was seeded from the start and has not yet sought outside funding.
“We started out as consultants. All of the company’s partners worked in different areas of the tech industry. We worked for different organizations and started consulting at night and on weekends. At one point we said we had enough work to be able to open our office and quit our jobs; just start doing it on our own and have our own business, ”says Adomavicius. There were five of us when we created the company in 2008. Since then, we have doubled in size each year and now have 125 employees in three offices.
Perhaps unique to the category and among consulting services in general, Devbridge believes in complete transparency in how they work with clients and how they charge for their work. “We actually have apps and tools that we’ve built for ourselves that show our customers how we operate on a day-to-day basis and how we ensure product delivery.
The app is called PowerUp – it allows customers to see the staff members assigned to their project as well as the time people are spending day to day, up to 15 minute increments. With this level of transparency, the company believes it can generate the same value for its client as a large consulting firm that can price itself based on value. Devbridge will be a much more attractive partner to the business in the long run, as customers will know they are equally interested in solving their problems, all at a fraction of the cost.
The innovative service also helps its clients to become better designers and developers themselves by creating a different development model that they can teach others to use.
“The evolution of the industry has been what is often referred to as a ‘cascade’; where everyone builds software in a linear fashion. While this approach works in the short term, we see the stunt fail around 1,500 person-hours. So this indicates that there is a certain level of complexity beyond which the linear product design no longer works as well, as the assumptions no longer apply when you have completed three quarters of the project, ”says Adomavicius.
Devbridge also created a process that they called a “Blueprint”. It combines a lean product design of story-mapping sessions, user workflow sessions, and rapid on-site prototyping that also trains customers on how to run those sessions.
Adomavicius’ journey as an American entrepreneur and capitalist began in Lithuania. After graduating from high school, he returned to the United States to earn a college degree in computer science with a minor in mathematics from Roosevelt University in Chicago. It is a classic tale of immigrants. “Life was not so good in Lithuania when I was young. My parents struggled despite their high level of education. My mother was an art teacher and my father a physicist. There was a lot of poverty and few opportunities. It was my mother’s mission to get me out of Lithuania and expose me to opportunities in the United States. Now I am an American citizen and very proud of it, ”said Adomavicius.
Like many in his situation, he attended school full time while working full time. After graduating he got his first job at a small business where he was one of three people in their IT department. This allowed him to be exposed to a wide range of challenges and technological solutions for businesses.
“I started to consult because people asked me to help them. At first I did it for friends, then people I knew… then I gained experience working for small companies and consulting at the same time. Once I was in this business for five years, I had met my partners, ”says Adamovicius.
As one of Ayn Rand’s characters, Adomavicius and his partners founded their own business based on the shared belief of fighting mediocrity. “It’s our mentality in terms of pricing and positioning of our process. It is anchored in the culture of the company that we are very responsible. We are very transparent and we are very meticulous when it comes to data analysis. As a result, every year we’ve been in business we’ve been profitable, and over the past two years we’ve had a profit margin of over 20 percent, ”says Adomavicius.
It is gratifying to see that the American entrepreneurial capitalist ideal is alive and well, constantly renewed through the efforts of immigrants like Adomavicius who are working hard to build a new life in the United States. “I believe there are so many opportunities in this country, if you just want to work and apply… as long as you have this intolerance of mediocrity,” Adomavicius says.
What awaits Devbridge?
“We have ambitious, ambitious but achievable goals. We want to be an organization of 1,000 people by 2020. And the reason we want to do that is that with size we can solve bigger and bigger problems, ”Adomavicius concluded.