This week, Website Planet
had the opportunity to interview Joe Tuan, CEO and Founder of Topflight Apps
. He was happy to share some details about the company, how it evolved over time, and what is in the pipeline for the company.
Please present Topflight Apps to our audience
Topflight is an award-winning product design company in Irvine, CA. We are a team of product, UI/UX designers, developers, DevOps engineers, and ex-founders. Together, we build software in multidisciplinary and innovative ways that enable our partners to achieve their next leg of growth. Our client list includes high-growth startups and brands like Dermasensor, Medable, Scripps, and Southwire.
Here are a few notable milestones in our short history:
– Inc5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in 2022
– Ranked by Clutch as a top health app developer in the United States.
– Helped clients raise over $200 million in funding.
– Grew WalkerTracker’s mobile app, raising app store rating from 2.7 to 4.5, leading to acquisition by TerryBerry in 2022.
– Grew Rocketmath web game to 320,000 student users, 2x growth since 2021.
– Grew Soberbuddy’s mobile app, raising retention by 300%, average engagement time by 40%, and app store rating from 3 to 4.5.
– Grew DedicaHealth Remote Patient Monitoring to land $300k/yr SaaS clients
Please describe the story behind the company: What sparked the idea, and how has it evolved so far?
The origin story of Topflight isn’t that interesting. During my previous healthcare startup, my biggest pain point was hiring good developers, so I took the team I already built and applied it to consulting other clients. Pragmatic. But what happened after that surprised me, as every year became exponentially more challenging and rewarding to grow and keep growing.
Fast forward 6 years, and we’re now much more of a swiss army knife of product development, not because we set out to do it all. We realized that turning a properly developed app into ROI for clients is as difficult as properly coding it and by keeping both in-house we can guarantee better product outcomes for our clients, whether it be app revenue, fundraising, or acquisition. We’re proud of having built up our skills, agility, and flexibility to rival that of a painstakingly-recruited 7-person startup team at the annual cost of 1-2 engineers.
We also launched TF fund this year, where we take equity in a select number of clients. Each of our fund portfolio companies thus far has raised 7 figures.
What services do you offer?
We help with product strategy, UI/UX design, full-stack web and app development, automated testing, machine learning, DevOps, software compliance (HIPAA, IEC), app maintenance, ASO & other app marketing, and fundraising.
Who are your typical customers, and what do you think is the main challenge that your product solves for them?
We’ve had the most experience in healthcare first, and fintech second. The main challenge that we see with most typical customers is the inability to turn a big idea into a minimally viable launch, and then once the MVP is launched, iterating from there towards the big idea in a data-driven way. That’s why our clients that have achieved the best results have been multi-year relationships, even though we successfully launched MVPs in the first 6 months.
We’ve realized the most common pitfall in our industry is working with a firm that is missing a long-term mindset. Short-term decisions have long-term costs. We take pride in operating nimbly to launch initial versions of the product quickly, while also designing, strategizing, and coding in a way that scales toward user growth and future feature changes dictated by the market.
Which trends and technologies do you find to be particularly intriguing these days?
We’re very interested in the intersection of remote patient monitoring, artificial intelligence, and blockchain. And not because of buzzwords. We believe the future of healthcare is decentralized, and that decentralizing will solve the biggest problems plaguing healthcare: gatekeepers and lack of interoperability. We enjoy building platforms that utilize connected devices and AI to inform patients how they’re doing between
doctor visits and are exploring the addition of blockchain for patients to have direct visibility into their own health data in real-time.
As part of our effort to not “reinvent the wheel” we are also building our own codebases (available as licenses) for commonly-seen features across healthcare products such as scheduling and messaging.
Lastly, we continue to experiment with emerging tools for validating new product ideas such as figma and no-or-low-code platforms.
What are the plans for Topflight Apps for the near future?
We believe that the loss of innovation will signal our death. Our plan is to continue investing in upskilling, and refining processes to get from ideation to launch to growth, and in-house SaaS products. Our long-term expectation is for the majority of our clients to achieve positive ROI through lowered product development costs and increased predictability of product outcomes. We hope to reach this outcome in the next 2-3 years.