When Mitch met Mitch
Silicon South Supporter Mitch Clay shares his experiences and what Humancrafted is setting out to achieve.
So the best place to start is to learn about yourself, your experiences and how it’s got you to where you are today.
Hi, I’m Mitch Clay, Founder and Technical Lead at Humancrafted.
I’ve spent my whole career in software and tech, most recently in FinTech and IoT projects. I’ve been fortunate enough to work for some big brands in the past, including Visa and Telegraph Media Group, where I worked on everything from payment processing platforms to new product development.
I founded Humancrafted nearly two years ago, and it has been a great adventure. The business has grown really quickly and we’ve landed some incredible projects. I’ve learned that there’s a big appetite out there for development partners who can listen carefully to a complex brief and execute high-quality work, which is ultimately what we’re all about.
I suppose then for someone who’s part of the Silicon South network, what services can you provide?
At Humancrafted, we describe ourselves as “the digital product consultancy trusted by engineers”. We speak the language of CTOs and the business, and our mission is to deliver technically excellent products that users love.
Very often our clients have a lot of business & product knowledge themselves already. They know what they want to achieve, and they want to know that the technical delivery will be executed flawlessly. We’re the perfect development partner for clients like this who either don’t have the time to get stuck into product management, or don’t have the precise specialist knowledge they need to bring their ideas to life.
We support clients throughout the full project lifecycle, so everything from Wireframes to Design to Web & Mobile Development, Backend & Cloud Development, right the way through to Performance Testing & Auditing. We don’t focus on one specific app type or industry, but we tend to get a lot of complex and bespoke projects.
The best digital solutions come from great people (…which is why the business is called Humancrafted!) We work with a deep pool of trusted engineers who are all experts in their field. When a new project starts, we provision a specialist team whose talents are aligned with the needs of the project, then we get to work. I often act as Tech Lead and project manager on behalf of the client.
So what kind of projects have you been working on recently?
We’ve been working on two exciting projects with our partners recently:
- We’ve worked on a brand new investment app on IOS and Android, allowing users to buy and sell tokenised assets on the blockchain. Our role in this project was to successfully deliver the app into a beta phase (with real users trading assets). We’re just wrapping this one up and we’re really excited about it.
- The second was for a leading provider of transportation management solutions where we were given the scope to help define their brand-new micro-mobility tracking product (think Beryl bikes and electric scooters). This has been really exciting as we’ve acted as the tech partner on this product all the way from inception through to delivery.
What does a typical project with Humancrafted look like?
We start with a few discovery sessions, where we sit down with the client to define and flesh out the product proposition from both the user’s perspective and the technology side. This first stage includes wireframes, technology reviews and a detailed delivery plan. The discovery stage can take a morning or a couple of weeks — it all depends on the project.
The next step is to build a roadmap for the project, agree milestones, and set out our talent provision plan. We prefer to offer a fixed price to deliver each project, so costs are usually set in stone at this stage.
As soon as we know what we’re doing and how we’re doing it, we put our heads down and get building. The amount of client input at this stage varies. Some clients want Daily Stand-Ups and Weekly Progress Demos throughout the build, whereas others just want to see a finished article and give final notes. We are happy to work to any methodology — what matters to us is that the end result is as good as it can possibly be.
Moving forward, what do you have planned for the new year?
We’re wrapping up a few 2020 projects over the coming weeks, then we have a few projects lined up for the spring that clients had to postpone due to Covid uncertainty. We’ve won a few new contracts through word-of-mouth, too, so over the next few weeks we’ve got to work out project start dates that suit everyone’s diary.
On the business development side, we have a lot of Zoom calls already booked. We have a lot of discovery sessions in the diary for Q1 2021 already, which is great. Medium-term, we’re offering a free morning discovery session for clients with new project ideas as well as audits of clients’ current technology stacks.
Perfect. Great. So then finally then you’ve joined the Silicon South Supporters Network. Why have you done so?
I love the idea of proving you don’t have to be in London to build great products. I think for me it’s also about building a local community of like-minded business owners, and all the great events and work you guys put in to support us. Just the advice you were able to share on grants alone this year has been incredibly helpful.
Great. And I think that quite nicely wraps it up. Thanks for chatting with me today Mitch.