We’ve unpacked the incentives driving service-based businesses and re-oriented them to drive more value per dollar for our clients.
While our recipe begins with exceptional talent, our development process is designed to de-risk your chances of spending all of your money, and still not getting your project completed.
While other development services may appear less expensive on an hourly basis or fixed-price basis, we believe that they cut corners in their development process — and therefore pass on hidden risks (and hidden costs) to their clients and community members.
That’s not how we roll.
Here’s how our process works:
- First, we start with scouting, vetting, and accepting great talent. Gun.io originally started out as a community for elite open source developers who liked to build software for its own sake — in other words, the consummate “hacker.” Today, we’ve expanded our definition of quality beyond just good code (see our Professional Freelancer essay), but our focus on only working with the best of the best remains true. And today, we are 25,000+ strong,
- Then, we ensure that our freelancers are paid exceptionally well. They receive up-to 70% of every dollar you spend with us. No other business in the software development industry pays 70% of their fees directly to their talent (we’ve checked the public filings) — they are bloated by unnecessary internal operational, engineering, and marketing costs. Our biggest investment is in our workforce. Our belief: better paid talent creates better engineering results for you. No algorithms come close.
- Service is in our company’s organizational DNA. Your first call is with a member of our leadership team, your project is managed (at no cost to you) by exceptional product and project managers, and you will receive a 24/7 billing and project administrative contact. No other business in our industry offers this level of service. There are specific processes in our client services department which we can automate, staff with junior staff to expand faster — but deliberately do not.
We remixed the humanity of an agency with the scale of a marketplace — that’s how we deliver the best value per dollar of any business in the software development space.
However, we are in a tremendously large space. You, our client, have many options from which to choose. Below, we’ve included some scenarios wherein it may make sense to go with one of our competitors or another type of service provider altogether.
Hiring Toptal (or other freelance marketplaces) makes sense in the following situations:
- When your project is below $20,000 in size.
- When you are capable of managing developers yourself.
- When you care more about minimizing total cost than maximizing return on every dollar.
Hiring any local agency or solo freelancer makes sense in the following situations:
- When you’ve already established a pre-existing relationship or have received a strong referral from your network.
- When you seek face-to-face interaction and personal assurances on your development dollar.
- When the agency is small and you can interact directly with its key leadership.
Hiring an FTE makes sense in the following situations:
- When you run a venture-backed company with a sizable war-chest, and the velocity of engineering output is more important than getting the most returns for every dollar.
- When you need security clearances for your staff because you are working on government contracts.
- When you know someone very well, and s/he wants to work with you.
We are not the cheapest development service. Neither are we the fastest. But, a check on HackerNews, Reddit, and Twitter will reveal to you that we have the best reputation among programmers — whether they are independent freelancers or whether they are technology executives at the helms of software companies. We’ve earned that reputation by being their champion and delivering great software as a result.
If you’d like to learn more, we encourage you to get in touch.
Direct feedback from our clients:
- "Gun.io helped us take Threatswitch from 'zero to one.’ They worked tirelessly from the design, to the first line of code, to a full production deployment that we're scaling to serve marquee Fortune 50 clients. When we were ready to bring on our own full time team they helped us make a smooth transition. Gun.io is the best choice for serious owner/operators looking to build and scale serious SaaS applications.”
- "Gun.io helped us reach a critical product launch deadline that released substantial locked up revenue potential for our new product line. They integrated with my existing team, including other contractors, and got the ball across the goal line to meet our business mandates. They were accountable and worked with integrity."
- “Perception among the company is that you do what you say you’re going to do”
- "The team that you’ve assembled for us is remarkable. It's the combination of transparency, ease of communication, and ability to get it done that is winning...and it helps that the developers we have assigned to us are extremely bright.”
- “I can’t stress enough how great having you guys right there on Slack has been”
- “The thing that I’ve found most valuable about Gun, is your ability to articulate to me, a Creator… how to advance, how to make my dream into a viable, real possibility.”
- "In general, just has been an incredible experience”. [Gun.io is] the best thing to happen to Spreesy in a long time.”
- "As a neurotic entrepreneur who can barely manage one executive assistant without driving her nuts (thank goodness she's patient!), I'm both fascinated and humbled by the team's process execution here with so many people involved. I have nothing to add but 'keep up the awesome work' and 'I look forward to going along for this ride.’”
- "I like how Gun.io came to our engagement armed with a tight process, but also willing to listen and adapt to my needs as a project owner and stakeholder. I got the security of knowing they both wanted to write good code and also sincerely wanted to do the right thing to get my product launched. I've paid higher rates for results that didn't stand up to what my Gun.io team has provided."
- "I engaged Gun.io to build a custom solution for my startup with the full intention of bringing low six figures to the table. Instead of just taking our money and starting to blindly code, our project manager sought out off-the-shelf solutions, one of which ended up serving our needs. It's a high integrity move to point this out to a client at the expense of substantial revenue, and I'm grateful."
- "Before I setup our meeting [with you], [our CEO] was in contact with another company that offered to do the work at about half the price of Gun.io, but we value our relationship [with you]. Our profit margin will be much smaller working with you guys and our client will have to pay more, but the confidence we have in you and your team makes you our preference."
- "The fact that you are hands on is an asset for us. Ideally I know our interests are being looked after with Gun.io, which is important.”
- “Great round of guys. We'll be using you guys again and again!”
- "Really liked the process on Gun.io! The best bits for me were: having your input before the job went live — this really helped nail down the brief so the correct people were interested by it. Much better than blindly posting to a job board and missing potential leads by not including something I might have missed. The process of receiving applications was great - one email to read through rather than getting bombarded from each developer was a big time saver, especially with you guys recommending the most suitable person.
- “Flexible, personal approach — I didn’t feel like I had to jump through hoops to get my job on there, and every contact point was friendly and easy going.”
- "There's really no small price you can put on getting introduced to quality people like that.”
Let us know if you’d like to perform reference checks. We are happy to put you in touch with current clients. Most names are removed for privacy.