By now most businesses should be aware of blockchain’s capabilities and benefits – decentralization, security, immutability, smart contracts, etc. All of this is already creating new business models and disrupting industries. Most of the Fortune 500, or at least a good chunk of it, is already experimenting with the technology.
However, like any emerging technology, there’s limited talent/expertise supply on the market. Whether you’re a startup, a corporate, or an entrepreneur with just an idea, it’s quite the challenge to find top-notch blockchain development and consulting expertise. How should one approach this challenge?
In this article, we’ll try to help you navigate the wild blockchain seas, sharing some of the do’s and don’ts in selecting the right blockchain development and consulting company for a partner.
Blockchain consulting companies: Step 1 – Think long term
So you already have the idea, set a budget and maybe even a good team in place, just need a freelancer from Upwork to write a bunch of smart contracts, right? Wrong. When it comes to choosing a technological partner, cheap and quick often turns out to be slow and expensive. The last thing you want is the initial contractor doing a mediocre job that needs be completely revamped afterward, of even worse – disappearing mid-project.
Having a long-term mindset when choosing the right blockchain development or consulting company is fundamental. Ideally, a business should be looking for a team that is able to complete the project from end-to-end (including non-blockchain technical assignment), as well as provide support going forward.
Blockchain consulting companies: Step 2 – Sourcing
How should one source and screen potential Blockchain development partners? Particularly in an emerging space relatively unknown for her or him. A space so technologically complex. The best-case scenario would be of course to have a connection refer to a trustworthy consulting company that they’ve already worked with successfully. But that’s a luxury not many can access. Let’s say we start from scratch. Now what?
A good starting point would be platforms like Clutch.co which provide detailed profiles of tech services firms, including and probably most importantly, customer feedback!
Another place that one may look at is various rankings published online, showcasing ”Top Blockchain Development Companies”. At LimeChain, We’ve been listed among the top development and consulting companies in a number of standings, most recently by Tech Reviewer, however, it makes sense to go through at least a few published lists for objectivity reasons.
Blockchain consulting companies: Step 3 – Due Diligence
Alright, we’ve identified a few potential development partners? What should the screening process be to make sure we’ve made the best decision possible? It would be recommended to establish a two-step validation process: 1. DYOR (do your own research) and 2. External validation.
- Do your own research. This includes everything from the firm’s website through the client portfolio to the founders and even employees’ background on LinkedIn. A shiny website without any real client portfolio (incl. working products) doesn’t really mean much, does it? Likewise, if there’s a Blockchain consulting firm whose people have little to no background available online it’s usually a big red flag. Pro tip: Look for firms specializing in blockchain. If a tech firm markets itself as capable of doing everything from website development to mobile app development to smart contracts, that’s a big red flag! Usually, there’s little blockchain expertise over there.
- Proactively look for external validation. The easiest way to do so is to contact two or three of the development company’s clients and ask them for feedback. More often then not, they’ll be happy to do so.
Following these three steps should result in having at least one strong blockchain consulting and development company in line. From that point onwards, it’s mostly a matter of communication, budget, and approach.
How to choose a Blockchain consulting company – approach, communication, and budget?
Some firms would be a better fit than others based on the development approach and/or technologies used. At LimeChain, for example, we use agile development based on bi-weekly sprints. We believe this allows us and our clients better flexibility going forward as a project’s scope, particular features, and functionalities, can change in the process.
We also believe that communication is key and strive to be in constant communication with our customers. This is often ensured through private messaging groups and weekly stand-ups.
If and when a business chooses the right development partner, the value added by the firm should always be greater than its cost. Thus, although we understand budget constraints, we wouldn’t advise making price the biggest factor when deciding on a blockchain consulting and development partner.
To sum up, working with a development or consulting company should be looked at as a long-term partnership in itself. That definitely goes both ways. Hence it’s essential to make the necessary effort in choosing the right partner based on expertise and values rather than anything else, especially when it comes to emerging technology such as blockchain.