SOCPOC is an online professional community for people of color.
Founder and CEO of SOCPOC, Laramie Mergerson, has worked in the corporate world for over 10 years. Through his experience working as an African American in large corporations he discovered a very interesting pain point - finding and organizing other minorities on LinkedIn is extremely challenging. Furthermore, an online community that encompassed all diverse professionals simply did not exist at the time.
This was when Laramie came up with the idea for SOCPOC, created a clickable prototype, and reached out to Aloa to outsource his development overseas.
SOCPOC officially launched in summer of 2020. With certain political events and crisis happening around that time, SOCPOC was able to gain instant traction with professionals of color. It's goal is to get to 10,000 active users by the end of the year and 100,000 active users by the end of 2021.
Through outsourcing with Aloa, Laramie was able to save over $20,000 in the MVP development and between $3000-$4000 per month in dedicated a development team versus hiring in-house developers or using a domestic software development agency. By leveraging the Aloa platform, Laramie was able to save a ton of effort in product management and international payments, allowing Laramie to focus more on SOCPOC's marketing efforts.
The Aloa - SOCPOC relationship is going strong today. Leveraging Aloa Manage and the efficient workflow/development process created by his Strategist, Laramie has been able to successfully bootstrap and iterate his product as a solo founder.
SOCPOC faced 3 major challenges throughout the course of development. First was finding the right software development partner overseas that was a good fit in terms of budget, timeline, and talent. Laramie was fully bootstrapping the MVP build, so he needed a development team that was both highly capable and cost efficient.
Second, Laramie was a non-technical founder, and it was also his first time working with an outsourced overseas team. Going into the relationship, there was no existing workflow, process, or strategy with which the Aloa Development Partner could follow in order to make the software development experience smooth, seamless, and efficient.
Lastly, Laramie is a father of three, works a full time job, and was a solo founder for SOCPOC. He was already spread very thin and therefore needed to be hyper efficient with his time. Laramie needed to keep everything very organized and streamlined during the course of development so that he wouldn't have to spend extra unneeded effort when working with his outsourcing team.
Laramie got connected and collaborated with his Aloa Strategist to find the right software development firm in the Aloa Partner Network. Laramie's Aloa Strategist did a thorough search through the Aloa Partner Network and found an Aloa partner firm in India that was the best fit for the job. The Aloa Strategist successfully negotiated the MVP development cost of Laramie's behalf then kicked off the development project with Laramie and the Aloa Partner.
Before the project kickoff, the Aloa Strategist had a meeting with Laramie to create a custom development strategy and process for iApp to follow. The Strategist also laid out a standardized work flow leveraging 3 main tools (Aloa Manage, Slack, and Zoom) to make Laramie's software outsourcing experience as smooth and painless as possible.
Finally, the Aloa Strategist trained Laramie on how to effectively leverage the Aloa Manage platform to his advantage during the course of development with the Aloa Partner. Laramie picked up how to use the Aloa platform extremely fast and was able to organize all of his product plans, feedback, and bugs into one place. Moreover, Laramie didn't have to get on early or late night calls very often because the Aloa Partner filled out Daily Standup Forms and uploaded video demos into the Aloa platform for Laramie to see progress on what has been done.
Running a business is hard,
Software development shouldn't be ✌️