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How This Startup is Making Mobile App Development Easier

How This Startup is Making Mobile App Development Easier

Gigster cofounders Debo Olaosebikan (left) and Roger Dickey.

Image credit: Cody Pickens
This story appears in the 2016 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

If you were a business that wanted an app, your options weren’t always good: You’d likely lose weeks of your life wading through AppTank and Craigslist listings, emailing developers and taking meeting after meeting. Now there’s Gigster, a site that boils all that work down into one sitting. Just fill out a form at Gigster.com outlining your project, budget, time frame and desired features (say, processing orders or handling payments), and the site will send a guaranteed estimate in 10 minutes.

“Founders would take out their credit cards and pay for the project on the spot,” says Roger Dickey, who founded Gigster with engineer Debo Olaosebikan. “It was a series of those ‘one click and go’ transactions that allowed us to grow very quickly as word spread about what we could do.”

The site was started in 2014, and currently works with more than 1,490 freelance designers, developers and project managers. Gigster’s network will build anything from simple mobile apps and websites to advanced product features for existing apps -- and, bonus, it provides a project manager to make sure progress stays on track. That no-fuss process has won a wide range of fans. Gigster began by serving only small businesses, but is now also doing work for the likes of Square, IBM and the World Bank. 

The only catch: Its days of low-cost apps are over. The average project fee on Gigster used to be $7,000, but now that larger companies (and their big budgets) have arrived, prices have risen to an average of $22,000. Still, deals can be had: The minimum fee is $1,000, and simple projects can be done on the cheap. “We can finish a project in a week that would take inside developers a month,” Dickey says, “and I know we’ll do higher-quality work for less money.”