Paul Keen

Techreviewer spoke with Paul Keen, CEO of web and mobile development company JetThoughts. The interview is a part of a series on web development. Learn more about JetThoughts on their Techreviewer profile.

Please, introduce yourself and your company. What does your company specialize in?

I’m Paul, a founder, and CEO of JetThoughts. We are a Ruby on Rails and React/Vue.js development company which builds web and mobile applications, dealing with anything from software architecture and development to analytics and internal growth strategies.

Who is your ideal client? What industries, regions, or types of businesses are you focusing on? 

Start-ups, small and mid-sized enterprises mostly located in the USA and Europe.

What makes you different from competitors? What are your main competitive advantages?

  • We prescreen and provide training by passionate Ruby on Rails contributors.
  • We provide not just features but effective development. We found practices which are good for startups to work in a highly changeable environment with a distributed team.
  • Guaranty simplicity and visibility to work with the team.

What is your company’s core business model – outsourcing or outstuffing? Do you work with subcontractors? Why do you think such a model brings additional value to your business and your clients? 

Staff augmentation, we extend existing teams.

For some of the startups we have technical outsourcing service - take care of all aspects throughout the development of the project.

Sometimes we use the service of subcontractors (just partners with whom we have already worked), when we need to quickly scale up a project.

Our proposition helps them hire self-managed, flexible Senior Ruby on Rails developers, who will take care of all aspects throughout the development of the project when you want to scale the business fast without losing a client or missing deadlines.

It’s better because we guarantee business safety and stressless environment:

  • Direct Communication:  no managers, liaisons or supervisors involved into development 
  • Riskless: we offer a 2-week trial with no obligation.
    You can test everything and see how it goes with no financial risks at all.
  • Finance Flexibility: 1 day notice to decrease budget or stop contract


How has COVID-19 affected your company? How has it changed your processes? What challenges has the pandemic added to you and your team daily work?

It doesn’t change anything. We have a process designed to work in a distributed team and we have already worked in different places, so the pandemic didn't affect our flow.

How has the pandemic affected your clients?

Clients from the marketing industry have increased their funding. Some other customers from us did not scale the teams, so they just were at the same level. In a nutshell, the condition didn't get worse.

Has COVID-19 influenced your marketing strategies? What are the main channels you use to promote your services now?

We always worked by the recommendations of our partners and clients.

Projects & Clients

What are the key factors that you consider when making a project estimation and proposal for a new client? Please, describe your process when you get contacted by a new potential client. 

We use rough estimates and roadmaps to clarify all client's expectations, new opportunities and their global goals.

To onboard clients we run Lean Inception play to understand goals and brainstorm approaches. As a result we will have 3 month, 6 month and 12 months goals. With those expectations the development team can generate initial backlog and run iterative development. Each month we update the roadmap with new knowledge and priority changes.

What are the top challenges you and your team face in the software development process most often and how do you deal with them?

People may not be available very often, in this case we try to take away all changes and blocking from specific people.

That's why we have built a process that is minimally dependent on a bus factor and this is done thanks to continuous delivery and automatization.

What are the criteria for the success of a software development project?

Short and frequent release cycles and number of errors are the metrics that we use.

From your experience, what are the best practices to attain client satisfaction?

  • Engage the client in the development process, but simplify and automate the client's routine, for spending minimal time on it.
  • Proactive communication, providing frequent results

About Techreviewer

How do you assess the role of research agencies like Techreviewer in bridging the gap between clients and service providers?

There is a lot of competition and it is really difficult for customers to determine who will solve their problems with product release as effectively as possible.

We hope that those guys, as Techreviewer Team will be able to give the information and advice to customers showing the pros and cons of certain teams.

Research & analytics team

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To onboard clients we run Lean Inception play – Interview with JetThoughts