The beginnings of Rootstrap originated when Ben Lee started Neon Roots in 2011. He recognized a flaw in the traditional agency model – agencies were good at selling clients products they didn’t need, while raising their prices, instead of truly helping them. Once these agencies got their clients dependent on them, the idea of staying lean and building true MVPs went out the window.
Ben saw an opportunity to create real value and build genuine long-term relationships with clients, far more than he could ever predict, with a straightforward process that brought results. When clients came to Neon Roots with an idea, this process that became a prerequisite to every development job that Neon Roots took on.
The process, currently named Roadmapping™, was intended to address the questions of: what are we building, and why are we building it, all before any client money was wasted in writing code. Other agencies claimed to offer discovery or inception services but those were meant to create additional “needed” features to push the client down paths way beyond their budgets.
Once the questions were discussed and answered, the concept was story-boarded and rich hi-fidelity mock-ups were designed to create a click-through prototype. With the prototype and research done by the Neon Roots team, the owner of the idea, the founder, was empowered to make an unbiased decision – build the product/service or not. Let the data to the talking.
Dozens of startups have raised millions in VC funding thanks to the Roadmapping™ process. Neon Roots won over a dozen industry awards for the process and have been praised in publications like Forbes weekly.
The Roadmapping™ process became so successful as standalone pre-development workshop that it eventually made sense to partner with a solid web and mobile agency that could grow with the development demand created by Neon Roots. Through Ben’s time spent in Montevideo, Uruguay he met and ultimately partnered with Anthony Figueroa and Fernando Colman, the founders of TopTier Labs, that agency he was looking for. With the additional capacity of a solid and growing development team, Neon Roots could support the growing client demand while staying agile and delivering great work at competitive pricing.
With the success of this partnership Neon Roots and TopTier Labs officially merged in 2016 under the name of Rootstrap and has become one of the largest nearshore development studios in the region. With a combined portfolio of over 250 products, 100M+ downloads, and 500M+ combined revenue from clients, Rootstrap is the leading partner for digital solutions, Voted Best Dev Shop by Clutch and a client roster that would make any agent at CAA jealous.
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