A new company called Teckedin is looking to change the way technology solutions are marketed and sold for both technology users and technology providers. As a platform, Teckedin aims to make it easier for people to find the solutions and integrators that match their unique needs — without being driven by advertising. We spoke with Debby Kruzic, Teckedin’s founder, about the platform, her experience getting work done through Topcoder, and what it takes to succeed with design and development projects.
Teckedin, a technology library and showcase
For technology users, Teckedin offers them a platform on which to search and save information on solutions they currently use or are considering using, learn about different solution providers, and attend virtual tradeshows and webinars on the latest technologies — all without being bombarded by advertising. Debby says, “I liken it to a technology library — a place that you can go that is quiet, where you can check out and save information, and learn.”
For technology providers, Teckedin allows them to showcase their expertise and products through blog posts, whitepapers, and other materials relevant to prospective users. For companies that might otherwise get lost in a Google search, Teckedin ensures that they can be found on the platform based on their location, products, and services. And to even the playing field, all technology providers pay a flat fee.
How Teckedin chose Topcoder for design and development
Before Topcoder, Teckedin had never used crowdsourcing to get design and development work done. Debby says, “I was trying to work with local companies. However, I wasn’t making any progress and was getting discouraged trying to do this on my own.” She first heard about Topcoder at a conference from Peter Diamandis, the chairman and founder of the XPRIZE Foundation and co-founder and chairman of Singularity University. In recent years, Topcoder has gone to Singularity University several times to discuss crowdsourcing on stage with Peter. We also ran a 23-hour live user experience challenge, resulting in seven unique winners and their amazing designs.
“It was very easy to get started with Topcoder,” Debby says. Teckedin is currently working on one larger project with Topcoder and has completed seven crowdsourcing challenges with Topcoder — a combination of design and development work for their website.
Above: crowdsourced changes coming to the new teckedin.com
Getting work done through Topcoder Connect
At Teckedin, Debby is the sole person responsible for creating, submitting, and reviewing projects within Topcoder Connect, our self-service platform. “I receive emails and then sign into Topcoder Connect to communicate, or sign into Google to look at shared docs.” As with every project at Topcoder, Debby has a designated copilot to take her through the crowdsourcing process and interact with the greater Topcoder Community — to relay her requirements, check for quality, and inject Debby’s feedback throughout. “The team approach is what I like best about Topcoder,” Debby says. “Early on, as I was trying to get things moving, I realized I needed a team. Now I have a team with Topcoder.”
One of the biggest benefits of a Topcoder copilot, beyond their project management skills, is their technical expertise — bridging the gap between customer needs and technical execution. “Since I am not a developer, I have to rely on my Topcoder copilot to convey the questions and technical issues that come up,” Debby says. “I have asked a lot of questions to make sure I understand, and have appreciated the answers given and the virtual meetings we have to make sure everything is on track.”
High-quality design, development, and the path forward
Asked about the quality of the submissions Debby received from members of the Topcoder Community for design challenges, she says, “The design submissions were great. It was hard to narrow it down to just one. I enjoyed seeing how the various designers wrote the content and the wording they used. It helped me to refine the message I was trying to convey.”
The main benefit, she says, has been transforming her vision for Teckedin into a reality. Her initial concept began in September 2016, and she spent time and money on resources that didn’t ultimately pan out before trying Topcoder. Debby says, “Since that point, I have been very happy with Topcoder and have referred people when I hear their ideas and that they’re struggling like I was.” Staying on task and on time — and making sure commitments are kept — are important to Teckedin and Topcoder. Debby says, “This is where a lot of projects fail; someone gets pulled away to do something else or finds something that’s more interesting to them. As long as Topcoder continues to deliver on time and I feel my team remains dedicated to my success, I will be a lifelong customer.”