The Challenge

The client spent two years and hundreds of thousands of dollars with another vendor. They had little to show for it.

The Solution

Twin Sun created feedback loops, prioritized bug fixes, and outlined a roadmap for public launch. Our developers built upon the existing code base to minimize costs and time to launch.

The Results

We delivered the first public release within four weeks. After launch, we refreshed the user experience and added support for Android devices.

Making Birthday Greetings Unique Celebrations

It’s Your Birthday! (IYB) is a platform for creating fun and meaningful birthday videos for your friends and family. IYB helps you produce a birthday video using your own photos and videos of the celebrant, stitched together with catchy music by rising artists. With a few clicks, your unique video creation will be sent on its way, giving your friend or family member a unique and memorable birthday greeting.

Their Previous Developers Saw No End in Sight

IYB began their startup journey with another development agency. They spent over two years and hundreds of thousands of dollars to build their mobile and web apps. The vendor negotiated work under multiple time and materials (T&M) contracts and tried to build complex supporting services themselves instead of using reliable third-party services. They repeatedly missed IYB’s expectations for a public launch date.

Communication was chaotic. IYB’s confidence in their old vendor eroded over time. The mobile app had bugs that made it unusable. In fact, IYB never saw a functioning version of the Android app. At one point, progress on birthday video creation inexplicably took a sudden and significant step backward.

The IYB team didn’t know when—or if—their app would see the light of day.

"They validated that we had a bad previous engagement, and made it their goal to treat us differently than our last vendor did."

Christina Clark, President, It's Your Birthday!

We Focused on What Had to Be Done for a Quick Public Launch

When IYB reached out for help, the first thing we did was review their existing code base. We understood that IYB had invested a lot of time and money in making their vision for personalized birthday videos a reality, and we wanted to make the best of their earlier investment. Oftentimes, agencies will review an existing project and say it needs to be rewritten from scratch. It’s an attractive option for agencies: it’s easier than understanding messy and buggy source code, and it’s typically more lucrative than fixing what’s already there.

However, there are plenty of lessons to be learned even from a poorly written application. The existing code was a recorded history of business logic, implementation details, and workarounds to device-specific issues that a rewrite would certainly face again. We knew that the best path forward for IYB’s business was to make the best of the code they already had.

The initial goal for IYB was to get a functioning iOS app in the Apple App Store. Our code review identified the most critical issues with the mobile application. We recommended prioritizing fixes for only those issues and then finishing up incomplete features needed for a launch. Our launch proposal was simple: focus on making the key user flow work well and hide ancillary broken features for the first public release.

"Their help has been miraculous—where other companies see a wall, they see an opportunity to find a solution."

Christina Clark, President, It's Your Birthday!

Their App Went Live In One Month

Our surgical approach to tackling the IYB code base minimized the time and budget required to bring the It’s Your Birthday! app to the App Store. Twin Sun delivered a mobile app that IYB approved for public release to the App Store within one month. After two years of what felt like a never-ending development process with their previous vendor, IYB finally had an app they could celebrate.

Our team leads the ongoing development efforts for IYB’s mobile and web apps. We designed and implemented a complete reimagining of IYB on Android and iOS, making birthday video creation even more enjoyable with a unique, beautiful, and intuitive user experience. Twin Sun continues to provide production support and new feature development for the It’s Your Birthday! platform.

IYB app store reviews: 1. Birthday fun! What a unique and fun app. 2. Better than a text. No one sends cards anymore. This is more fun than a text or card! 3. Making memories to last a lifetime. Love this app! I will never buy another birthday card.

"I feel so good that there are capable people I trust on the other end of this thing."

Christina Clark, President, It's Your Birthday!

Read more about our relationship with It’s Your Birthday! in Christina’s review on Clutch.