Updated: Jun 3, 2020
Pioneer Mobile Applications was founded in 2012 by Phil Scarfi and has been in business for over eight years. They’ve brought the visions of many individuals and companies to life with mobile app development and design. They’ve worked with Buzzfeed, UMass Amherst, and All in One Music Applications, to name a few. I wanted to virtually meet with Phil and discuss his experiences and where he sees Pioneer going in the future.
SO, PHIL, WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO START PIONEER?
When I first started developing apps, I was making them for everyday tasks that would make my life easier. Eventually, my friends started finding out that I had this skill, and they asked if I could make some apps for them. As time went on, I was able to see the effect I had on other people by being able to bring their ideas to life. It made me feel incredible, so I continued to pursue the mission of helping others turn ideas into reality through mobile apps, and now I’m here!
DO YOU REMEMBER YOUR FIRST CLIENT? WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO HAVE YOUR FIRST PROJECT, AND HOW DID IT GO?
Believe it or not, one of my first clients was also one of the biggest, UMass Amherst. I initially made an app that I could use to gather all of the dining hall menus and put them in one place to quickly see what they were serving for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. My RA in my residential hall found out that I made this and had me tell the Dean of Students about it. The Dean of Students then sent me over to the head of the dining services, and they were interested in building the app out to provide it to all of the students at the universities. Working with large institutions like this had a lot of hoops you had to go through, but it was an incredible learning experience.
NOW YOU’VE WORKED WITH SOME VERY NOTABLE CLIENTS, WHAT WAS THAT LIKE? WERE YOU NERVOUS ABOUT TAKING ON SUCH A CLIENT, AND WHAT WAS ONE OF THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES YOU FACED ON THAT PROJECT?
When it comes to working with the more notable clients, I was absolutely nervous. The biggest thing that I have learned is that it’s important to be yourself and act like it is any other client. All of our past client relationships were successful, so as long as we stuck to what we did best, everything should go as planned. The biggest challenge when it comes to working with larger clients is that there are usually many more people involved in the process. It was essential to have a single point of contact for any concerns for issues, but simultaneously have an environment where we can efficiently get feedback from numerous members. Since Pioneer’s clients are based throughout the United States, we turn to platforms to manage communications such as Slack.
IF A COMPANY, BUSINESS, OR INDIVIDUAL WAS ON THE FENCE ABOUT HAVING A MOBILE APP, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THEM?
If a company, business, or individual was on the fence about have a mobile app, I would be completely transparent with them and list out both the pros and cons. In about 99% of the cases, having a mobile app developed is beneficial in one way or another. We are living in a world where people are spending hours per day on their mobile devices. More and more people are moving away from their computers and getting tasks done on their iPhones, iPads, tablets, and other mobile devices. Whether you are looking to make your business more efficient, solve an everyday problem, or make money, having an iPhone or Android app developed is a route worth exploring.
LASTLY, WHERE DO YOU SEE PIONEER 5 YEARS FROM NOW?
In 5 years, I see Pioneer working with a wide variety of clients, both small and large. We hope that some of our smaller clients will grow and turn into larger clients down the road. New technology comes out every day, so Pioneer will continue to stay on top of that and integrate all of these technologies into the apps that we build. Pioneer also has the mission to solve everyday problems through mobile apps, so we have some platforms our team is working on that should be released soon, so we hope you’ll Pioneer with us and stay tuned!
Wow, that’s great! I’m excited to see what platforms Pioneer has coming out. It’s been great to chat with you and hear about your experiences and advice to others. I think this has been eye-opening for people who are not in the developer world and even those who are. Thanks again and I hope we can catch up soon!