Technology · Operations

PrayerSpark has created two separate stacks- one for B2C website, and another for B2B app. Seem OK?

Michael Feder Founder and CEO at PrayerSpark; Finalist: Global Business & Interfaith Peace Award

May 8th, 2016

The PrayerSpark B2C website is built on Ruby/Rails. The B2B app and coordinating website (PrayerSparkPRO) is being built in .net and azure. I have different teams working on these products. We did this for a variety of reasons, including security, scalability, and flexibility, but it does mean different teams with different programming skill sets and increased expense. Has anyone else done this?

Michael Feder Founder and CEO at PrayerSpark; Finalist: Global Business & Interfaith Peace Award

May 8th, 2016

Also, the PrayerSpark website will be replaced with a new site in the coming weeks-  we've been working for months on this. The B2B facing side of our company will NOT be found there-  that will be a completely different build, with its own URL....

Michael Feder Founder and CEO at PrayerSpark; Finalist: Global Business & Interfaith Peace Award

May 8th, 2016

Thanks so much. We have a B2B path for our clinical mobile apps. These are white label apps, with private social silos, curated by participating partners like Addiction Recovery centers, Corporate wellness programs, Hospice, etc. Our app is much more sophisticated than can be found in an app store, and requires the participation of the business facing partner. We do have fees for licensing and per seat for the B2B offering. I can explain more if you are interested, feel free to reach me directly:  Michael@PrayerSpark.com

Joe Emison Chief Information Officer at Xceligent

May 8th, 2016

Michael--

Using different stacks is not ideal, as it increases the cost of future development, and it increases the likelihood that one team will blame the other for problems related to stack choice.

That said, the most common reasons for business failure is a lack of product-market fit. So if this really is the most efficient way for you to get to product-market fit quickly, and you can get there, then you'll almost certainly be able to fix any problems related to stack and architecture down the road. In addition, you may get some (emphasis: some) benefit from having split teams and split stacks, in that you won't have one huge terrible monolith to redo; easier to fix two, smaller, crappier codebases than one larger, crappy codebase.

Ahmed Sorour Agile/DevOps Coach @ Target, Cofounder @ RevampCRM

May 9th, 2016

Michael, I understand business reasons and market forces take priority over technical debt. Just keep remembering the tech debt and pu it off as soon as you possibly can :)

Michael Feder Founder and CEO at PrayerSpark; Finalist: Global Business & Interfaith Peace Award

May 9th, 2016

Thank you Chicke, thank you Ahmed. I do intend to consolidate to a single stack-  but 6 months down the road or so. The 2 Stack Solution is based upon existing resources and capital, as well as the other key issues I mentioned earlier. Clearly, 12 months from now, we'll want a single stack solution. Interestingly, doing that right now would be substantially more expensive than what we are doing, for various reasons....

Neil HereWeAre Want To find-close Business Online without competition Before They Google Search? We solve this problem 1(508)-481-8567

May 8th, 2016

Michael, I looked at your site. Are you intending to monetize this? Please elaborate a bit. I'm also not sure why you want a B2B path and market so please explain that a bit.

Re b2c-this avenue seems to best fit for you trying to reach PEOPLE which seems to be the focus of your site. B2B?

I'm not sure why this is an avenue or target audience for you but messaging, that  captures an audience withing B2B so they say "that's me-I need to do this now" would be different re connectors and motivators than B2C. The apps approach is different thn the web approach re how it works, how it unfolds and does what you want it to do than a web site so I can see the two different stacks as correct.

Remember though, there are a gazillion apps out there now so you also want to build in and address how the app will be found, by whom and why. None of that happens on its own.

Yes, B2B as a separate path normally would require a different intro, way to create interest and call to action flow so yes, apps do need a different approach and management platform than a web site re landing page, the app and how it unfolds, app being found, messaging, even interaction process.

Or on your web page, you could let one site via 2 bullets points one for B2C and one for B2C on the page one landing page quickly gain 

  • the B2B and state the reasons they should go farther with links to pages that address them and 
  • a separate page 1 bullet point on your now combined web page 1 landing page/home page that can attract the B2C types linked to the pages that they relate to and get them doing what you want them to do.
Hopefully this advice can help you decide which is best for you at this point in your initiative. 

Suresh Neti Software Outsourcing Advisor | Custom Software & Product Development

May 9th, 2016

Michael, I would be very uncomfortable to maintain two different stacks. 1. As some of the others have mentioned, it may become difficult to maintain developers of different skills when there is no need to. I always felt that managing a 'homogeneous' team is easier. 2.I think it will take longer to build the two solutions from scratch with different stacks compared to building with a single stack (you have already built it - so it probably does not matter now).  

But now that you already have two options, you can decide which one to continue with, after 6 months, based on how they have performed. My guess is that you will continue with Ruby On Rails stack...

Michael Feder Founder and CEO at PrayerSpark; Finalist: Global Business & Interfaith Peace Award

May 8th, 2016

Thanks, Joe! We have different skill sets in the company, and are leveraging them-  and your remark about being able to fix it down the road, and having an easier time of it, was something well discussed in the company. At the end of the day, we went with product-market fit and ironclad ability to deliver as the most important, but it is great to get the wisdom of FounderDating on this. 

Michael Feder Founder and CEO at PrayerSpark; Finalist: Global Business & Interfaith Peace Award

May 9th, 2016

Thank you, Suresh!

Chicke Fitzgerald

May 9th, 2016

Michael - I have significant experience in both B2B and B2C and normally you would make your B2C platform a private label extension of B2B, so you could private label it with your own brand or that your B2B clients could provide a branded solution.  Without knowing the differences that you intend to offer to your B2B clients, it is tough to see if this is the right approach for you, but I agree that having two different stacks long term is more costly and complex and you can't take advantage of a single code base when you want to provide the same feature to both channels.