Meet James Sullivan, Founder & CEO at OneSeven Technology:
James Sullivan is the Founder & CEO of OneSeven Technology, a leading digital product studio based in Miami. With a focus on startups in the pre-C to Series A stages, OneSeven Tech offers a range of services including product strategy, UXOI design, and software engineering. As a seasoned tech leader, James brings a wealth of expertise in the areas of global hiring, remote work, employment compliance, employment law, and contracting. With his extensive experience in the industry, James has valuable insights into the evolving landscape of employment and the challenges faced by tech leaders and contractors alike.
Through his leadership at OneSeven Tech, James has played a pivotal role in supporting startups and helping them navigate the complexities of the digital space. As a guest on our Default Global podcast, James shares his deep understanding of these topics and provides valuable insights into the future of work in a rapidly changing world.
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Quick Read: James Sullivan, Founder & CEO at OneSeven Technology, Interview Highlights
In the latest episode of Default Global, I spoke with James Sullivan, Founder & CEO of OneSeven Technology, a digital product studio based in Miami. We discussed his journey from startup failure to successful entrepreneurship, the challenges of software development in a startup context, the benefits of onshoring and nearshoring, and the future of his organization.
The Genesis of OneSeven Technology
James shared his early experiences with a failed ad tech application, highlighting the initial challenges he faced working with an unsuitable overseas vendor.
He said, “I chose to outsource overseas and I just had a company that was not equipped to help with some of the project management and essentially meet deadlines and scope the project. So I ended up kind of failing and that led to the creation of OneSeven Tech”.
This failure informed James’s approach to building OneSeven Technology, particularly emphasizing the importance of solid project management.
Challenges in Software Development for Startups
Delving deeper into software development challenges, James pointed out that many startups do not engage in sufficient planning before launching their projects.
According to him, “I think some of the issues that they run into is they don’t do enough planning. Like I don’t think they spend enough time actually defining what these features are and what they mean.”
He also noted the importance of keeping everyone in a similar or the same time zone to facilitate effective communication and prompt problem-solving.
Outsourcing as a Cost-cutting Measure
Responding to the question of whether startups should consider outsourcing projects to agencies outside of the US as a cost-cutting measure, James agreed that it’s a good time to outsource. He argued that outsourcing helps to handle overflow work or fill hiring gaps without the need to manage payroll or incur the costs associated with it. He also stressed the importance of having a proper infrastructure in place if startups choose to hire talent directly overseas.
Building a Globally-distributed Team
Sharing insights on building a globally-distributed team, James advocated for the use of platforms like Deel for handling payroll and compliance issues, hiring a technical recruiter, and setting up an effective communication system among other strategies. Moreover, he suggested seeking creative ways to raise funds during the current economic downturn, such as engaging angel investors, family offices, or crowdfunding.
Future Plans of OneSeven Technology
Looking ahead, James revealed plans to launch an AI service line and create some of their own products.
“We’re starting to do some embedded AI ML teams… we’ve observed some things over the past six years that we think are problems in the developer tools and startup space that we’re going to build our own solutions for,” he said.
James Sullivan’s journey from a startup founder with a failed project to the successful CEO of a digital product studio is a testament to the power of learning from one’s mistakes and adapting to new realities. His insights on software development challenges, the benefits of onshoring and nearshoring, and the future of OneSeven Technology provide valuable lessons for startups navigating the complexities of the global business landscape.