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Why Chop Dawg Is A Mission-First Company

Leadership & Inspiration

Joshua Davidson wrote this article


There have been a number of difficult adjustments for everyone amid the pandemic, and general stay-at-home guidelines.

At the same time, rising dissent for systemic racism permeating throughout US society, and a divisive election has raged on in the background. Covid-19, with its many negative implications, remains at large, affecting the way we all work and live.

Many US companies released statements when the social unrest reached its boiling point a few months ago (think: Blackout Tuesday).

But, I feel it’s important for me to lay out some of our company values, and how it relates to navigating some of these challenges we all still face right now — even as we all strive to honor our mission in the workplace.

Taking Ownership

I’ve always been adamant about this.

The reason Chop Dawg has been successful for over a decade now isn’t because of me, the founder; but because we are a team of leaders.

When we onboard new team members, we’re looking for passion, a collaborative attitude, and most importantly: a strong desire to truly take ownership.

Whenever we sign on to work with new partnered companies and entrepreneurs, that’s what we’re actually doing. We’re taking ownership of their dream, even if just for a little while  ultimately, their new venture relies on us to start off on the right foot.

Whether its an existing company looking to augment their digital infrastructure to create a better experience for their team and customers alike, or a first-time entrepreneur with an incredible idea, our goal is to become an extension of your own team.

Boundless Optimism

It’s truly an honor to get to partner with so many incredible app entrepreneurs.

We consider it our solemn duty to provide top-quality app development and knowledgeable guidance to non-technical entrepreneurs and companies looking to augment their IT teams. But, we also have a blast doing what we do.

We understand the tech space is far from equitable; nor is it easy to navigate.

From the very beginning, our service has been rooted in providing businesses affordable access to the technical toolset they need to succeed in the New Economy. Once upon a time, this looked like websites.

Now, it’s apps for mobile devices and the web.

What’s happening right now in our society requires us to look far beyond just our own day-to-day (at work and at home), and find ways to personally improve ourselves, and positively impact our community.

For us, as a company, this looks like continuing to align ourselves with companies and entrepreneurs looking to make a difference with apps and software. We encourage the startups who partner with us to strive to become zebras, not unicorns.

For me, as an entrepreneur and CEO, I’ve been focused on continuing to alleviate any unnecessary job-related stress or burden off of my team. There’s enough going on out in the world; the last thing they need is any additional stress at work. I’ve also devoted more time to my favorite local non-profit, Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region, where I am also a member of the Board of Directors.

2020 has truly been a year of great change at Chop Dawg — and in the best way possible.

We’ve zoomed in on our company operations, fine tuning long-held procedures, restructuring our leadership team, retooling our project management team and bringing on an incredible new Chief Operating Officer to help take us where we want to go next.

As a team, we remain optimistic as always, bolstered by these improvements and the growing need for app development in the age of Covid.

Results, Not Just Productivity

From top to bottom, we are an output-focused company.

Our partnered clients pay a set-rate for our services based precisely on what we’re building.

Our team members are compensated according to their assigned project milestones, and are free to work whenever (and wherever) they’d like, so long as deliverable schedules are being met.

For many, this requires a complete shift in mindset to even comprehend.

How can we be okay with hiring contractors who aren’t working solely for us (P.S -.we also don’t require degrees, either!)? This also confuses some job candidates, who wonder just how many hours are expected each week.

The short answer is, we trust our team. The longer answer is, we seek out a very specific type of freelancer — the kind who thrives on flexibility, accountability and welcomes ongoing opportunities to sharpen their skillset.

This allows us to capture the attention of some truly spectacular individuals, who are usually too challenge-hungry to stay long at a more traditional 9 to 5 setting. From designers, developers, and project managers — each member of our team is here because they love what they do, and they are confident in their skillset.

They’re excited by the mere possibility of working with many different companies and entrepreneurs from all walks of life, shifting from one app to the next with ease.

We all understand what’s at stake with each and every single app in our pipeline.

Accessible, Affordable, Quality App Development

These are three things that shouldn’t be mutually exclusive, and yet often times in the app development industry, they are!

We’ve always sought to be a one-stop-shop for non-technical entrepreneurs and startups, often budget conscious and looking to methodically scale.

But reality is, as we’ve grown, and app standards have risen (as well as our own company standards), our project costs have also gone up.

To combat this, we’ve started offering an alternate in-house development model for startups, nonprofits and small businesses, so we can continue to offer our services in the 50-75k range.

Working with non-technical entrepreneurs and growing businesses has always been where our expertise lies, but the cost of quality US-based tech talent makes building a full-scale app under 100k untenable for us to offer today in 2020.

By outsourcing the programming of the app (something we typically don’t do here at Chop Dawg) to a trusted overseas team who works under the watchful eye of one of our US-based senior developers and your project manager, we’re able to pass those cost-savings on to you, and bring you into our wheelhouse for much less than using our core US-based development team.

Nothing changes about our overall app development process – you’d still partner with one of our US-based UI/UX designers for the design, and have a dedicated onshore PM to walk you through the entire process. The only difference is, we’re able to pass those cost-savings on to our partnered clients (instead of pocketing steep margins), and bring partners into our wheelhouse to work within our proven methodology for much less than using our typical onshore development.

This isn’t exactly a new model (lots of agencies out there have been doing it for years), but it is new to us! We’re so excited to be able to continue our mission at a cost growing businesses can afford, and give our partners the option to choose where their development happens.

Our mission has always been helping non-technical entrepreneurs and companies Make It App’n®, and we hope this new, alternate development model opens the door to many more partnerships with next-generation startups and first-time entrepreneurs!

Our Company Core Values

Check out Chop Dawg’s company core values!

“Enabling those with a vision to take it from an idea, to a functional product of the highest quality; changing the way we interact with the world.”

  1. Make the future
    When imagination is combined with heavily-concentrated effort,
    remarkable things happen.
  2. Respect your team
    From customers to colleagues, want the best for each other while expecting the very best from each other.
  3. See the glass half full
    When obstacles come our way, work hard to understand the situation, then choose to focus on solutions, rather than sitting on problems.
  4. Refine your craft
    Whether it’s through code, words, graphics or leadership strive for excellence, even in the smallest of details.
  5. Focus on results
    Productivity isn’t enough it is about delivering the results to consistently move the needle forward.

Getting Through This Together

I know we’re all pretty tired of companies overusing phrases like “new normal”, “these uncertain times”, “we’re in this together” that are so popular in commercials lately, but there is truth in these words.

It can be easy to turn our noses up at the obvious marketing spin we see many companies adopting right now, but we have to remember that they, too, are navigating these uncertain times.

Most are trying to survive in a different world than we had a few months ago. Some might not be around in a few months more.

The next few months will be critical for the U.S. and the global tech community. I won’t bore you with any further platitudes here, except to say once more just how grateful we are as a company to do what we do.

Beyond that, my hope is for any would-be entrepreneurs to finally decide to take that leap, and build an app, whether it’s with us or another app developer. App development is not a one-size-fits-all service, after all.

I hope companies and non-profits are able to secure the funds to revamp their digital infrastructures to power them through the next decade, and beyond.

We’ll be here.

Want to know more about Chop Dawg’s story? Pick up a copy of Joshua’s debut book, The Entrepreneur’s Framework: How Businesses Are Adapting in the New Economy, or listen on Audible!

About Since 2009, we have helped create 350+ next-generation apps for startups, Fortune 500s, growing businesses, and non-profits from around the globe. Think Partner, Not Agency.


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