Building A Ready-For-Market App: An Entrepreneur’s Experience

20 April 2017 | Posted by Ashkan Tashvir

This month we released an app called FRANK Food Safety System to the appstore. It has been a remarkable journey with its founder, James Shepherd, as he took his 25 years of industry knowledge and digested it into an app that will make a significant difference to his industry for years to come.

James’ extensive experience in the food and hospitality sector has him consult to companies Australia-wide, and he is in-demand for his expertise in food safety, appearing on stage with the likes of celebrity chef and author, Maggie Beer.

The app allows owners and managers of commercial kitchens better track and manage the temperature of their food and food storage, and action non-compliant readings quickly.

We sat down with James as he shared his experience from beginning to end of building his app. Here are our biggest takeaways from working with him.


Use Your Industry Knowledge and Keep it Simple

James’ idea came from working in his industry, identifying the issues in the industry and coming up with ideas to simply ‘make life easier’.

If you have been in an industry for some time, don’t underestimate the value of your intimate knowledge of that industry and the intellectual property you have. Your idea does not need to be complex or sophisticated. However, it does need solve real issues they deal with in day to day life.

Get Validation

James built a prototype and showed it to prospective clients before conducting his full app build. The prototype had a professional visual presentation and interactively walked through the core features of the app so people could experience what the end-product would be like.

It is not easy to test your idea with potential customers: you are taking on the risk of getting negative feedback and invalidating your great idea. However, we find this to be the mark of entrepreneurs committed to building tech-products with substantial value.

When James received initial positive feedback with his prototype, the risk in completing the full build was reduced as he knew he had interested customers waiting on the other side.


Be Ready To Put In The Work and Have a Problem-Solving Attitude

“We are building an app and there are issues, there are problems, and it is not as easy as a 5 minute job. It takes time, it takes effort, and it needs problem solving.”

James describes that what contributed to the success of his project was how his relationship with Engenesis was a two-way street with open dialogue and a positive attitude.

While most technology allows us to achieve things in a few clicks, we often forget the lengths it took for someone to design that function to be convenient, easy and smooth. As a founder, expect to get your hands dirty extracting the idea from your head and crafting a product or solution your users will love.

“If you are thinking about doing an app, I would say don’t let your dream die, do it, find a company like Engenesis that will help you along the way and understand what you are doing.”



Ashkan Tashvir

With over a decade in the industry as an Entrepreneur have a sound passion for bringing technology and business principles together. A technology leader, experienced analyst, architect and a design-minded developer in multiple technology platforms. I am passionate about communicating complex ideas, acting as a bridge between the business and the technical teams. Over the past 4 years working at Engenesis, Dream Consortium, GlobalX Legal Solutions, LexisNexis and FlowConnnect and a number of startups I guided and encouraged my teams to adopt new processes that have led to higher innovation and efficiency for the enterprises. With this end-to-end perspective, my mission is to facilitate organisations to deliver innovative and high quality software products to their customers.


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