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Case Study: Gemini Helps Yummly Develop Apps for Mobile

With recipes and shopping lists at the ready on their mobile devices, users would be able to access their recipes on the go

Case Study: Gemini Helps Yummly Develop #1 Recipe Apps for Mobile

Founded in 2009, Yummly is an innovator in recipe search and discovery. The company applies proprietary technology to understand food and taste built upon mapping the food genome. Yummly leverages this technology to build an unparalleled user experience with features such as personalized recommendations, semantic and contextual search, and a smart shopping list. Yummly's digital kitchen and recipe discovery platform for food lovers personalizes the kitchen by delivering unprecedented search and customization capabilities.Over 15 million monthly unique visitors turn to Yummly for recipes and inspiration.

The Goal: Re-Create the Yummly Experience on Mobile Devices
Yummly began designing its mobile recipe apps in 2013. Nearly half of Yummly's traffic was coming from mobile devices, and the company recognized that the Yummly community would highly value having their recipe ideas and smart shopping lists available anytime, anywhere. With recipes and shopping lists at the ready on their mobile devices, users would be able to access their recipes on the go, receive inspiration based on contextual factors, and seamlessly transition to purchasing via shopping list or ecommerce.

CEO David Feller and his product and design teamswere focused on creating mobile apps that featured the beautiful design and user-friendly interface that Yummly was known for. "To achieve the quality experience we were striving for, we knew we'd be pushing the boundaries of what mobile platforms can do," Feller said. "Providing sophisticated technology with great design, innovative mobile user experiences, and ease-of-use with limited real estate is not an easy task."Yummly planned to develop an app for the Apple iPhone first, followed by apps for the iPad and Android platforms.

The Challenge: Augment Yummly In-house Software Development Capabilities with Outside Expertise
To create the Yummly mobile apps, the company needed to quickly mobilize a dedicated group of premier software developers to supplement its California-based technical staff. "We realized that the time and expense associated with building out a cohesive team of in-house experts made that option impractical," Feller said. "Nevertheless, we sought software developers whose caliber rivaled top Silicon Valley talent, people creating cutting edge apps for mobile." Feller had been disappointed by previous outsourcers and believed that a traditional outsourcing relationship was inappropriate for Yummly. "Traditional outsourcing is very problematic," he explained. "You have to define a project down to the most minute details and even then, what you get back is poor quality and not what you specified. Our mobile initiatives were too strategically important to take that risk." In addition, the software developers needed to meld well with Yummly's in-house designers and developers. "We were looking for a seamless extension to our team, people who were capable of thinking creatively to solve complex problems and overcome the constraints of reduced form factors," Feller said.

Why Gemini Solutions?
Gemini Solutions came recommended by one of Yummly's investors. Gemini's Romanian-based software developers were reputed to be highly skilled, detail oriented, and focused on quality. "Our motivation in looking for an outside group was to find the best talent, not to reduce costs," Feller commented. "We learned that Gemini had built a top notch staff of highly educated, exceptionally qualified software developers."

Gemini executive presence in the U.S. made a difference to Feller. "It has been very helpful to have Theo here in Silicon Valley. I feel that he's very dialed in to the challenges emerging technology companies face when competing for top talent." Feller added that Gemini CEO Theo Nissim has created a new outsourcing model focused on skilled talent, collaborative product development, and long-term partnerships.

Gemini rapidly deployed a team of experts dedicated to building a native Yummly app for the iPhone. Collaboratively, Yummly and Gemini addressed the many challenges associated with building a highly customized mobile app that delivers sophisticated animations and parallax images at very high speed. "Our product development process is iterative and collaborative, and they fit right into that,"

Feller said. Gemini gave Yummly the flexibility to change staff size and composition based on project needs. The successful partnership that built the iPhone app continued with development of apps for the iPad and Android devices. Specialists were added to the team to address challenges specific to the Android platform, for example, and others were added to perform quality assurance testing. "Yummly has a strong record of releasing high-quality software every few months versus constant releasing and bug fixing, and Gemini's efforts have helped us maintain our reputation for quality," Feller added.

The Results: #1 Mobile Recipe Apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android
The Yummly app for iPhone was released in September 2013 and quickly ascended to become the top iPhone recipe app. The iPad app followed in March 2014, and the Yummly app for Android was released in November 2014. Today, all versions of the Yummly app are ranked first among recipe apps and have reinforced Yummly's leadership position in food-related technology. The Yummly app for the iPhone was selected for inclusion in the App Store Best of 2014, which celebrates the year's most innovative and entertaining apps and games. As of December 2014, Yummly's mobile apps have been installed over eight million times worldwide. "We think that a major reason why people love the apps is that they look great and work well," Feller commented. "When we develop software, we dedicate the creativity, brainpower, time, and effort to get it right the first time. Gemini shares our focus on quality, and the results speak for themselves."

More Stories By Theo Nissim

Theo Nissim, a seasoned Silicon Valley technology executive with more than 20 years experience, is CEO and Founder of Gemini Solutions. He has led pre-IPO start-ups, built dozens of technical teams, developed technology strategies and driven innovative products and solutions to market. One of Theo’s many strengths and passions is managing large scale, cross-functional development efforts to high profile product releases.

Theo has held executive and management positions with large public companies, Sun Microsystems and Wind River Systems, and served as the Engineering Vice President for four VC funded start-ups, Blazent, Digital Fountain, AuctionWatch and AdKnowledge. The Romanian development centers Theo established for Blazent and AuctionWatch still operate in Bucharest.

Theo has a Masters Degree in Computer Engineering from the Technion, Israeli Institute of Technology in Haifa Israel.

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