November 30, 2012 in ATDC News

Startup Chronicles: Highgroove Studios (Big Nerd Ranch)

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Highgroove Studios (now Big Nerd Ranch) At a Glance

It’s been a good year for Highgroove Studios. The ATDC member company experienced rapid growth in both staff size and customer base. And now – thanks to a merger earlier this month with the Big Nerd Ranch, a leader in developing mobile clients and teaching others how to develop them – the software consulting services firm will likely enjoy additional success.

“While each company is well-positioned to capitalize on the transition to the post-PC era, the combined company represents an overwhelming force in the new era: unparalleled consulting and training on end-to-end mobile solutions,” said Charles Brian Quinn (CBQ), founder of Highgroove and the new CEO of Big Nerd Ranch, LLC. “In this case, one plus one is a lot more than two.”

The idea for the company formerly known as Highgroove came about in 2005, when CBQ and a Georgia Tech college buddy decided to start consulting around Ruby and Ruby on Rails. The goal was to use these emerging technologies to provide value to clients – focusing on the building of web applications based on their needs.

Financed entirely through consulting-related revenue, Highgroove eventually grew large enough to develop back-end solutions for companies around the world, including the New York Times, Wells Fargo, NASA, Mailchimp and many more. They’ve also authored or co-authored six guides on Ruby and Ruby on Rails development. The key to their success, CBQ says, is the emphasis on hyper-specialty work.

“We didn’t pick 80 things and say, ‘We specialize in everything!’ Instead, we’ve always focused on being good at one thing: building back-ends to web and mobile applications,” he said. “Finding the best people and ‘connecting with the best clients’ sounds cliché, but it’s something we’ve been very focused on for years.”

So what can existing customers expect to see under the new merger, which boosts the employee base up to a combined 80 people? Highgroove and Big Nerd Ranch are consolidating under Big Nerd Ranch, LLC. Together they will leverage cloud infrastructure and agile development methodologies to ensure successful product launches. They will also continue to deliver training and consulting in web and mobile applications, including iOS, Android, Windows 8, HTML5 and more. The end result: happy clients and happy developers, says CBQ.

“Our clients now benefit from end-to-end development on mobile applications and a deep understanding of training and expertise-transfer,” he said. “Big Nerd Ranch will be the company that every smart CTO in the world respects, and every developer will want to follow the Big Nerd Ranch Way.”


Charles Brian Quinn




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