What’s Our Secret?

We get asked a lot what it is that makes Blue Fish so unique. There are many special elements about our business, culture and team that I could mention but all of it tends to boil down to a single core belief – at Blue Fish, we believe our clients deserve to have their projects done right the first time.

You might say, “Right the first time; how hard can that be?” Well, it turns out it’s not only hard but also rare. Many studies have shown that a crazy-high percentage of software projects fail. The numbers vary but every study I’ve seen says that it is above 25%! That’s a terrible track record. Our industry should be ashamed of itself! Would any of us be ok with anything else that failed 25% of the time? What if your car broke down every fourth morning? What if your doctor misdiagnosed your kids 1 out of every 4 visits? You wouldn’t put up with it in those situations and you shouldn’t have to put up with it when it comes to your software projects either.

Right the First Time – What Does That Mean To Us? At Blue Fish, this means three things:

  • We do the right thing – the project is completed on time and at the price you agreed,
  • We build the right thing – the solution actually solves your problem, and
  • We build the thing right – the solution has high quality and will perform well into the future.


It turns out that software project failures are typically due to three simple problems: the project ran long, the fees were out of control, or the software simply didn’t meet the requirements. These failure points fall into the category of “simple but hard”; at least it seems like it would be simple to avoid these, but in fact it’s very hard to do. It requires a great deal of work and in our opinion one needs to have a well thought out business model to ensure that these are avoided.

Our Unique Business Model Ensures Your Project is Done Right the First Time.
 We have built our entire business model to fulfill the above promise and ensure client success. There are five major elements of our model that together, we are told makes Blue Fish unique and ensures we get your project right the first time.

1.Fixed Price Projects

Most firms use a time and materials commercial model. This creates misalignment with the client because the client is asked to pay for the time spent on the project — whether the work is good or not — including any overruns due to bad estimates. Worse yet, if the software is wrong the client is asked to pay more to make it right. Blue Fish thinks this is inappropriate. We prefer a fixed price commercial model because it aligns our interests with our client’s. The price you agree is the price you pay. Plus, Blue Fish is incented to move quickly because the longer the project duration, the more it costs Blue Fish. Therefore, the fixed price approach ensures projects are delivered on time and on budget – two of the major reasons other projects fail.

2. Senior Team
There are many staffing models available to firms like Blue Fish, but Blue Fish has long believed that a small team of senior, highly skilled people can accomplish more – at a lower overall price – than a large team of inexperienced, junior people. Blue Fish staffs project leadership roles with senior management and development talent, and the bulk of the developers and engineers have many years and many projects under their belts.

3. Disciplined + Nimble Methodology
There are lots of buzzwords in the industry that represent many development and implementation methodologies; agile, scrum, waterfall and Kanban, just to name a few. Because Blue Fish has been in the same business since the late 1990’s and has worked with organizations both large and small, Blue Fish has refined a hybrid method for developing and implementing software that uses the best elements of many different approaches. Blue Fish’s methodology is both disciplined and nimble, a rare combination. Blue Fish brings the best practices from working with large IT organizations together with the lean, nimble aspects of small, fast growing operations. Again, Blue Fish’s goal is to build the right thing and build the thing right; the first time.

4. Reusable IP Library
Blue Fish never starts a project from scratch. This saves our clients time and money and inherently increases the quality of the solution. For every project, Blue Fish has a toolbox full of code and components that were built for previous projects and are available to use on your project. There is no extra fee for this; it’s something you get at no charge by working with Blue Fish. This increases your solution quality and ensures it works right the first time because many of your solution’s components have been previously tested and are proven in other live production systems.

5. The Blue Fish Guarantee
Ultimately when your site or system goes live and you’ve signed off on the final project deliverables, we don’t immediately go away. Blue Fish will stick around for a while and be there for you to ensure you have everything you need to be successful. At no additional charge, Blue Fish will be there to answer questions, help you make decisions, and in the event of a critical defect that was somehow missed by both of us during testing, Blue Fish will take care of it. This is Blue Fish’s way of putting ourselves on the hook to ensure that you get your project right the first time.

Our Clients Say There is More to the Story. The above belief system and business model explains why our clients typically say they hire Blue Fish the first time. But, that’s not the whole story. Invariably our clients hire us again and again, and they say it is because of the great experience they have working with Blue Fish. Yes, their projects turn out great but they also enjoy the working relationship with the Blue Fish team. We put a great deal of emphasis on our culture and hiring great folks because a great client experience ultimately comes down to the personal interaction you have with our people.

If you’re interested in knowing what our clients have to say, check out some of the many testimonials posted through out our website.

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