Each week in the New Tech Newsletter we feature a Spotlight Q&A with founders, angels, New Tech alumni presenters, and other people or companies in our community we believe you’d like to learn about. Reach out if you’d like to recommend a startup, founder, angel, accelerator, or New Tech alumni presenter for us to spotlight for the PNW tech community!
What problem is your service helping to solve?
Formidable is a digital product consultancy that provides engineering and design services to companies building modern web and mobile applications.
How does your service solve that problem better than other options?
As opposed to some traditional consultancy models, we typically offer embedded engineering and design teams that partner with client companies to not only help architect and implement a new application but level up the client development teams as well, better positioning the ultimate application for success over the long haul.
For example, we’ve had several instances of clients interested in the React web application framework or GraphQL API language, but lacking deep in-house engineering familiarity with the technologies. In crafting engagements in scenarios like these, we’re able to get the client off the ground with an initial full application architecture, then implement it alongside them, and educate and train the client development staff in the details of React / GraphQL / etc. along the way.
In addition, we bring expertise to every part of the application development lifecycle — including ideation, design / architecture, frontend and backend web and API development, and the cloud infrastructures needed to support the whole thing.
What’s the most innovative or interesting thing about your service?
Most modern, real-world web applications use open source software in some fashion, and at Formidable it is one of our main areas of focus.
Formidable has had a deep connection with the open source ecosystem since it was founded and continues in earnest to the present. We maintain a portfolio of more than 50 open source libraries that are downloaded (on average) millions of times per day in the aggregate. We contribute back to critical open source projects. And we encourage open source contribution through various internal programs that give our employees time and/or money to advance Formidable or external open source.
Thus, a large part of what makes us special is not only leveraging the amazingly powerful world of open source in creating client applications, but creating our own open source libraries to let us move faster in the bread-and-butter work we do, create positive community goodwill, and give us a unique perspective on how everything (open and closed source) comes together. All in all, if you are writing a modern React web application or building a web application with tools like webpack, there’s a good chance that you’re already using Formidable open source libraries.
What do you love the most about being a part of the (Northwest) tech community?
From these experiences, I think that the Northwest tech scene is a friendly and wonderful mix of people, companies, and community. The startup scene seems focused on maintainable, long-term businesses. I meet fantastic engineers solving big problems who also maintain a good sense of balance and perspective. And the local companies I’ve interacted with all seem very invested in helping the region develop further.
From our earliest days working out of a neat maker-space/coworking studio in Fremont, Formidable has had a PNW bent — and while we now have developers spread worldwide, we’re growing everywhere, including the Northwest.
Is there any funny story or specific moment that made you start this company?