It is often said that success comes from habit. Everyone defines it in their own way; success has countless different meanings. For decades, The American Dream meant owning a big mansion and an expensive car. Success was something physical that could be showcased to the world as an example of achievements. However, over the years the definition of success has changed. Today, success is about how your contributions and innovations produce meaningful improvements in the community you live in.
It takes a lot to break the conventional norms of success; breaking conventions require courage and firm belief in your convictions. Founder and CEO David Galownia aimed to do precisely that when he launched Slingshot, a software and app development firm known for building some of the most agile and successful custom software.
Genesis of an Idea
For David, his journey started when he had just graduated from University of Louisville. David knew he wanted to create something which not only drove his passion, but also gave him joy. Expanding upon his philosophy David shares, “The true measure of success, joy elevates the work experience. If there is no joy in working, success becomes meaningless. The more you enjoy, the more you work and the more you work, the more you succeed.”
Slingshot’s services consist of top of the line custom mobile and web apps, enterprise solutions, and AWS Cloud development. While some may be tempted to compare themselves with others, David says Slingshot’s success can be attributed to competing with no one but themselves. “Today’s success is tomorrow’s baseline. I do not want to rest unless I am certain that at Slingshot we have given it our all,” shares David.
Company culture is a big part of why Slingshot has continued to come up with innovative new solutions for their customers. “At Slingshot, we consciously try to keep things light, fun, and full of exploration and anticipation. We believe that this work environment brings excitement, and waiting eagerly for something you know is going to happen is a joyful experience in itself. Our culture is what drives everything,” emphasizes David.
“The true measure of success, joy elevates the work experience. If there is no joy in working, success becomes meaningless. The more you enjoy, the more you work and the more you work, the more you succeed.”
Why Slingshot Stands Out
In the world of software design and engineering, the products and project goals are often drowned by the noise of technical jargon and hollowbuzzwords. “Design is also something we believe is one of the biggest drivers for product success. Too many dev companies have design as an afterthought. It is disheartening that the basics are ignored for quick and dirty solutions. Let me stress, there is no substitute for a robust software design paradigm,” emphasizes David.
Slingshot members have a curious sense of adventure and dexterity. This can be reflected in the colorful moniker of Big Kids & Daredevils that the team has assigned themselves. While having satisfied customers is key, having fun is equally important. “Having fun with the process causes the creative juices to flow. From our experience at Slingshot we have found that this kind of approach usually leads to unique and creative solutions for our client problems,” adds David.
Being in the software development industry, Slingshot has a versatile client base that ranges from small and medium sized companies, to serial entrepreneurs. Slingshot has worked with some eminent organizations like Churchill Downs, MetLife, and Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. They take equal pride in catering to smaller companies with the same level of commitment and willingness to solve their issues. “At Slingshot we simply don’t take orders, but rather believe in sitting down with the client, understanding their requirements, and then delivering the expected outcomes. This is true for all our customers, big or small,” emphasizes David. By uniquely combining strategy, design, and development, they not only deliver the desired end results but believe in exceeding customer expectations by bringing out the best possible outcomes. With a genuine vested interest in their client’s success, Slingshot is setting benchmarks of customer service and is certainly a brand of choice.
You don’t have to take our word for it: the success of Slingshot’s approach is reflected in the long list of citations and awards the company has been given. For example, Slingshot has been,
Ranked as a Top 10 Software Development Companies in USA out of 500 studied by Techreviewer
Ranked as a Top App Development Software Firm as by GoodFirms
Awarded the Partners in Philanthropy Louisville Business First Innovative Partnership Award 2019.
Ranked among the Top 3 App Development Companies in Louisville and Nashville by both Clutch and Manifest.
Greater Louisville Inc. Credible Innovation Award Finalist 2017, 2018.
Awarded as a Top B2B Company in Kentucky by Clutch.
Featured on TechRepublic.
AWS Select Tier Partner.
Slingshot has partnered with Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago to develop an app that provides decision support to clinicians when there is suspicion of child abuse.
Making a difference in the Community
The Slingshot team understands that success doesn’t always have to do with money. Out of several projects they have worked upon, one of their favorites is a non-profit initiative called Launch that was started in 2018, which will be completed this year. In his own words David told us: “The community has been so good to us over the years and we wanted to give back. We hosted a contest for non-profits to submit a need for a mobile app to further their mission. We got almost 20 applicants and then went through a pretty rigorous process to select one. The winner was New Roots, who helps provide fresh vegetables to underinvested neighbourhoods in the Greater Louisville area. We’ve since designed the app and it will be released to the app stores within the next month or two.”
Child abuse is an issue that is very difficult to talk about. Recognizing that they could help solve this problem, Slingshot partnered with Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago to develop an app that provides decision support to clinicians when there is suspicion of child abuse. The clinician can enter the child’s injuries on a 3D rotating human diagram, and the app will present research data related to the injuries so that a diagnosis can be given. Completely free to utilize, the app is going to go live towards the end of 2020. For more information, visit https://www.yslingshot.com/work/lurie-childrens-hospital/. The rigor applied by Slingshot team towards developing such an important application was deeply appreciated by the team at Ann & Robert. When asked to comment on working with Slingshot, Mary Clyde Pierce, MD at Ann & Robert added, “…they understood our unique vision and guided us through the process of translating it to a mobile app. It was clear they had a high level of expertise and we could talk freely about what we needed. They walked us through solutions in a way that was easy to understand and we felt engaged during the entire process.”
*We strongly recommend our readers to read about this important topic at Slingshot’s project page.
Failure is not fatal
Behind every successful person is a series of heart wrenching failures one has to go through. Some experts have defined success as the ability to go from one failure to another without loss of enthusiasm. The success of Slingshot is not an exception, and is a result of such failures. Having gone through some tough times, the toughest phase for David came after years of success and consistent upwards trending growth. Wanting to share how failure can be a gift, David says, “As a business, you always have a story where things could have gone completely off the rails. We’ve had several of those moments over the years but each makes you stronger. I would say my toughest moment was when after years of growth we hit a wall and then drastically lost almost 40% of our top line revenue in a year. We had layoffs, people left, I couldn’t pay myself for a year and a half. My business partner wanted out, I obliged and I was in many ways alone. That was the best thing that ever happened to me. We had become complacent and were playing it safe. From that point onward we reinvented the company. We changed everything. The name, our office location and structure, leadership team, our process, our services, how we offered them. Nothing was sacred. Since then the rewards have been huge and we’ve grown every year including what looks to be 50%+ growth in 2020, despite the pandemic.”
COVID-19 and Beyond
2020 has been possibly the most surreal and profound year for everyone on our planet; businesses are no exception. COVID-19 has brought business activity to a screeching halt. While Slingshot is not immune to its impact, they have been coping well, relative to others. “It’s impacted us for sure. For a while, most tech investments were on hold. That being said businesses have to adapt, there is no ‘waiting until this thing clears.’ We aren’t either. We’ve been more active on sales and marketing than ever. I think in general people are resilient and the world is going to keep turning. Some businesses have it harder than others and I feel for those. We’re fortunate in that we’re not industry specific and while some industries are down, others are up.”
Despite the tough times, Slingshot is already looking ahead at the future. David adds, “We want to go bigger. We want to continue to work on large, highly visible, highly important projects for those looking to innovate: either new companies or established organizations that already have a culture of pushing change. We want to continue to find big kids & daredevils like us, people who want to do it bigger, bolder, and different than anyone else.”
With an undying hunger to redefine what success means and create a difference for the world around it, David and his colleagues at Slingshot may very well achieve what they want. All the while, having fun.