Open source development agency, serving business clients, mostly in the eCommerce space.
Our mission is to work for businesses who are leaders in their field, and help them to deliver more ROI from their web operations, by leveraging open source software.
Tell us about yourself?
As part of the first generation to grow up with a computer in the home (my mother worked from home from the 1990s), I learned computer programming as a child, before studying law at Newcastle University.
By the end of my degree, I’d already started the business which would later grow into this operation.
While I did pass with honours, I also took out the universities business planning award overall and in the eCommerce category for the business I was already running, which gave me the confidence to continue that, rather than a career as a lawyer.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
Finish building our expansion plans before March 2020.
What problem does your business solve?
We reduce development costs and make it easier for our clients to access world class developers – when their businesses don’t necessarily support having several on the payroll directly.
Our developers are specialists in very specific areas; for example, some will work always on building payment extensions for a small group of payment service providers; others will only work on front end design for eCommerce sites, so they learn and deploy best practices with regard to conversions as they move from project to project.
We retain specialist developers all the time, so our clients can leverage their specialties when they need them.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
We were already running development operations for our own business projects, and businesses organically started asking us if we could build similar things for them. This demonstrated a need among businesses either seeking to gain a foothold in eCommerce, or who already are in the space, but are not satisfied with their present store’s performance.
We make stores faster, we help them to rank better in organic search, and we make them convert better. As a result, we help businesses make more sales and generate more revenue, including, increasingly, in the B2B space, where we are able to build wholesale stores which convert extremely well.
Our clients make more money, and stay with us for the long haul. It’s one of those true win win relationships.
What is your magic sauce?
Our aim is to maintain business projects over a period of years, and help our clients to grow revenue. Probably our main difference is that we’re genuinely interested in our client’s being more successful – we truly buy in to what we work on, whether it’s selling semiconductors in a B2B environment, or delivering a reporting suite for key stakeholders in huge global projects, we want our projects to be highly successful, and market leading.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
We’re building out our North American and APAC operations, so in 5 years we’d like to have significant business centres in both regions. We’ll also be offering 24/7 support to our clients as standard.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Covid-19 was a major challenge for us, as most of our clients experienced a huge uplift in their online sales, at a time when work environments became significantly inhibited.
We got through the period, and have taken some time to recalibrate based on some clients growing at an incredible rate in the period.
We’ve been able to match step with them, by building out our subcontractor base, through excellent developer relations.
How do people get involved/buy into your vision?
Businesses looking to enter or improve their ecommerce or web operations are encouraged to check out silicondales.com and get in touch.
We don’t work with all who contact us, because we’re a specialist development agency, but we have excellent network and can almost always make an onwards recommendation which ends up being a great fit – certainly if businesses are struggling to find the right development team, I’d encourage them to reach out.
Also feel free to hit my personal website at robinjescott.com to send a less formal question via the contact form, or the connected social media accounts. I’m open to questions!