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June 3, 2022

Tech Leaders to Know: Very Good Ventures Founder David DeRemer

Tech Leaders to Know: Very Good Ventures Founder David DeRemer

At your app development consultancy Very Good Ventures, the team specializes today in building apps using Flutter, Google’s rapidly-growing open source UI toolkit. How did you first get introduced to and start working with Flutter? 

Yes, Flutter is an open source framework from Google that enables building apps for any screen, from a single codebase. We learned about Flutter from the Google Developer Agency Program shortly before we started Very Good Ventures. Being mobile developers, we’d previously looked at React Native and Xamarin, etc. to address cross-platform challenges, but we hadn't found anything that we thought was really the right fit. Flutter was the first approach that really delivered everything we needed. I knew something was different about Flutter because, when given the option to use Flutter or build natively, our engineers would always pick Flutter.

Before starting VGV, we had the opportunity to build the mobile app for Hamilton: The Musical. Based on their budget, timeline, and feature needs, we knew we could only deliver around half of what they wanted within the required time frame because they needed the app on iOS and Android. But, since we were becoming more familiar with Flutter we realized that we had the answer to our problems in our hands. Flutter would help us deliver what Hamilton needed on all platforms.

The Hamilton app was a big success and it put Flutter on the map for a lot of people. It’s where we first experienced Flutter’s potential. 

Please share a bit about your training and professional background.

My background merges both the engineering and business world, which is also true of Very Good Ventures. I attended the Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology at the University of Pennsylvania where I earned a dual degree from the engineering school and the Wharton business school. My first job out of school was at Accenture doing technology consulting. Following Accenture, I worked at frog design working on strategic design and innovation projects. I learned a lot about different types of companies and industries from those experiences – in particular that I preferred something smaller, more entrepreneurial, and nimble enough to be at the forefront of technology trends.

David DeRemer, VGV Founder & President

VGV is now four years old. What led to the formation of the company? Has your original vision grown or evolved or changed over the ensuing years?

When we started Very Good Ventures, we had a retainer to continue to develop the Hamilton application. At that point, it only made sense for us to use Flutter for any new projects as well. Over time, we went all in on Flutter. 

We get the “Why Flutter?” question a lot. It’s because we believe that Flutter is the best tool on the market today if your goal is to build high-performing apps for any platform, as efficiently as possible. Flutter helps companies succeed – and we use our expertise to help any company succeed with Flutter. It’s that simple. 

Our focus was and continues to be creating iOS and Android apps quickly and within budget parameters by leveraging the inherent advantages that Flutter offers: building apps for multiple screens and platforms, simultaneously. It turned out a lot of companies were interested in this too and we began to grow very quickly.

As a blended app developer and tech consultancy, we were able from the beginning to learn and gather insight from our clients, which was crucial with how new Flutter was at the time. We were pioneering development on this framework without a map and we learned a lot very quickly about this big gap in the market that we can fill. Flutter itself helped too by getting better and better and adding new platforms it would work on — now, Flutter runs on iOS, Android, web, macOS, Windows, Linux (including Automotive Grade), and more.

The growth really came from just focusing on doing things right and working really hard to make sure we committed to making our clients happy and getting the job done. We also were committed to building apps consistently and with high quality by creating a culture built on strong developer values (yes, we believe in 100% test coverage).


Having outside advice and input is crucial. For our team, the most valuable part of having an investor is working with someone who is able to provide advice and mentorship. 

You’re a founder and President of a rapidly-growing startup, which is a pretty unique role. What does your typical day-to-day look like?

It’s definitely been an evolution as we’ve expanded, learning a lot along the way about how to make my days as efficient as possible. 

Learning to delegate has been an ongoing process. I originally wrote code for a good chunk of our early years, so I had to learn to hand off that type of work as we scaled. From there, I started focusing more on project management and client interaction, but we had to eventually bring in leadership to run that part of the business as well. 

I see some of the biggest parts of my job as seeing the big picture of both VGV’s present and its future, ensuring we have clarity on our shared goals, that we’re all pulling in one direction, and helping teams work together as effectively as possible. It’s about creating the right structures and putting the right people in the right roles with necessary support to succeed.

What do you feel is your proudest achievement to date?

Our company culture at VGV is something I’m very proud of. We don’t have anything overly formal like a culture committee, but we have always focused on nurturing our team, and that has helped us build a strong culture that is now a major strategic advantage. It makes such a difference to be a part of a team where everyone is supportive, passionate, and truly here because they want to be here. 

From a client perspective, I’m also really proud of our relationship with Betterment over the years. We’ve worked very closely with them, and they are Flutter pioneers in the fintech space. That early vision is now becoming a significant and sustainable competitive advantage for them. 


What excites you about the future of your industry? 

For me, the bigger picture is that a lot of technology and processes out there are broken today. When something like Flutter comes along, which helps drastically reduce the complexity of the front end of all your different apps and mobile websites, etc., you change the behavior of development teams to be more modern. If a big company decides to make a strategic investment in this technology, it changes their entire organization beyond just their engineering and development teams. It ends up having positive ripple effects across the product, design, back-end, and other teams too.

I hope we’re on the forefront of a new wave of improving how technology is built and managed, improving the developer experience, and iterating quickly on a large scale. We have tools available now that eliminate so much pain we felt as developers not very long ago — Flutter being a big one. If we can make better software and create a better developer experience, it will be a big win for not only developers, but also companies and end users. 

How do you think an investor can best partner with/support an early-stage company?

We’re in a unique position with our investors because we are already profitable. Even more than capital, we’re looking for strategic support, advice, and guidance. Working as a consultancy has helped us because we've had access to so many different companies and we’ve seen them develop best practices. 

We see venture capital as something similar. Investors work with many different companies so they see a lot of different problems, solutions, and ways to tackle issues that we might not see every day. Having this outside advice and input is crucial. For our team, the most valuable part of having an investor is working with someone who is able to provide advice and mentorship. 


What advice would you give to other founders?

There are many big and small, but the most important thing I would say is to be adaptable. Being open to new opportunities – even if they don’t fit your views or expectations – can make all the difference in reaching your goals. 

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