To Jesse Waites, technology is about empowering people. So, to help empower the people of Boston, he started PNTHR, a technical design, development and consulting firm.
What he saw was a need for affordable software development services. And after serving as both an Air Force nurse in Mississippi and an operating-room technician at Massachusetts General Hospital, Waites was confident he knew “exactly how to plan and execute a project or operation.”
The clients who reach out to Waites tend to have a general idea of what they want and then rely on the team at PNTHR to execute that idea in an affordable way. “With an extensive knowledge of open source alternatives,” Waites will suggest ways companies can cut down costs. “For example, one could use the Twitter Bootstrap framework and cut the front-end development time and cost on a custom web project by a third,” he says.
Waites also admits he’s told customers when to cut their project entirely. “I am honest with my clients and that is what keeps them coming back for more.”
Although the talent might be something to do with it, too.
The beauty of PNTHR is that every one of the team’s engineers has their own startup. So, when engineers are working for Waites, they’re not only gaining the opportunity to hone their skills, but they’re given the ability to make money they can then put back into their startup and the Boston economy. Hoping to harness the power pumping out of Kendall Square’s Cambridge Innovation Center, all of the coding happens right there. “We aren’t outsourcing things overseas around here,” Waites admits.
And to the people that hire PNTHR, it comes of extreme benefit. As Waites says, “They get access to extremely talented engineers at a price that other development shops can’t touch, because our overhead is so much lower.”
PNTHR’s services vary, ranging from Ruby on Rails and SEO to app marketing and video production. When asked which of his services are the strongest, Waites feels as though he can safely say they all are. “My services are strong, because my engineers are strong,” he admits, later claiming he’s created an excel file he personally populates with data on engineers, investors, journalists and anyone else he finds notable.
“I know the skill set, availability and contact information for every player in Kendall Square,” Waites says, likening himself to a film producer. “People tell me the project they need completed, and I personally hire graphic designers, front end developers, Rails developers and anyone else I need to execute and launch a site or app effectively and accurately.”
With a name like PNTHR, Waites wanted to highlight how companies can come to him and he can accomplish their tasks quickly. So quickly, that in the upcoming year, he hopes to continue down the path he’s on, saying, “I want to keep my developers happy, keep my clients happy and keep delivering beautiful and solid technology products.”
You might also see him start doing some recruiting — an “agent” for software developers. “Actors and athletes have people that represent them during negotiations. I don’t see why highly skilled software engineers can’t either.”