How to Secure a Great Reference

How to Secure a Great Reference

August 25, 2015

This blogpost will show you what is needed to get a great reference from a partner and will give you an example of a great testimonial in case a partner asks you for one. It’ll also answer with what a mindset should one approach his clients? Not the “write one for me and I’ll sign it” type. As with everything great, the strong reference must say it all – what has one done, in what manner and why is the client writing it. Read below and then ask yourself: “Am I giving more than 110% to get such a testimonial?”


Twibble was a product we had originally built as a hacked together experiment for our previous startup, Venturocket; but shortly after realizing not only its potential but the market demand for what we had built, we decided to spin it out and create a new company. And so Twibble was born.

There was, however, just one small problem: our original engineers had left when we shut down the previous company, and we were left hanging, with Twibble in a particularly precarious state. Moreover, Twibble had been built in just a week or two and was never designed to scale. And so, after about seven or eight months of healthy growth, it started to collapse, and by December 2014, we realized very quickly that we were in trouble: Twibble was about to suffer catastrophic failure, and there was nothing we could do about it.

When we were introduced to the Dreamix team, admittedly, we were quite desperate. That said, they are based in Bulgaria, and we were weary of working with an offshore team: we had never done it before; had heard horror stories (haven’t we all?); and didn’t know what to expect.

But I was fortunate enough to meet Stoyan Mitov, head of the Dreamix team, one evening in San Francisco; and immediately I knew I had found what we had been looking for. A quick judge of character, I immediately trusted Stoyan and took him at his word: that Dreamix would be Twibble’s savior.

But we knew the journey would not be easy: if Twibble was ever going to have a chance of spreading its wings and taking flight, it would need to be rebuilt from the ground-up. In a word, then, a monumental task. At a really high level, Twibble had been built using Elasticsearch as a sort of database solution; the daunting task facing Dreamix was to transition Twibble to a more standard mySQL database, all the while reducing RackSpace server requirements by more than 60%.

So between about January and June of 2015, we engaged the Dreamix team and worked closely with them, during which time a few things became very apparent very quickly: first, these were some genuinely talented developers; second, they really cared about Twibble, to a legitimately passionate and emotional degree; and third, they must be superhuman as they actually never sleep. Seriously, it didn’t matter what time of day we’d email or Skype them, somebody was always there to respond, ten hours ahead of our San Francisco timezone.

To say that we have been pleased with the Dreamix team would be an understatement of comical degree. We have been absolutely blown away by their skill, their work ethic, and, most importantly, their obvious passion and love for Twibble, and for going far above and beyond what has been required or expected of them.

Most impressively, while we had initially entered into this engagement with much reservation, we have come out of it not only with the confidence that we are now working with the finest development team in the world, but that we have also found wonderful new friends as well.

The point is, the Dreamix team are no longer just some anonymous “offshore development team;” they have become, quite literally, part of the Twibble team itself. This became apparent just several weeks into our engagement when the Dreamix team started to refer to Twibble as “we” instead of “you” or “it.” To wit, we no longer regard Dreamix as a third party development team; to us, they’re just Twibble.

And so, if it is not yet abundantly clear, we cannot recommend Dreamix strongly enough. It has been our profound honor and privilege to work with them, and we look forward to making Twibble the NBT — that’s “Next Big Thing” — with them.


Marc Hoag, CEO & Co-Founder, Twibble


Do you think it’s worth the extra effort to receive such a reference? If yes, do you know now what you should do to get one of those? How do/will you feel when you receive such a writing from a partner? Please share an example of a great reference you received in the comment section below or write me directly @MitovStoyan

P.S. Read more on the job done here!


Stoyan Mitov

Blogger at JAXenter, business development director at Dreamix, co-founder at and active sportsperson by passion.

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