The Lab, Our Research, Experiments, and Links

Pay it Forward

By Tom

The LaunchPad Lab partners recently met up for dinner and a few drinks.

We talked about how crucial our apprenticeship program has been and will be to our continued success. The Starter League in particular has been amazing for our business. All but two of us have taken classes there. What makes Starter League alumni fit so well with our team? Let's take a look at what we look for in a new candidate:

  1. A passion for what we are doing. We are building awesome products for some amazing clients along with two businesses we think will make a huge difference in the world. (PayValet + CureFaster)
  2. A ferocious appetite for learning....

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Becoming an Expert Web Developer

By Brendan

I was asked recently to join the Starter League JavaScript class as a TA. As a graduate of the Starter League Web Development program from a few years ago, I felt honored and validated to come back to the classroom as a teacher and "expert." While I certainly now know my way around JavaScript, I like everyone else have much to learn. This made me think, when can someone legitimately call himself or herself an expert?

TL;DR: Always and never

There are a lot of definitions for "expert web developer." All require a person to be constantly learning whether it is completing the 10,000 hour rule or being a jQuery core team member. Web technology changes at a crazy fast pace. One day you're the top expert in ...

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Apple iOS Development with Swift

By Tom

Apple iOS Development with Swift Since all of our design and development happens on Macs, we're always looking to see what new technology Apple is working on. We had the keynote of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference streaming in our conference room yesterday.

Toward the end of the presentation Senior VP Craig Federighi said that "Objective-C has served us well for 20 years, But...”.

But? What?

Without even a word, our whole office was in the conference room to see what came next.

Apple introduced Swift, a new programming language that is simpler and more powerful than Objective-C. The best part of our job is that we get to learn new technologies all the time. As Swift improves over t...

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CancerIQ wins Global Challenge Cup (Healthcare)

By Brendan


Our client, CancerIQ took top honors this past weekend, winning $100,000 in the Global Challenge Cup. We partnered with their team to build the prototype of their clinical oncology software. Success at LaunchPad Lab is measured by our client's success. Congratulations to the CancerIQ team!

Based in Chicago, Cancer IQ allows oncologists to collect genetic information from cancer patients and compare that information against a large database of similar patients. The goal ...

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Designing Your Stylesheets

By Kurt

Alan reviewing code

Front-end Designers spend vast amounts of time working to achieve pixel perfection. They sweat the details until each pixel is in just the right place on the web page. But in doing so they often overlook one of the most critical pieces to truly great web design - adding a level of stylesheet design.

In my experience, I tend to see this repeated pattern: A beautiful web site accompanied by a "horrendous" stylesheet. Poorly organized stylesheets may not affect user experience in the short term. However, improper stylesheet design most certainly results in a degraded user experience as even small code changes bubble up as elements on the page "break." As designers and front-end developers we...

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We're looking for a web designer

By Tom


About Us

Fueled by a team of passionate and driven entrepreneurs, LaunchPad Lab is a Chicago-based Development Studio that focuses on growing businesses. We are intentionally small, skilled and focused on success. We build our own businesses while helping others build theirs. No matter the size of the client, we approach all projects the same: design with reason, find business solutions and impress users with the best experience possible.

We work in a collaborative environment where everyone is expected to be creative and contribute to all facets of building businesses. Each day at LaunchPad Lab is an opportunity to work with a team focused on making a difference. We intentionally choose tough projec...

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Learn SEO: Lesson #1 - Introduction to SEO

By Ryan

Modern day treasure hunters are experts at Google. The pile of gold that comes along with that elusive #1 ranking is nothing to joke around about. It is real, it is huge, and it is make or break for thousands of businesses around the world.

In the coming blog posts, I will leverage my experience as a web developer and as a business owner to give you the tools and knowledge you need to maximize your profits online.

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization is about helping the people searching for what you offer find your website. Since Google facilitates this discovery process, you need to inform Google about what you offer. Further, when Google does decide to send the user your way, they will be watching to see if the user's needs are in fact met.

The whole process is num...

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Meet our latest success story: LandID

By Brendan

Here at LaunchPad Lab we've thawed out from ChiBeria, filled with excitement about the future. As we look forward to many new opportunities to help you, we're showcasing one of our latest successful clients that we partnered with to build a product and grow their business.

In 2013, we teamed up with another great client to build an iPhone app called LandID. LandID is a mobile platform designed to capture the images and stories of physical locations that shape your life.

When we kicked off this project, our team of developers and designers focused on defining the product's core essence. Our product discovery evolved through a review of existing photo apps and blogging platforms to find our unique message to shape and craft this p...

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