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San Francisco software development company at Disrupt hackathon


Where it all began


SF AppWorks emerged from the ashes of a music creation startup that founders Darius and Andrew worked on through the early 2000s. After shutting down their amps, they hit the hackathon circuit with a few designers and developers in search of their next startup idea. Along the way, they needed some cash flow, so they began helping organizations think like startups by bringing Agile methodologies and design thinking into their software development processes. More than a decade later, their team has built websites, apps, and emerging technology for AARP, Golden Globes, J. Crew, West Elm, Procter & Gamble, Humana, Vanguard, and so many more, all with a focus on creating software that improves lives. 
Further on



We believe in innovation and entrepreneurship. We're counting on the innovators and makers to work creatively to solve our world's toughest challenges. We count ourselves as part of that community.  

All of us are inspired by new technology. We have dedicated our careers to exploring it, harnessing it, and creating things with it. We seek clients who are also inspired by new technology and who have big ideas for what to do with it. 

We keep an eye on the new technologies that are changing the world. We learn them and we use them.  And we always think about how the things we build can help people live healthier, happier, better lives.  

software development company mission



Our mission is to use technology to improve people's lives. We believe that technology should be used as a force for good. As a team, we are dedicated to understanding, harnessing, and leveraging software design and development to help solve the world's problems through strategic partnerships and collaboration.
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We believe in a future where software solves problems and makes people's lives better. Software can help us tackle climate change, strengthen our democracies, unlock our minds through accessible education, improve our ability to monitor and take care of our bodies and minds, and provide strength and safety to our aging population. We believe it is our responsibility to help create that software and that future. 

software company manifesto



To improve people's lives. To build things that will be used. To help those who are helping others. To tackle big problems with open-minded, kind, and resilient people.  To find team members and clients who are curious and passionate, but also balanced. To take care of and support each other. To leave the world better than how we found it.

Clients and Partners

We love to partner with curious technologists to build interesting and useful things.
software developer at work


Whether you have one idea or several, need to build an internal demo or an external MVP, refine your requirements and explore new opportunities, we're a great starting point on your path to software development success. 
A word from our clients


"I’ve worked with the SF AppWorks dev team across multiple projects and technologies. They’re a great group of developers – highly skilled and capable of delivering complex products with quick turnaround. They are particularly well-suited for rapid prototyping or innovation work."
Luke ChatelainChief Digital Officer, J. Crew

"I absolutely loved working with the SF AppWorks' team. Given some external factors, we had to build and launch a new website in a tight timeline. The SF AppWorks' team responded by working extremely quickly and built an extremely cool and well-designed website. They handled all of our feedback diligently, and it felt like every change we had was finished faster than expected. We would definitely use them again!"

Teddy Owen
Teddy OwenChief of Staff, Moonhub

"They’re incredibly creative and client-focused.  They’ll do whatever they can to ensure they deliver the most optimal solution. Their strategic guidance was instrumental to us reaching our goals."

Diane TyProject Director, Business for Impact, Georgetown University

"Working with SF AppWorks was one of the best experiences I’ve had in digital product development in almost two decades. The team was always excited for the next challenge, willing to take apart problems and solutions alike to find the best route forward, and overall fun to work with. It was as if I finally found the people who spoke my language and knew how to make my thoughts reality."

Dan PardesDirector of Innovation, West Elm

"Our team was thoroughly impressed with the consultative nature of the design sprint. The facilitator's leadership was thoughtful, insightful and informative and we felt completely understood throughout the entire process. Our focus as a company is all about the client experience and setting those expectations high...we can't say enough about our own wonderful experiences as an SF AppWorks client and greatly look forward to continuing the partnership."

kelley naylor
Kelley NaylorCreative Strategy Director, Insidesource
The Origin Story


  • tech founders in San Francisco

    2008 - Darius and Andrew Meet

    They work together on an open-source music creation platform for three years before formally launching SF AppWorks.
  • sfaw basket, as a concept of software development company in San Francisco

    2012 - SF AppWorks Launches

    One product/marketing person, a designer, and three developers begin helping a fitness company design and launch their first app, an artist launch her digital gallery, and a writing professor launch a publishing company. 
  • developers team photo, as a concept of software development company in San Francisco

    2012-2014 - The team grows...a lot

    We balloon to 68 employees, mostly on the strength of super client AARP. We build, launch, and scale, a life coaching and motivation platform with millions of users. We cut our teeth launching a variety of products in several industries. We build a custom CMS and booking system for Plug and Play accelerator. We help Tenor (now part of Google) launch their Facebook integration, which leads to a massive surge in total traffic. We do work for Cal State University, Massachusetts State Lotto (which gives back $1B in local aid every year), Powermat, and others.
  • SF AppWorks awarded at Disrupt TechCrunch hackathon

    2016 - The Second Crisis

    All companies occasionally face crises. We faced our second when AARP suddenly shuts down Life Reimagined, leaving SF AppWorks with too little work for our team size. We fight like hell to keep everyone on board. After all, our team is our greatest asset. We use all of our savings and buy three extra months of payroll. We go to London and win the TechCrunch Disrupt hackathon. We begin investing in AI and emerging technologies. SF AppWorks meets at the tree they planted and declare, together, to be a mission-oriented company. Slowly, surely, the tide turns. The people who left AARP when Life Reimagined shut down join West Elm, Holiday Retirement, and Georgetown University. All of them become clients.
  • Junction Hackathon experience, as a concept of custom software development company in San Francisco

    2019 - BALANCE

    SF AppWorks spends three relatively balanced years working on interesting projects while solidifying our processes and building up our sales and marketing presence. We settle into our identity as technologists on a mission to improve the world. We hone our Rapid Prototyping chops through a three-year engagement with West Elm, where we notch several big wins and industry recognition. We pick up several long-term engagements in the senior care space, including the prototyping and piloting of our first hardware device - a detection system for when seniors fall in the night. We prototype impact investing tools for Vanguard, digital therapeutics for Big Health, and a number of apps, websites, voice bots, and AI integrations.
  • laptops in a row, as a concept of software development in San Francisco

    2020 - The Pandemic Hits

    In the first few months of the pandemic, nearly all projects go on hold as companies scramble to figure out how to survive the pandemic. We use our extra resources to build a mutual aid platform to connect volunteers with people who need help. We implement a voluntary and temporary salary reduction program. The team responds and, as a result, nobody is let go. After a few months, the pendulum swings. Companies realize now, more than ever, they need a strong digital strategy and presence. We become busier than ever and use that demand to further hone our client selection process. We pick up incredible, long-term clients in retail (J. Crew), entertainment (Golden Globes), Ed Tech (Laurel Springs), Health and Wellness (Humana, LA Parks and Recs). Life gets a dose of perspective. We become more grateful, more balanced, and more committed to working our way with people who think like us. 

  • people looking at laptop, as a concept of software development in San Francisco

    2021 - Our Future

    Our client list has grown to include fortune 500 companies, high-growth startups, and government organizations, all focused on innovating new technologies to improve people's lives. We choose our clients carefully, promote positivity in our teams and partnerships, and do things the way we want - without investors and without fear.  We love the people we work with, both internally and externally. We're really good at making software and we're on a mission to do more for this world. Thanks for tuning into our journey. We look forward to meeting you, and maybe even building something great together.