Google Analytics is kind of essential for working with modern analytics tools. I hate the UI, and I hate integrating with it. Whenever you do a new integration, some properties get lost somewhere.
Google AdWords is confusing but necessary. The value is obvious. We can spend money on ads, and it works. We do not use it for analytics as much, as we do most of our diagnostic with Periscope.
Periscope is very powerful. It integrates with our Redshift database. They allow SQL snippets which are very powerful. We can build reusable analytics shortcuts and use a simple snippet in a lot of different queries.
Segment.io allows us to aggregate data from a disparate amount of sources. With one integration you get a lot more in terms of data that you can analyze and compare. We use it to funnel a ton of data into our Redshift database. It does get expensive though.
Pipedrive is simpler and cheaper than Salesforce. In our business, we do not need the heavy lifting that comes with Salesforce. Pipedrive provides aggregate views. We use it as a CRM mainly for our partners while we use Intercom for our customers.
Intercom records the conversation that we have with our customers. It is interesting because it allows collaboration between the support and marketing/sales teams, even though it can lead to some account duplications. We use Auto Filters and tagging to classify the conversations.
We can say that we are a Slack-driven company. We have a ton of integrations and a ton of bots. As a VP, it helps me manage more efficiently because at any given time I can get a pretty good idea of anything that is going on in the company, no matter where I am. Some people complain that there is a lot of noise coming from Slack. That is why we had to regulate it. For example, GIFs are only allowed in one channel. Overall it’s been far better than handling everything with email, and it’s adding more productivity than it takes away. It is also great for connecting with people that are working remotely; it makes everyone feel included.
MailChimp is not as powerful of an interface, but the UI is a lot more intuitive than HubSpot and has great templating features.
I love SendGrid. We don’t use it for email marketing too much; we mostly use it to send out system and engagement emails. SendGrid is trying to do a similar thing as HubSpot, but it is still trying to catch up.
We are using Google Apps for everything. There are still some people that use Dropbox or Box, but we’re migrating slowly. The collaborative editing is essential for our business. It was very revolutionary in allowing multiple people to access a document. Google interfaces can be very spartan, but that becomes a strength when it gets into the Office domain. Many have tried to do the same thing but failed because they were trying to please everyone and the result became too complicated and completely unusable. Google started with a very focused feature—collaborative editing—that was a game changer and slowly built on additional functionalities.
QuickBooks is fine. It’s funny that we use QuickBooks because we are big fans of Xero. At the time that we started, Xero was not around. If we were to chose right now, we would probably use Xero.
We switched to ADP from TriNet mainly because of the cost, but also because we were using Ambrose before it was acquired and became part of the TriNet ecosystem, and the switch was confusing and poorly handled. ADP handles 401K, payroll, and HR. The interface is not pretty and it is slightly confusing, but overall they do what you’d expect them to do.
StrongDM manages database access and auditing. It becomes a secure middleman between the database and your user. Anybody can get credentials and whenever the keys are renewed you do not need to send each client a new key. If there is a suspicious activity we can turn off any account. Also, they keep an audit trail of everything that people do in real time.
I use Prezi for presentations; it makes them beautiful. It is a massive canvas, and it’s good at giving people perspective.
Zapier is going to replace software developers someday. It’s pretty wild.
We use Appear.in for video conferencing. It’s Google Hangouts without the access misunderstanding. It creates a room that anyone can join. You get to type Appear.in and customize the URL as whatever you want. Sometimes you can go to random string, and you might find someone. It’s not very private, but we don’t care. For video conferencing and calls we use almost every tool out there.
We use Stunning to update credit card information. It tries to get the delinquent accounts in good standing.
Stripe is good. It's lauded for its API, but we had to build a lot of software around it because we have so many products. It has been very reliable and easy to integrate, but somewhat expensive.
We use Calendly to schedule meetings with people outside the company. Customer support also uses it. It reduces the hassle of scheduling. I love the time feature that they introduced last year. It’s good because people cannot just go on my calendar and book me at any time, I can set it so that I get a couple of days notice.
We use Google Calendar internally for everything.
Trello is great for a team that has a lot of discipline and needs a lot of flexibility. Flexibility is a strength and one of its downsides as boards can get confusing. Trello helps with managing work in flight.
Pivotal Tracker is great because it allows you to get speed estimates, story estimates, and track bugs. It is a very opinionated tool, so it is not for every team. If you use it on the right team, it is great. It works well with our software development teams.