We use Capsule to manage our pipeline. It is one of those products that fits nicely with early stage companies. They’ve been around for a while and the founders are friends of mine. Part of our product offering includes a Capsule app, which allows our customers to see their Capsule sales pipeline and lists, such as portfolios, as a single customer view in UnifiedVU.
We use Slack for daily and weekly reporting. Every morning, everyone says what they are working on, and every night, everybody reports back what they’ve done. All of us work from home, so it’s like a virtual standup meeting.
We use Skype a lot. We each keep Skype open during the day so anyone can ping us at any time. We’re trying to have Slack open more and move into Slack, but Skype is really good for us for now for having a chat, to call each other, and to have quick meetings.
I’ve used Stripe for several years at a previous company, and it worked well, so when we decided to choose one processor, we chose Stripe. In the past, we used PayPal, and we ran into situations where people wanted to pay us, but couldn’t because PayPal wouldn’t let them create a new account until they had resolved issues with their old account. And while we never had such problems ourselves, we heard horror stories about accounts being locked, and startups not being able to withdraw from their accounts. Also, when Stripe came out, the UI was so slick compared to PayPal. PayPal has since caught up a bit, but Stripe’s UI is still more startup friendly.
I’ve used Zendesk for years at previous companies, and it’s a product we’ve grown with. We use Zendesk for ticketing, our knowledge base, and for a community for our users. Zendesk also connects with our CRM, Capsule. So if a user is not in our CRM, they get imported. It’s a really good integration.
It is very natural for us to use Google Drive since we already use Google for email, Google Docs, and we use Google Analytics. Everything is already baked into Google’s systems, and Google works very well. For us, it just doesn’t make sense to use Box and Dropbox. They are purely for file sharing, and there is no real editing capability in either one.
We use Xero for all financial matters, including accounting. I know the founders of Xero, and for my last few companies, Xero has been the perfect fit. It is a system that we can grow with, and will still be relevant as we grow. When Xero first came out, it had a user interface that was different and miles ahead of any other system at the time. This user interface, and its simplicity, is what attracted us early on. Plus, we’ve now developed an app on the UnifiedVU platform, which allows any CRM to speak to Xero as part of our single customer view product offering.
We don’t have anything formal in place at the moment, but we are tracking holiday requests and approvals on a shared Google spreadsheet. Google is a core part of our system and their products makes it easy to share documents and spreadsheets with the entire team.
We use Codility to test the abilities of developer candidates. We’ve found that most people can’t finish the test properly, so it’s easy to weed unqualified candidates out. Codility has great customer support; they were open to creating a custom developer test for us, but what they already had available was great. We also advertise job openings on our website, and speak to people in our networks.
I personally use XMind for mind mapping. My whole life is mind-mapped. When I need to think about strategies, I start with a mind map.
We use Hootsuite because you can set up multiple streams to get a good overview of all of your social media activity. We have no formal strategy in place yet, and do not have a dedicated social media person at the moment, so we just use Twitter and Facebook sites directly. We’ve also integrated Twitter and Zendesk directly, which has made managing tweets easier.
Supdate makes communication between founders and investors very easy. It’s really simple to use, and allows us to record monthly progress. It allows us to have a formal process to see how I perform, how my team performs and where the gaps are.
For product development, we use Bitbucket. For specific software issues, Bitbucket is working really well for us. We have a platform with single page applications, so we will end up building thousands and thousands of applications. Each application has a lifecycle, and Bitbucket gives us unlimited self-managed repositories, allowing us to have a repository for each application. Bitbucket also allows each application to have its own issue base and wiki. And since we’re still under 5 employees, it is free. When we grow, we’ll have to pay, but it is well worth it. Everyone else uses GitHub, but GitHub doesn’t give you the repositories.
We use Trello for team tasks. All of our development tasks are in Trello. The problem with Trello is that it doesn’t give you a chronological list of what you need to do.
I plan to use Asana for personal tasks and key targets since I can drop in a list and prioritize. I really didn’t like their old UI, but their new UI is promising.