Tuesday 31 May 2011

Month 10: Set stress levels to... err, zero

Roger's amazing console-a-tron

Whooop! We're into double figure months.  Not a huge milestone I'll grant you, however a long road requires many stones (well, Roman roads do at least), and this is another one.

This month we have the admission that... erm, gosh, this is embarrassing: We are not stressing out. [Unnecessary analogy] If stress was a bucket of potatoes, then we would not being eating chips any time soon.

It seems that the software is so reliable, that Rog has so honed our systems, and that our clients are so relaxed with the product, that there's simply no stressing happening at ClearSavvy.com Towers.

On a serious note, for any budding start-ups out there, I think we're a good example of having some big project technology practices during the early creation phase. We've created systems and scripts that allow us to deploy changes reliably, and we've implemented procedures that reduce the chances of live bugs. Of course, you're always reliant on good coding and good testing, but with controlled development cycles and automated deployments, we never create additional problems for ourselves.

In other news, we've finally received our own internet payment bank account. This means that we're able to extend our product to people that want to dip their toe in and try it out. Mike is working on our new trial offering this week.

We were lucky enough to have a visit from the one and only Andy Parker this month. It was great to see him back at the Towers, and to show him some of our new stuff. Also very kind of him not to lambast us for design mistakes, although I did kind of miss the abuse.

Also, we have named our development team "The Crack Eye Tees". Yes, it is not only a hilarious pun, it is true. We haven't come up with a name for Mike yet, but we're working on it.

Excitement levels:  Chillaxed [yes, I did say 'Chillaxed']
Office music this month:  Little Dragon

Friday 6 May 2011

Month 9: Early adopters versus later arrivals

Weyhay! This month's blog is a guest appearance from the head honcho himself; Mike. Now, we all know he's a little businessy, so be prepared for some straight business talkin'. To lighten the mood a little, please enjoy the lovely retro summer photo from our window at Savvy Towers, and reminisce about your long hot summers as a child playing in the streets and the local woods. Nice.


With sales having been hotting up in the last few months but still being relatively young as a business, we had an age-old dilemma regarding focussing our attention. Do we build and work to gain new clients or do we focus on support for existing users?

Our decision was the latter. The reason we think this is right for us now is that we are still building anyway and those that have made the commitment with us early deserve the best and greatest element of our attention.

Our business success is linked directly to our users success (deliberately so) so we must pay particular attention to their needs beyond anyone who might use our system if, when and maybe. In addition to this, there is no substitute for learning, changing and building based on real live usage, therefore the outcomes for these live clients are better and the knock-on is that we establish an enhanced product for future users anyway so it becomes a win-win.

Where you focus your own attention is linked to what phase you are at within your business lifecycle but is a decision you need to make. As this is about managing a start-up and that's what we still are then I would strongly advocate the route we have taken (obviously I would say that!) as your first clients and the way you treat them, learn from them and develop your product with them form the bedrock of your business.  


(told you he was businessy).

Excitement levels:  Music, festivals and debt recovery
Office music this month:  The Great Escape playlist