It's just a week ago that we founded Flownative and a lot has happened since then. In case you were curious about what we do behind the scenes at the moment, this post is for you.
If you ever started a company as a legal entity you know that there's quite a bit to learn about taxes, liability laws and in general, a fair amount of paper work. It hasn't been different for us, and thus I have been busy most of the last two weeks setting up the company. I'm glad we can tick this part off now and concentrate on the business development and our customers.
If you know me just a bit, it doesn't come as a surprise that I've been eagerly looking for nice tools which can support us with our business. Fortunately I didn't have to start from scratch and all of us had experience with lots of products in the past already. Since we aim for being a remote-work-compatible company, we almost exclusively chose SaaS solutions – and the introduction of these tools was surprisingly quick.
Here's a list of products we currently use:
- Slack (affiliate link). For internal communication we did not need emails at all so far! Slack really turned out as our central communication hub and water cooler which keeps our team together.
- Freshdesk for our Neos development help desk and for jointly processing emails to info@ and other accounts. We tried Zendesk for a couple of weeks, but came to the conclusion that Freshdesk is superior in its details – and pricing.
- Capsule CRM as our CRM. In general CRM solutions are ugly and have cluttered user interfaces. We really like Capsule so far (have been using it for about a week) because it really helps us keeping an overview of who in our team talked with which (potential) customer and what is the state of new inquiries. Capsule also provides us with a reasonable sales preview – let's see if it works out in the long term.
- Harvest for time tracking, expenses and invoices. I have been using Harvest in the past and I do like the time tracking capabilities. The biggest flaw is the invoice PDF generation which just doesn't meet my expectations. But for now we just use all the functions, even generate invoices but then write invoices manually again with Pages.
- we persuaded our tax consultant to meet via Skype or Google Hangout so that Karsten and I, who live close by his office, don't have advantage over Christian who lives far off in Bonn.
And some more of course. For the time being these tools really help us getting our work done, even though there are some manual steps necessary (synchronising customer data is partly automated with Zapier, but requires manual steps). In the future we plan to create a little Flow application as a middleware which shoves data from one tool to another and keeps everything in sync.
Products & Services
Now that we've got the tools out of the way, here's some info on what we actually plan to provide as a service.
We start off with technical and sales support for web agencies and organisations who are working on or plan to work on Neos-driven projects. We have a beta-version of a service and price structure for our help desk which we currently discuss with our first customers, but what we can say already is:
Neos & Flow Development Support
- you can get technical support for everything about Neos and Flow at our help desk via email, paid by 15 minute intervals
- we gladly help you getting your project on track (again) by discussing it with you via email, chat, phone or in a screensharing-session
- you can book workshops for kickstarting a technical concept for your project. When you are confident starting with your project, you can continue by yourself and rely on our help desk staffed by core team members as a virtual member of your team
Neos & Flow Core Development
- when you are planning a new project or are in midst of developing one, you might stumble over a bug. We will help you identifying the root cause and if it is a problem with Neos or Flow core, we can provide you with a bugfix patch within a very short time and make sure that it gets fixed in Neos or Flow core as well
- when there's a small or bigger feature missing in Neos or Flow, you can ask Flownative to create it for you. We'll either develop that feature in-house or ask core team members to do so. We will also take over communication with the core team to discuss if the new feature can become part of the core codebase or if it has to be provided as a separate package
That's what you can order today – but we have more services in the works ...
And then there are, of course, all the other things we do along the work on Flownative. Since I'm the release manager for the upcoming Neos 2.0, there's a lot work ahead to coordinate all the remaining work until a stable release (currently planned for end of March). Bastian Waidelich, as the release manager of Flow 3.0, did a great job already identifying the loose ends for the Flow release. We're working closely together and are really looking forward to providing you with two great new versions of Neos and Flow. (Hint: since there is no budget currently for release management, sponsorship inquiries of all sorts are highly appreciated and result in excessive public flattering for the noble benefactor)
What are your thoughts about Flownative? What do you expect and hope for? We'd be glad if you shared your thoughts in the comments of this post, or through one of the other channels which can eventually reach our team.