Interview: Founding Flownative

Along with the press release, TechDivision's Dominik Haller asked me a few questions about our new company Flownative.

What made you starting a Neos company?

First of all, for us it is all about making TYPO3 Neos even more successful. We see a lot of opportunities to further strengthen Neos and enable web agencies and organisations to profit from Neos. We'd like to seize some of these opportunities now by founding Flownative.

We'd like to offer our know how to a broader group of agencies and distill, refine and establish best practices from our experiences with Neos projects. And one more incentive for us to start a company focussing on Neos was to work even more closely with the core team in our day to day job.

Finally, of course, there's also the challenge to put all our heart and soul into a new startup.

Who is on board of that new company?

That's Christian Müller, Karsten Dambekalns and myself – all of us being longterm fellows of the Neos project.

Which goal do you pursue with Flownative?

We'd like to be the leading consultancy partner when its about successfully creating Neos or Flow projects. Figuratively speaking, at a car race Flownative is not the driver but considers itself as a coach and team who supports the driver to win the race. Flownative does not implement Neos websites, but we know what it takes to do so, who could do it and we provide knowledge and infrastructure to those who are creating Neos projects.

What do you hope for by creating that new venture?

First of all, we will make it much easier for agencies and organisations to getting started with Neos, because we help as a kind of joker for solving unexpected problems, and provide support like an insurance against Neos bugs. And through a common platform, best practices and infrastructure we'd like to simplify the collaboration between freelancers and agencies, but also within development teams in companies working with TYPO3 Neos.

We'd like to make it possible to consider Neos for very big projects and see ourself as a contact point for the development of currently missing core features. We will distribute and coordinate this feature development, and will check which core team member is best suited for the particular task and has time available to develop the respective feature.

Finally we also hope for a strong signal within and outside the TYPO3 community that Neos has grown up and has become an adult now.

Which service range will you cover with your company?

We have planned for a couple of services and products, but some of them are still at a very early stage. What we can reveal already is that we'll start off with a help desk end of February which will provide support to Neos and Flow developers. It will be open to all agencies and freelancers; we'll offer service level agreements with specific reaction times and support channels, and we can provide bugfixes and smaller features for Neos and Flow through that help desk. Additionally we'll gladly provide consulting to companies in need for new core features; if there's something missing in Neos, we can estimate how the feature can be integrated, if it could become a core feature or has to developed as a plugin and can then develop that feature ourselves or hand development over to one of our core team fellows.

Beyond what we can offer through the help desk, we'll also offer individual consulting, for example in an early phase of a new project. We can sit together virtually, or on site, and talk through how the project could be managed, how the technical implementation could look like and by that provide you with valuable information at a critical stage.

When a company takes up on your services – how does the collaboration look like?

As for the developer support, we'll provide a classic help desk, which means that you can ask questions via email, chat or by phone. We'll provide all services in english, german, and in the future in further languages. Through that help desk developer teams can be quickly provided with answers and don't need to spend an unnecessarily long time trying to find a solution themselves.

The working mode for other services will be agreed upon individually with our clients.

Why do you think that Flownative will further strengthen the Neos ecosystem?

In the Neos community there are several top notch agencies servicing end customers, but until now there wasn't any company providing services to agencies.

We hope that the existence of our support offerings will encourage agencies start with their first Neos project rather sooner than later. And with a company focussing on the development of Neos core features, we open up another potential channel for financing the Neos and Flow project.

And when will you start?

In February we'll be busy with preparations for funding the company. We are already in touch with first customers and expect to provide some first services end of February / beginning of March.

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