Working “street style"

Our workflow inside CrewFire/SimpleCrew is extremely… “fluid.”I was speaking with a friend about how we work yesterday, and he described it as “street style”.I laughed, and then quickly wrote that down. I like it.Here’s how we work:When we started working on SimpleCrew in 2012, it was just Mike and I.Neither of us had very much in the way of professional experience working on software products.I’d worked as a sales rep for Yelp and did some marketing consulting before, and Mike did some software consulting and development work.So neither Mike nor I really had much experience with any software development practices or anything like that along the way.And it worked.It turns out, in the “quick and dirty” startup phase, with an infinite backlog of things that needs to get done, and only two people to do the job, processes more advanced than basic priority brainstorms, a Trello board or two, and open communication are, at best, unnecessary.At worst, they’re a waste of time and a distraction.So that’s how we evolved. Just two kids hacking and hustling as quickly as possible to bring the product to market and line up customers.How we’re working on CrewFire today retains that fluidity.Very basically, I designed the core UI in HTML & CSS using Twitter Bootstrap.I handed the HTML & CSS front-end to Mike, and, together with our badass JavaScript slinger (and first full-time hire!) Thang, he began buildling the logic of the application.Mike and Thang split up the development tasks between themselves on Trello, and just go at it.

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When tasks are completed, between Mike and Thang, they get tested in staging server before beying deployed live.Since I manage most of the front-end and UI/UX design, when they come across new designs that are needed, the just add it to my list for me to get through.I’ll update the design, push it to a Github repo we have for the front-end files, and Mike and Thang will bring it to life.For bug tracking and support, we communicate with our CrewFire beta customers right now in a private Facebook group.They can post any bugs, issues, or ideas they have. We address them and respond:

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That’s basically how we work. It’s super simple, fluid, and flexible. Quick and dirty at it’s best.I mentioned Thang earlier. He’s our first full-time team member working on product with us.In the next few months, we’re looking forward to bringing on more team members on both product and marketing/sales (modestly... we have sky-high revenue ambitions, but aim to achieve them with a small, tight team. More on that in a future post).So in the near future, we’ll likely find ourselves in the position where implementing a management process will become valuable and, eventually, necessary to continue operating smoothly.It’ll be, I think, about striking a balance. In any creative field, room for flexibility and fluidity is important.But, as we grow, some structure and process will be important to keep us productive, on track, and able to ignore the riff-raff so we can focus our creativity in the right places.

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