So I decided to do on the top of the monthly summary a sort of week in review where I’ll go through 2-3 business and fun things that happened at our indie startup. Let me know if it is a good idea and what you’d like to hear in those short report 🙂
I am not sure on how the format will be but the idea… Is to tell you how we are doing week over week. It is a great way for us to 1. Keep in touch our customers on updates / developments 2. Get feedback/validation on our ideas and 3. It’s introspective, when I write it usually helps me structure my thoughts better.
Perhaps I’ll also use these short weekly summaries to give a few things or test new features with the readership so stay tuned 😉
What we worked on last week
- Production — So Manypixels is organised into three main sections: Production, Sales, and Product. Production is basically responsible for making great designs. Then sales is to get more clients and to make sure existing clients tell us their experience and refer us to more clients. Finally we have Product which helps us automate our business and make the whole experience of ordering a design better.Two months ago I hired Milaa to head the Production department (which is 90% of our work right now to be honest!). She has been terrific so far (I know, I say that in every post). Of course, she has to improve some things but overall she impressed me and has a great attitude.
We have also recently hired Indah (right, on the front), who is doing customer service and finally we have got Sendy (left) which is Quality Manager. Sendy is a former UI/UX designer who’s basically building the quality processes and building training materials for our team.
Last week Milaa and Sendy met up to discuss how we could improve the quality and the speed from the designer standpoint. We all concluded the following:
“The first step we need to do is to categorize our requests, like items on a restaurant menu, and have a clear way to go about doing them, like a chef following his recipe, the cooks being the designers“.
Sendy made two presentations over that categorisation of requests but I felt we were not digging enough. He made great categories but I thought we needed to be more precise (have sub categories for example). We kind of found a way to improve vastly how we do these requests and should roll it out in the next couple of days 🙂
- Sales — Recently we started experimenting with direct acquisition again (mostly contacting companies with a simple “Hey guys, saw you were looking for a designer. We do amazing work, want to hire us?”) as well as asking our customers if they’d be happy to refer us to their friends in exchange for a referral fee (we pay USD $100 per month per referred customer). We just started doing this so it’s too early to tell the results!Also, we did something cool in April, we “hired” Indie Testers. Read the full post here. Basically I gave away 5 Manypixels subscriptions to the IH community in exchange of weekly feedbacks. I asked them to give us a LOT of feedback and strategical advice each week in exchange of free designs. It has really been helpful so far!
- Product — We are still developing our dashboard to better understand customer tastes and requirements. This is clearly the bottleneck though, it takes way too long to develop so we’re probably going to hire an in-house developer supporting our CTO.
Plans for this week
This week and probably the next 7 or 8 weeks we are going to be super focused on understanding who our customers really are and improving our service delivery. One of our Indie Testers told us the following “Robin, your early success shows you’re on to a real need that folks have; the next step is to understand who those people are, what value you’re providing them, how to keep them subscribed, and where to find more of them.” This is where our focus is going to be for the next couple of weeks.
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