I have been working in outsourcing since I started Around25 back in 2006 and I had the chance to work on some very interesting projects and meet cool clients along the way.
Along with the team we have grown to handle some pretty large projects, while also keeping a friendly working environment based on personal collaboration rather than corporate guidelines.
This year however we decided to make a few things different. We will try to grow a culture based on a startup mentality, try to pick the clients that actually care about their products even more than we do and add more value by working on some of our own products and ideas that hopefully will bring value to the people using them.
The New Clients
Until now I’ve worked with clients all over the world, each with their work way of working and doing things. Some of them were really passionate about what they needed and I loved to stay and chat with them or work on their project. Others viewed the development part of building their vision as a chore and chose to limit their involvement to the maximum. Having no one that can act as a product owner is hard for any team.
Another problem that seems to not be limited to one client is the insistence on working on big projects with only one or two developers. And on top of that requesting estimations of ever changing requirements.
As cool as the client may be we are not sales men. We are not here to sell you pipe dreams or work on the same project for the next 10 years because we like you as a person. We are first and foremost professionals/craftsmen. As much as we may like you as a client we like your project more. If you can’t make the right decisions to help us make your project great then we would prefer to focus on others that can.
Hard as it may seem the one thing we see all day is not the client, it’s the code, it’s their project. That is what we care about and that is our number one concern.
Rule #1: Work for only for clients that are excited about their products and filter out all the rest.
Up until now we have focused a lot of forming a great team that can become more than just a big team of developers. We have tried to create a family of friends, to have fun meeting each day and to grow together in our skill.
We had good friends come and go, but we managed to reach most of our goals in this regard. From here I want to move the team from working in outsourcing to creating value for other people and continually generate new ideas to support this goal.
The first product out of this is a new bootstrap theme called Ark Admin that tries to deliver a clean flat UI for admin/dashboard pages.
Rule #2: Create an environment that allow the free flow of ideas and build products that add value to the customer.
Up until now we have concentrated a lot of the online market and tried to find clients instead of partners. I think that in order to move forward we need to build a better network of partners that can help us reach all our goals.
In doing so we will be participating at the Startup Weekend event this month and try to meet other people who share our vision and see if one of our ideas has some support and a possible market for it.
Rule #3: Connect with the people around you or those that share your vision. You can’t bring value if you forget the people involved.