It’s always exciring when you start a new project, with a whole new team, and on week zero, it’s vital that you start to establish how your team will communicate, and how to set your mobile project repository optimally. This is more vital, especially if you have team-members working remotely.
So as a founder, getting organized, set some structure right from the start, so you and your team members are on the same page, as far as consistent expectations. And as promised, all the tools I will mention are free (but I will also mention ones that might be better but come with a minimal charge). In this article I will run through the 8 Essential Tools A Startup Needs to Get Their Project Going
The first tool i always start off with is Slack, and despite being a free tool, it’s the most integral tool (in more ways than one).
Slack is organized around channels, which I usually use for each team (many others use as a topic, or a project), such as #marketing, #iOS, #android for instance. Groups can either be public (anyone in the team) or by invitation-only.
Each team-member can communicate in a group (channel) or individually (and privately). You can share files easily through drag-and-drop, its a very simple interface and fast, with powerful search-features.
What makes this tool the most integral tool is in the power of integration, the ability to integrate all the other tools I am about to mention directly into Slack, so that you get all the notifications and changes centrally in Slack. So Slack should be considered the daily staple of all the team-members to communicate.
Powered by Atlassian, BitBucket is where you will have all your team’s code residing. For free, you get unlimited private git code repositories (it’s free for up to five members of the team) .
Built as the CIaAS (Continuous Integration as a Service) tool, it Ship.ioautomates testing of your code by hooking into your git repository whenever there’s a change, conduct tests (your unit testing code) as well as simulator testing, and if all is good, it notifies the Slack channel that a new build is ready.
Additionally, with Ship.io, you can add a step so that it pushes to HocketAppwhich is a beta distribution service (unfortunately it is not free but its quite cheap) so that all the specific users you want testing will get a daily build of the app.
This is important because it allows all the stakeholders easy and automatic access to your app without you having to go in and build and archive and distribute manually each time.
Google Hangouts is a great free tool that hooks in with Slack, for the times when you have remote team-members, and it’s a lot quicker have video conferencing.
With hooks to Slack, you simply enter /hangout in any channel and you can start a hangout with team-members. I use this for standups, because I feel standups require quick video communication amongst team-members, something where typing fails at.
For the marketing aspect of your project, integrating Twitter into your Slack could prove quite useful in allowing your marketing team (as well as other teams) to keep up-to-date with tweets from your startup.
Your team will know when there’s something new from the PR arm of your company being posted.
The Slack-integration offers not only the ability to notify a channel of new tweets from your startup account, but to also allow you to post tweets directly from Slack.
Trello is a dead-simple project management tool, allowing the project manager to run his or her team, through visual sprint-boards. Of course you are going agile, so this tool will certainly serve you well…
Based around dragging-and-dropping, you can push things across, set checklists for stories. The Slack intregration will announce through the appropriate Slack channel, when a card is added, moved to another swim channel, or marked as resolved. This ensures everyone is on the same page (or on-board).
Another of the marketing tools, MailChimp offers a fantastic newsletter-management platform, allowing you to gain insights into your subscribers, analytics on how and when they access your newsletters, and send newsletters based customer behavior and preferences.
Slack integration involves receiving slack notifications to a particular channel (which I would normally direct to the #marketing channel) when Mailchimp receives new subscribers.
Dropbox of course is the best cloud storage solution out there, for personal as well as business (in my opinion) . You get a generous amount of storage for free as well.
Slack integration allows team-members to share files, getting notification in the channel when there is a new file in the folder, and Slack even cretes a preview when the file is shared via Dropbox. You simply paste a Dropbox-URL in a slack-channel.
And there you have it…
My toolkit for what Startups should setup- right from the get-go. This is important to get the team momentum started, with familiar and simple tools, as well as providing the right level of transparency to get the whole team on the same page in all aspects of the project, not just development. If you have any other suggestions for services that would be useful from day 0, please shoot through a comment below.
Doron is a Lead Intrepreneur, iOS Engineer and Scrum Product Owner, whom creates and leads self-autonomous teams to work on internal startups within TCL-America in the mobile and multimedia space. As the lead Product Owner and facilitator of the mobile projects I work with in Silicon Valley, I use my engineering skills and intuition to steer projects through lean practices.
Visit him at doronkatz.com or on linkedin.