Lessons Learned From Swat.io

Transitioning from an agency to a product company

How does an agency transition into a Saas business?

Introduction

Michael started the company in 2008 after working as a freelance developer, creating a large number of applications and building a large network along the way.

Development Process

Obviously moving from an agency to a product focused company means that a new mindset has to be adapted. This didn’t happen overnight of course. It’s the aforementioned slow but consistent transitioning into a quality oriented thinking in terms of code. This includes but is not limited to using versioning, automated testing, code reviews and creating a release strategy. While the agency setup is driven by deadlines, the product approach focuses on releasing often.

Communication

Die Socialisten have a weekly meeting where they discuss pending problems, things that went well and where everyone gets up to speed on what’s next in the pipeline. Other than that one official meeting, they use tools like HipChat for internal communication, Blossom to keep everyone on track with the current development status and tend to use a bug tracker to communicate with their customers in a direct fashion.

Culture

Team culture plays an important role at swat.io.

Learnings

Die Socialisten are a great example for how one agency moved from creating short lived campaigns to a SaaS business. Transitions take time and they also need the right mindset, people, timing and environment.

Focusing on quality. Software Development. Product Management.

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