Using Expensive Enterprise Software to be More ‘Lean Startup’

Michael Muse
Jul 6, 2016 · 9 min read

Here is an email I received from our Director of Finance recently:

This stuff isn’t considered sexy, but I’m here to give you the cabaret show and convince you that it is.

1. Reinvent No Wheels

2. Prototype Proprietary Software Faster

An aside for engineers and product people:Flows are not like Apex, in which you develop on top of Salesforce by writing code. Flows let us build business logic with a drag-and-drop GUI, without needing many things that go along with coding from scratch. Briefly, some of these off-the-shelf offerings comprise:
     -- CRUD functions for any object in the system
     -- Database migrations
     -- Authentication, security, permissions
     -- An API via Zapier

We got 68 feature requests that week. My team built 49 of them, including every single high priority one and all but two of the medium priority ones. We went from an average of one feature request per week for two months, to getting 68 in a single week.

3. Use the Big Guns on the Scary Stuff

Big bet experiments are scary unknowns that have the opportunity to 100x our company if they work. They tend to be forever ‘two quarters away’ when you instead spend resources trying to keep your house in order or building obvious stuff that you cannot learn from.

The Cabaret: Picking the Right Tool for the Job

As an exercise, try asking an engineer which coding language or database is best. If they’re truly good, before answering they’ll in turn ask what you hope to accomplish. It’s always about finding the right tool for the job, and at Q, our expensive enterprise software has been an instrumental tool in huge swaths of product we use to run our business.

Update (April 2018):


Musings of Managed by Q Operators.

Michael Muse

Written by

Operations Software Consultant: @MuseOperations. Formerly Product Operations @ManagedByQ


Musings of Managed by Q Operators.