WORK[etc] Web App Blog

How We Know When WORKetc Sucks

Posted by Daniel Barnett Sun, 17 Apr '11 @ 10:33 PM
It is pretty simple really. I know when WORKetc sucks when I suddenly find myself no longer using it and instead reverting to the old ways of doing things - which for me means a lot of email.

Not many people realize the extent to which we use WORKetc to actually run WORKetc.  Google infamously calls this eating their own dog food.

I call it sanity.  Without WORKetc running WORKetc we wouldn't have a viable business.  Product development wouldn't progress as fast as it does, customer support would be a daily losing battle and we wouldn't be sending out invoices and collecting money.

We rely on WORKetc so much that I doubt whether any other startup uses their own product as much as we do. 

With WORKetc working for us 24/7, there is a lot of "dog food" to be eaten.

Not surprisingly, WORKetc is the top user account of WORKetc (1266 active days), followed by iDonny(1083), Hall(891) and Web1SEO(739).

So as you can imagine, when WORKetc sucks at something, we really feel it.  We subconsciously fall back into old, inefficient habits.  Personally I get this dulling sensation as my workflow starts to breakdown and my brain needs to start thinking about how to do something in WORKetc, rather than just getting work done.

This in itself is an interesting insight. When WORKetc is working well, you don't notice it.  But when something doesn't work as expected, the jarring feels twice as bad.  Luckily for the most part, we don't notice it :-)

Recently we started testing the waters with real-time phone support, whereby select customers could book themselves into a same day phone support session.  WORKetc sucked when Geoff @support implemented a third party scheduling solution - our tool wasn't up to doing what we wanted it to do.

I hated that. WORKetc sucked.  

So now we're rapidly developing an appointment scheduling tool so as to keep using WORKetc to run every part of the WORKetc business; again moving one step closer to the seamless, total business management tool which is my vision.

What else we use WORKetc for:

  • All our product development is managed via the project management software

  • Our lead system alerts us to cancelled customer accounts (custom development done with our own public API)

  • Contractors and some worketc staffers record their work hours with the timesheet tool

  • Every single customer support request runs through our help desk software

  • All customer invoices are calculated via the billing tool and automatically charged

  • Booked demos and training sessions are handled by the calendars

  • Company contracts are stored in documents (soon we'll be using Google Docs to edit and co-collaborate)

  • Knowledge base is used to keep an updateable company manual and "rule of thumb" guidelines we use to manage various scenarios

  • I use the gmail apps gadget to capture emails and turn the into partner leads

  • The Sales Catalog system to manage WETC subscription pricing plans and training services.

  • The Email Campaigns tool when we need to send an announcement to all customers.
And of course this blog is written and produced by the WORKetc blog tool!