Let The Build Begin...
Development has begun on the new networking platform, as has brand development (eek!) both of which is really bloody exciting!
I'm working with a fantastic North East agency called Layers (hi guys!) who are doing both build and design in house.
Last week we had a 'meet the team' call which was great for me as I got to see the faces (all be it digitally) of the people who are working to bring the ideas to life.
I know I've said it before, but this whole process really is making me feel very grown up!
Anyway, I wanted to talk about what it's been like so far from the perspective of project management. Well, to be honest I don't really do any project management, James & Paula do all of that (hi James & Paula!), what I really mean is the responsibilities that are on me and the Layers team, and what I'm learning along the way.
Throughout this process I'm recognising more and more the value of good, clear, regular communication. Don't get me wrong, I don't need to know the daily in's and out's of what Layers are up to or their timelines and/or dinner plans. But I always feel kept in the loop, and that for me is key. Trusting people, especially when you've never actually met in 3D, to understand your ideas and turn them into reality is kind of a big deal. So being kept up to date with progress whilst still giving each other the space we both need just to crack on is super important.
Working for myself I don't have people to bounce ideas off as often as I'd like. Being part of the DCI is helping ENORMOUSLY with this, but still - when I give myself feedback I'm always bloody right! Working with a team whom I know will be honest with their opinions, thoughts and ideas is proving invaluable for me too. Knowing that they'll tell me if an idea I have is shi!t (but in much nicer terms I'm sure), I know will save me a lot of time and money in the long run. They've also been really forthcoming with their own ideas which has been fantastic - not just doing as I ask but questioning me on it has already meant they're building something much better and fit for purpose.
Commissioning a company to build a platform or create a new brand isn't something that should be taken likely, it's a big commitment on your behalf and I'm just talking financially.
Unless you give them everything that they need, every step of the way, they can't do their job. So you have to commit to being on hand for as many meetings and questions and feedback sessions as they need - they need to be your top priority if you want them to do the best work possible, so committing time to the process is really important.
Don't get me wrong the team haven't been stalking me for info or wanting to arrange calls twice a week, they've only requested the things they need when you need them and any call we've had has been super productive. As I'm the only one with the answers, it means I have to be there to support them and provide them with all the information so they can get on with making all the magic happen!
Don't underestimate the commitment you make to a company when you sign up to work with them, although on paper they're working for you, in your mind you should now be working for them.
There you go - blog 3 in a series of what it's like to be a tech start-up!
In parallel to this I've been tapping into a bunch of different support that's available so I'll be going into that in more detail in a new blog over the next week or so.