We asked start-up leaders which app or software their team wouldn’t be able to work without.
If there’s one thing people love to know about start-ups, it’s their secret to success. According to stereotypes, a good start-up is scrappy and runs on enthusiasm, long hours and caffeinated drinks.
The truth is probably slightly more mundane. Yes, there’s plenty of passion and hard work but, according to start-up founders themselves, their working lives are made easier thanks to some nifty tech tools.
Take it from Tracworx co-founder and CTO Eoin O’Brien, who told us that the growing SaaS ecosystem “makes starting out easy and scaling even easier”.
With this in mind, SiliconRepublic.com asked its Start-up of the Week participants to spill the beans about the collaboration tools that their team can’t work without.
Here are 10 tools they recommend.
Kwayga CEO and co-founder Martin Fitzgerald said his team relies on Trello to get things done. But, really, any similar project management software product will suffice. “Everything in a business is basically a project of one size or another. The ability to set out what needs to be achieved and structure how we reach our target is key,” he said.
Liltoda founder and CEO Prof Deirdre Murray said that she and her team love Lucidchart. This web-based diagramming application allows users to visually collaborate on drawing, revising and sharing charts and diagrams.
Another recommendation from the team at Liltoda, Miro could also prove very useful for team collaboration. It is an online whiteboard that is excellent for workers who like to see their projects laid out visually.
“Coming from an engineering background we use an advanced PDF software called Bluebeam,” said PlantQuest co-founder and CEO Ger Carton.
“It allows us to use multiple data formatted that we receive from clients and to manipulate it to achieve our goals. It also allows us to securely store and version documents in a manner in line with our clients expectations.”
Google Calendar is “often overlooked” according to Luke Fagan, co-founder and product lead at Vyra.
“As a technology company, there are many softwares that we rely on to deliver our service and are crucial to our core business activities. However, one extremely basic tool has had a dramatic impact on our organisation is Google Calendar,” he told us.
“I’ve found that having a simple tool to manage your time effectively in a start-up is one of the most important pieces of technology you can implement. It allows us to be more realistic about what can be achieved in a period of time and – perhaps most importantly – it is a great enabler to switch off and enjoy other areas of life.”
Jira is an issue and project tracking software that’s part of the suite from Australian tech company Atlassian.
Volograms CEO and co-founder Rafael Pagés said his team are “heavy users” of the entire Atlassian suite, which also includes from Bitbucket, Trello and Confluence.
This collaboration tool is broadly similar to Trello. According to parent company Atlassian, Confluence is “where you build your vision” and Trello “lets you break that up into small bite-sized tasks and organise it”.
“We use it across all teams to plan our work, monitor the roadmap, track bugs, customer support and as an internal website with all the information related to the company, our processes and our products,” said Pagés, referring to his team’s favoured Atlassian tools.
ServBlock co-founder and CEO John Ward said Pitch has “been so useful to be able to collaborate on presentations in real time” with his start-up’s team.
Pitch is a Berlin-headquartered software start-up that does for presentations what Miro does for online whiteboards. It comes with in-built presentation templates and resources.
Legitimate co-founder Caoimhe Donnelly and her team swear by Google Docs.
“We spend hours each day jumping in and out of the same documents and decks. If we were having to email or share them using traditional methods it would give us nightmares,” she said.
Sometimes the simple, classic tools are the best.
“We’re massive fans of Notion,” said Alex Fitzgerald, founder and CEO of Cuckoo. “It’s proven itself to be organisational heaven!”
Notion is a productivity software company, with an EMEA base in Dublin, which develops project management and note-taking tools.
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