It is pretty simple really. I know when WORK[etc] 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 WORK[etc] to actually run WORK[etc]. Google infamously calls this eating their own dog food.
I call it sanity. Without WORK[etc] running WORK[etc] 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 WORK[etc] so much that I doubt whether any other startup uses their own product as much as we do.
With WORK[etc] working for us 24/7, there is a lot of “dog food” to be eaten.
So as you can imagine, when WORK[etc] 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 WORK[etc], rather than just getting work done.
This in itself is an interesting insight. When WORK[etc] 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. WORK[etc] 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. WORK[etc] sucked.
So now we’re rapidly developing an appointment scheduling tool so as to keep using WORK[etc] to run every part of the WORK[etc] business; again moving one step closer to the seamless, total business management tool which is my vision.
What else we use WORK[etc] 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 WORK[etc] blog tool!