How validating solutions led us to a HUGE problem
Currently, a friend and I are working on a project that is primarily a problem we face. There is no collaboration tool that is designed for small teams.
Most of the times we have to at least use 3 tools to go from brainstorming to execution and from the 50 or so interviews we had with remote teams this seemed like the case. The most popular tool flow out there is Slack for chat, google drive for doc collaboration, and trello for task lists.
My friend and I were working on an accounting app. We used slack for general discussions, Email for weekly updates, Loomio for team decisions, Trello for keeping track of who is doing what, I used used workflowy to organise my own todos, zoom for meetings, google calendar to schedule the meetings, I think there are a few more but you get where I am going.
Keeping track of all of the different notifications got a bit ridiculous and things started slipping through the cracks so we eventually switched to Basecamp. Which is fantastic. But it's overkill for such a small team (2 of us were core team and another 2 people that help out now and then). Only four of their modules were active at the peak of it.
I would love to chat with small teams out here at indie hackers and understand the problems they face in terms of collaboration?
Also if the idea doesn't interest you, I'd love to just share that our goal is to learn from some of the stories here from indie hackers, we're most committed to making this a niche tool in collaboration. Why is this important? Most collaboration tools start out good but then start serving enterprises as VC's drive them for profits. I think only doist and basecamp have stayed out of that loop, though basecamp is heavily focused on project management.
Our problem was that if we want to get anything done with someone online we have to employ a small army of apps to keep track of things.
We then started researching what would be the ideal tool for minimum viable collaboration, and it seemed like we could isolate 4 different core tasks
The two main modules that we discarded were Video Calls and a Calendar.
We decided not to go with either because the effort-to-reward ratio wasn't high enough. Video calls are important but they also waste a lot of time if you don't have a clear agenda set. They are also expensive, a 3 person 1-hour meeting costs the project 3 hours. They are also tricky to set up if everyone is in different timezones. If a video call once a week is important to your team then just add a zoom link to the important links section.
Calendars are notoriously hard to build and we're not sure how important they are. We do have deadlines in the app for tasks and decisions. Maybe it would just be wiser to create an 'add to your calendar' link to things if you want to keep track of them on your own calendar. I acknowledge they are important but ultimately we decided that they weren't important enough.
I'm not sure though if we've hit a sweet spot in terms of a niche or a product and so would love to hear which communities are underserved in terms of collaboration tools, we're open to retrofitting additional features for a specific community. We have a landing page at tinyteam.io if this is of any interest to you guys :)