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whitesmith.co

September Monthly Gathering

Rafael Jegundo

Overview

Things are still messy from the organization changes and the entropy of people.

We need to keep a high pace of change and improvement but on top of solid foundations. The process and tactics need to continue to change fast, but it’s important we keep focused on the medium and long-term strategy and consolidate culture.

Vision > mission > product + cash-flow + craftmanship > this month

A bit part of improving fast is distributing ownership as we have been discussed while ensuring a strong alignment, and that’s something we need to improve still. We also need to ensure our way of operating is clear and as simple as possible to avoid bureaucracy and be easy for people to change hats as needed without a lot of friction.

Operation model

Have people responsible for each area/circle. Responsible means you will make the minimum amount of effective leadership to get things rolling, not that you are the boss.

Check out all the news of this month regardind the different areas of the company!

People

It’s sad when people leave, but it’s normal. We are still an abnormality in terms of retention. We shouldn’t overthink this but as usual, learn and improve from it. In this case, an important point was a different, more international experience. This makes it more visible the need for us to be a more international company, both by having a bigger presence abroad and hiring outside Portugal.

We also should be more proactive in hiring to ensure our talent density is increasing on the long scheme of things while trying to balance it out with making the culture stable, and through that hire slowly but surely.

Consulting

Last month we had a good month deal-wise: we closed-won 4 new deals, being 1 of them above 20k€ and some of the others with potential to reach that value as well.We also reached the goal of 8 qualified deals that we wanted to reach this month.

When speaking of billables, last month we reached 62k€ which, after the not so good month of July, and taking into account that it's a slower month due to vacations, was good progress.

For the month of September we traced the goal of 70k€ for billables, 1 deal closed-won above 20k€, and increase the pace of sales by reaching 16 qualified deals. Let's go!

Product Cycle

In mid-August, we concluded our 1st round of Product Cycles and started the 2nd. We had 5 Product Cycles running, giving our Summersmiths an opportunity to experience trying to build a product from its conception to market validation.

As we ended the 1st round of Product Cycles (a very 1st time for both the Summersmiths and us as a company) we did a gathering to discuss the whole process and results, so we can improve for the next cycle.

Here's the key thoughts generally agreed on:

  • Most teams fought hard to be all-rounders, from idea conception and tech decision to market and business validation. We're proud to hear our Summersmiths say they feel it was a great experience, where they learned things they never imagined were part of building a product before. As a company so close to a University, we're glad we can help students experience something they hadn't had the opportunity before.
  • Validation was the major struggle for all products. Finding people that really wanted to use the products (so badly they'd pay for it) was something new to most people but many of them ended with interesting numbers.
  • The way we helped teams, by trying to guide them with not much interference (we want teams to act independently in the right proportion, while we just try to mentor them) was one of the flaws pointed. We had a team of 3 Whitesmithians following all products but that proved to be somewhat ineffective, and so on the 2nd Cycle we changed the formula a bit.
  • Different products had different realities, so the results varied a bit, but overall we're quite happy with the progress made with this first cycle. Not only we feel people learned from it, some of the things we wanted to make sure we made teams in contact with we're achieved.

For the 2nd Cycle, we approved 2 Product Cycles, one that was already in the 1st round (digitalbird.co, check them out!) and one new. Limiting WIP is another way we believe will help us help the teams raise the bar. We'll keep you posted.

Marketing

It seems that our inbound strategy is starting having some results, this month we achieved our goal of 3 contacts! Our strategy is in progress and we still have to do more experiments in order to have a consistent channel with good deals. But, it seems we are on track.

With some people on holidays, we couldn't achieve the goal of 6 blog posts published but we have 4 really nice. Did you already check it out? September will not be an easy month, we are fully booked so will not be easy to publish 6 new blog posts. We have several in progress, so let's see if we can do it! :muscle:

In August we started preparing some of the events we will be present or organizing in September. Do you want to know where you can find us?

In Porto on 20th September, we will have the 3rd edition of Digital Meets Physical! This one will be more focus on innovation and you can see all the details here. Will you join us? Don't forget to bring your friends too!

One week later, we will be at Pixels Camp! Like the last year, we will bring almost our all team to participate in the hackathon \o/. As partners, we will also have our booth (don't forget to pay us a visit), we will contribute for the prizes and we are preparing a Game of Thrones’ themed Augmented Reality treasure hunt for all the participants. Are you curious? Don't miss the blog post about it on Pixels Camp's blog!



See you next month

We would love to know your thoughts about our monthly reports. What else would you like us to cover? Or what can we share that would be helpful for you? Feel free to share any thoughts or questions on twitter!

Check out the posts of the past months:
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January part 1 & 2
November part 1 & 2


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