I often wonder with the amount of creative, talented people on the web, why there aren’t even more startups and software products. Over the last 13 months I’ve managed to build Deckchair on my own from the ground up to profitable, entirely bootstrapped. Continue reading How I built a profitable bootstrapped side project.
If there is one recurring theme within the startup world, it is the idea that smaller is better.
Smaller companies are more productive, more agile and faster to market than their more bureaucratic peers. This notion is backed up with an organisational approach that has no traditional top down hierarchy. As traditional companies grow in size, the company gets slower as it scales as more and more levels of complexity to the company structure are added, and more bottlenecks in process and decision making are added. Continue reading Holacracy — the self organisational structure your company needs.
Many busy offices use calendars to keep a track of who’s in the office, so we knew that one of the most useful features within the product to keep a track of holiday leave, would be complete integration with Google Calendar, iCal and Outlook. You can now see at a glance, without logging in, the people who have taken holiday leave recently.
It’s super simple to get setup, just select Settings > Configure Calendar Integrations, making sure that you’ve got your timezone specified, and we’ll give you a link that you can use within outlook or Google Calendar directly.
If you are on Mac, you should be able to just click on the Team Calendar button, and Deckchair will download a file that iCal can recognise and pick up automatically. Outlook by default should do the same. If you are on using a web-based calendar should as Google calendar. copy the link by clicking on it, and follow the instructions below.
Login to your Google Calendar, then click the Add link on the bottom left column and select Add by URL
Paste the address you copied into the URL field in Google Calendar. Click Add to import the holiday calendar.
It’s that simple. Your team calendar is then available whenever you access your calendar, without you needing to login to Deckchair.
Most company handbooks are worse than boring, full of legalise and jargon, mostly serving to backup the company they have been issued from in a legal situation with an employee. Valve have taken the traditional company handbook, and thrown it out the window. Littered with classic one liners such as:
“Definitely panic if there’s caviar”
Not only have they managed to portray the company ethos, structure mission statement and values in an entertaining way they’ve done a stellar job at the design work as well.
Full PDF available should you wish to compare your own (dull) handbook.
Google is a massive company with more than 40,000 employees, but it has crafted a culture of Googlers who speak the same language.To outsiders, the language used by employees of the internet company may sound like gibberish. But within the company, the Google dialect is second nature.
Here are some Google-specific words you learn once you start working inside the Googleplex.
Plex: The Googleplex, as the company’s sprawling Mountain View, California, campus is called, is shortened to the Plex by many employees.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
GBike: The mode of transportation on Google’s campus, the GBike is known for its colorful frame. If you visit campus, you can even catch a glimpse of the conference-room bike.
Stan: In the Googleplex, you’ll meet Stan — Google’s own T. rex. The statue is there to remind the company to never become a dinosaur, or at least that’s one theory behind it.
Noogler: If you’re new to Google, expect to be called a Noogler. Pronounced “new-gler,” these people are identifiable thanks to the Google-colored propeller caps they receive.
Gayglers: Members of the LGBT community (and their supporters) are known as Gayglers.
Greyglers: Another Googler nickname, Greyglers are Google employees 40 and older (though we’ll guess some of those in their 40s aren’t sporting gray hairs). One of Google’s most prominent Greyglers is its chief internet evangelist (and one of the fathers of the web) Vint Cerf.
Xoogler: A Google employee who leaves the company becomes a Xoogler. A shortened version of ex-Googler, Xoogler is actually pronounced “zoo-gler.”
Some have credited Google employee No. 59, Doug Edwards, with inventing the term Xoogler. His blog was one of the first places to coin the term.
Googlegeist: This isn’t a ghost that haunts the Plex. The Googlegeist is an annual survey in which all of Google’s employees are asked to rate their managers and life at Google. While many employees would shy away from an HR questionnaire, more than 90% of Googlers fill it out every year.
Perf: Short for performance review, the dreaded annual Perf is what determines whether Googlers rise or fall in the coming year. It’s generally not what gets employees fired, though. Google tracks other performance reviews along the way.
TGIF: It does mean “Thank God It’s Friday,” but it also is the name of the weekly all-hands meeting — confusingly, now held on Thursdays. The hour-long meeting dates back to the early days of Google, but it is now held in a worldwide Google hangout. It’s also where Nooglers receive their hats.
Jolly Good Fellow: He’s not Santa, but Google employee Chade-Meng Tan is known as Google’s Jolly Good Fellow. “Fellow” is a term normally given to Google’s most valued engineers, but Tan’s title is to show what he’s working on: how to make people feel happy.
Tech Stop: The code name for Google’s IT department, Tech Stop fixes employees’ computers and is a standard in Google offices worldwide.
20% time: Google allows its engineers to spend 20% of their time working on something other than their main job. In that time, Googlers have dreamed up some of Google’s biggest products, including Gmail, Google News, and AdSense.
Stephen Lam/Getty Images
GUTS: This has nothing to do with Googlers’ bodies. GUTS is short for Google Universal Ticketing Systems, or where Googlers file tickets about problems that the company can track. It’s like an internal 311 system.
FixIts: FixIts started out as a way for Google engineers to hunker down and focus on back-burner issues. They were originally 24-hour events, but FixIts have evolved into shorter bursts to clear backlogged projects.
Finding candidates for positions is hard. As many of you are already aware, one of the best ways to source new candidates for positions is through job boards and aggregators around the web. If however you specialise in a particular field, or indeed are looking to, then niche job boards providing a more targeted audience are a great way of doing so. This collection of links (focusing primarily on the UK market) should help in sourcing the best candidates for your open positions, regardless of industry. We’ve added data on both the number of jobs, and the Alexa ranking for each website, with the Alexa ranking being the lower the number the better. N/A. entries represent No Alexa data, which can indicate even lower traffic levels.
Retail Job Boards
http://www.retailchoice.com – Job Count: 5000+ | Rank: 3,894 | Price: £195+VAT
http://www.retailjobsboard.co.uk – UK Job Count: 5000+ Jobs | Rank: N/A | Price £79+VAT
http://www.retailcareers.co.uk – (UK) Job Count: 1000+ Jobs | Rank: 43,983 | Price: £149.00 + VAT
http://jobs.thegrocer.co.uk – (UK) Job Count: 1000+ Jobs | Rank: 3,549 | Price: Starting at £300
http://www.inretail.co.uk – (UK) Job Count: 500+ Jobs | Rank: 55,466 | Price: £149.00 + VAT
Marketing Job Boards
Simply Marketing Jobs
http://www.simplymarketingjobs.co.uk Job Count: 1500+ | Rank: 17,371 | Price: £175 +VAT
http://www.marketingjobboard.co.uk – Job Count: 1500+ | Rank: N/A
http://www.onlydigitaljobs.com – Job Count: 1000+ | Rank: 32,594 | Price: From £125
http://jobs.marketingweek.com – Job Count: 500+ | Rank: 2,143 | Price: £995
http://www.bubble-jobs.co.uk – Job Count: 500+ | Rank: N/A
Design Job Boards
http://jobs.designweek.co.uk – Job Count: 750+ | Rank: 8,064 | Price £875
https://www.coroflot.com/post-a-job – Job Count: 1000+ | Rank: N/A | Price: $275
http://creativepool.com/jobs/ – Job Count: 550+ | Rank: N/A | Price: £395
http://jobs.theguardian.com/jobs/design/ – Job Count: 450+ | Rank: 16 | Price: £750
http://ifyoucouldjobs.com – Job Count: 200+ | Rank: 21,209 | Price: Free / (£50 if position filled)
http://dribbble.com/jobs – Job Count: 200+ | Rank: 1,536 | Price: $375 for 30 days
http://www.designjobsboard.com – Job Count: 150+ | Rank: 30,540 | Price: Free
http://jobs.smashingmagazine.com/– Job Count: 100+ | Rank: 2,248 | Price: $225
Tech and Programming Job Boards
https://www.technojobs.co.uk – Job Count: 18K+ | Rank: 5,657 | Price: From £290
http://www.cwjobs.co.uk – Job Count: 10K + | Rank: 1,363 | Price: £250
http://jobs.mashable.com/jobs/search/results – Job Count: 6.5K+ | Rank: 223 | Price: $250
http://careers.stackoverflow.com/products/listings Job Count: 1500+ | Rank: 56 | Price: £325
https://jobs.github.com/ – Job Count: 200+ | Rank: 56 | Price: $450
http://www.develop-online.net/jobs – Job Count: 1000+ | Rank: 7,037 | Price: £150
(Game Development Specifically.)
Startup Job Boards
These job boards are for jobs which may appeal to a startup culture audience specifically.
http://workinstartups.com Job Count: 14K+ Rank: 3,610 | Price: Free
http://www.ukstartupjobs.com Job Count: Undetermined Rank: 32,976 | Price: £8.99
https://weworkremotely.com Job Count: Undetermined Rank: 22,659 | Price $200
https://www.startupers.com – Job Count: Undetermined Rank: 365,335 | Price $50 for 3
https://findbacon.com – Job Count: 2000+ Rank: 956,431 | Price: $149
https://authenticjobs.com Job Count: Rank: 38,321 | Price: From $99
Accountancy and Finance Job Boards
http://www.gaapweb.com – Job Count: 2000+ | Rank: 7,458 | Price: £700
http://www.accountancyjobsboard.co.uk Job Count: 3000+ | Rank: N/A | Price:£79
http://www.cityjobs.com – Job Count: 1500+ | Rank: 4,541 | Price: £299
http://www.icaewjobs.com Job Count: 1500+ | Rank: 31,272 | Price: £495
http://www.accountancyagejobs.com Job Count: 1500+ | Rank: 51,604 | Price: £425
Construction Jobs Boards
Careers in Construction
http://www.careersinconstruction.com – Job Count: 3500+ | Rank: 26,509 | Price: £600
Careers in Construction is a job board with an obvious focus on the construction industry. Built exclusively for the construction, design and building industries, and with everything from Engineering to Architecture to Project management jobs if you are looking for UK based candidates its not a bad place to start.
http://www.ricsrecruit.com – Job Count: 1000+| Rank: 42,863 | Price: £500
http://www.building4jobs.com – Job Count: 1000+ | Rank: 57,452 | Price: £600
http://www.recruitconstruction.com – Job Count: 3000+ | Rank: N/A | Price N/A
http://archinect.com/jobs – Job Count: N/A Rank: 27,244 | Price: $95
Engineering Jobs Boards
http://www.justengineers.net Jobs: 10K Rank: 12,401 | Price: N/A
http://www.engineerboard.co.uk Jobs: 22K+ Rank: 86,665 | Price: £150
http://directory.engineeringdaily.net/ Jobs 3K+ Rank: 17,917 | Price: N/A
Human Resources Job Boards
http://www.simplyhrjobs.co.uk Jobs: 7800+ Rank: 75,464 | Price: £299
http://www.changeboard.com Jobs: 680+ Rank: 115,465 | Price: N/A
http://www.eteach.com Jobs: 2500+ Rank: 3,573 | Price: £500
UK teacher recruitment website that also includes news and resources for teachers.
http://uk.fashionjobs.com Jobs: 600+ Rank: 10,585 | Price: £99
Looking for jobs in Fashion in the UK? Fashion Jobs is a job board dedicated to the uk fashion industry and provides not only useful industry articles, but job listings for candidates as well, including an executive job search function for those high end positions.
http://inautomotive.com Jobs: 4000+ Rank: 16,836 | Price: £300
If you looking for someone in the automotive industry, In Automotive is the current market leading job board online for the motor trade. Another member of the Simply Jobs family, this car industry job board that has around 4000 jobs at time of writing.
Oil & Gas
http://www.oilfinity.com Jobs: 31,500+ Rank: 99,853 | Price: N/A
The Oil and Gas industry is one of considerable size. The largest oil and gas industry job board with over 31,000 jobs is OilFinity.
http://www.cabincrew.com Jobs: 50 Rank: 169,785 | Price: £75 per week
Cabin Crew is a niche job board targeted at the airline industry, with everything from pilots to cabin crew staff catered for.
N.B. Prices, Job Count and Alexa Rank correct at time of publication.
If you are one of the 364 million members that LinkedIn claimed at the start of the first quarter of 2015, you’ve undoubtably witnessed a fair amount of imagination stretching profile descriptions.
You’ve probably giggled quietly to yourself at the blatant lies and BS buzzwords that people use to make themselves sound professional.
Exposing these fraudsters in the most hilarious way, are comedy duo Joseph and Joseph Productions bring the laughable lies of the LinkedIn world to life. They’ve cherry-picked real quotations from the CV website’s millions of profile summaries and invited actors to read them out loud.
All featured profiles can be found here: http://linkedinoutloud.tumblr.com/
The duo spent two years compiling the most egregious examples of LinkedIn BS as field research for this terrifyingly true masterpiece comedy project, and it’s a fantastic example of what not to put on your CV.
Slack is one of those companies doing everything right at the moment. Everything from their brand interactions to their release notes tells us that the company believes in doing things a little different. So , when they announced that they were making it easier for third parties such as ourselves to integrate with their product, via one click button interaction we just had to add it to Deckchair.
So how does it work?
Under the new ‘integrations’ section you can find a button for Slack.
Once you’ve successfully authenticated against your Slack, the next step is to simply update your team profiles to add your Slack usernames. Each user on the team will need to do this to receive a Slack message.
N.B Admin users won’t get sent a message as they already know a holiday is approved.
Create a holiday request from a team user, and approve it from an admin user. That’s all there is to it. If you request holiday leave and it gets denied or approved, we’ll now instantly notify you instantly via direct message within Slack. Here’s what a request will look like once you’ve integrated:
Pretty neat, huh? Let us know what you think in the comments.
We’re big fans of Slack here at Deckchair, so when we stumbled upon Slackalytics today (currently in beta) is a simple, open source bot for analyzing Slack messages, we had to take a closer look. Built in node.js, it grabs messages from Slack (using the Slack Real Time Messaging API), does some textual analysis, and counts the occurrences of specific instances of words and symbols.
Specifically, Slackalytics currently focuses on six metrics: word count, letter count, emoji count, exclamation count, question count and ellipses count.
Then, using the Google Analytics Measurement Protocol, it can send the data to a Google Analytics account. There, company administrators can visualize and analyze it within the standard user interface or using the Google Analytics Core Reporting API.
Slackalytics is open source, so any developer can build a customized version by forking the project on GitHub and adding metrics to his or her heart’s content. It’s not limited just to Slack, either; rather, the bot can be used with any communication app that has a real-time API.
Marketing is often the last thing on the list when a company is getting off the ground, but finding an audience and new customers is vital to your success. This collection of quick wins, tricks and tips should bolster your existing marketing efforts to help you achieve that little bit extra exposure.
1) Measure and monitor your email opens with Google Analytics.
Finding out when people open your transactional emails, particularly if they are time sensitive is an easy way to ensure that you don’t sink to the bottom of someone’s inbox. Google analytics has some nifty 1×1 pixel code you can use to achieve this, and it even shows up in realtime reports. Lunametrics have a good walkthrough on achieving this.
2) Wrap your content around an online event
Craft your content to appeal to an audience that you know are going to show up online at a set time. There is undoubtably events in your industry with an associated hashtag you can traffic surf on. Creating a publishing calendar of significant events provides a good idea bank for new content.
3) Content is SEO
Investing time and effort on your content is the single biggest driver for organic traffic, so get writing. You’ll not only provide Google with additional pages to surface in the results, but also drive links back to your site, which is still one of the most important ranking factors for SEO positions. Your content should be relevant, useful and well written to drive traffic and links.
4) Monitor your competitors
Anywhere your competitors are mentioned online is a good place to get your brand. Setup Google alerts for their brand(s) and domains to see where they are obtaining links, mentions and new business. Monitoring them on the social web is easy too. Social mention isn’t a bad place to start, but there are plenty of mobile apps that also provide alerts when a competitor gets mentioned. Sometimes, particular on forum searches (BoardReader), you can inject your own solution into the conversation and win new business.
5) Mine for backlinks
Links are the still a great way to pull your website up in the rankings. Your competitors backlink profile is a treasure trove of information, and you can easily take a look at where they are obtaining both traffic and links by using tools such as Open Site Explorer or aHrefs. Replicate rinse and repeat and you’ll be ranking alongside them in no time.
6) Find places to promote your content
Traffic will not just come to your site, particular if you are just getting started. You have to promote it. Like crazy. That means finding communities that share similar content, or allow you to post links. Collate as many of these in a spreadsheet along with the traffic figures that they send, that way the next time you blog, you’ll have a task list of places to promote that content elsewhere on the web. Stuck for content ideas? Use domain searches on a variety of social platforms:
Reddit Domain Search . e.g. Microsoft’s most popular content on Reddit
Pinterest content from Microsoft.
Plug your competitors in for an interesting exploration of their content.
7) Get Your Remarketing Stack in Shape
If you do manage to get visitors landing successfully on your site, remarketing provides a cost effective way to reach them again. The click through rate for remarking campaigns is often through the roof, so it can drive good targeted traffic without massive spend. It also makes you look like a huge company. Google and Facebook are the most popular ad networks to perform this on. Facebook is particularly attractive as you can combine it with a super targeted advertising profile.
8) Hack the press with targeted advertising
Want to target people who have visited your site in the past AND are between 25-35 AND are working as PR people living in Belfast? You can do achieve that with Facebook ads. You just need a little creative thinking with your campaign. Best of all, you won’t spend a fortune doing it either.
9) Create a referral program
Dropbox famously did this to grow. In order to get more storage, you had to share a link with a friend, so one person onboarded successfully often lead to two or more people hearing about the product. If you can offer discount or other incentive within your product, have a think about that.
10) Sort out your CTR
Your website provides lots of touch points for visitors to interact with it for the first time. Click through rates can be improved with simple techniques such as The First Letter Of Each Word Captilised – and a variety of other technical techniques that I’ve written about before.
11) Build an Email Referral System
Can you provide additional value such as PDF’s or free downloads? Getting email subscribers is the first steps in building a successful site that will take care of its own marketing. The more you have, the more likely you’ll experience people sharing your content. This post on DIY Email referrals is a great walkthrough on how to achieve that, and you can use MailChimp to achieve that.
12) Automate Your social media schedule
No one has time to be active 24/7 on social media. Learn to use a timed release of messages using products such as HootSuite or Buffer to wrap your message around the events happening at different time zones.
13) Use Email markup to get better responses
Gmail has it’s own structured schema language that Google are now using for things like Inbox, and Google Now. This allows them to parse emails better, and perform actions accordingly. If you’ve an Android device, you’ll have experienced this with reminders for eBay auctions closing. You can begin to markup your transactional emails to provide one tap capability within Gmail itself, which may give you an edge over the competition.
Anything we’ve missed? Add a comment here.