When we ran our previous online agency for 8 years – approx. 30 employees, 400 sqm office space and above 1 million € in revenue – we did things in a certain way as they developed their own dynamics over time.

It was like a gigantic road train hard to manoeuvre. appstretto is different. We are challenging best practices day by day and look out for new, other, and maybe better ways to form our team, run projects in parallel and have fun in the process. We behave like a speed boat. Here is what we learned.

People – (Small) Team Is Everything

Great people need freedom in how they structure their work, trust in their thinking and appropriate renumeration for the value they bring to our team. We look for a mixture of passionate youth and experienced veterans. The mixture of those two types of people bring the best outcome: plannable results and thinking outside the box. In order to find the best candidates for our team we are looking beyond Germany and German. Typical for Berlin, our team consists of employees from Germany, Austria, India, Aserbaidjan, Pakistan and the US. Next to daily work from our home offices we run a weekly “Work Together Day” where everybody gets together and can easily exchange knowledge with colleagues. A virtual “Monday Kick-Off” keeps us up-to-date in between.

Some recommended tools:

  • Google Hangouts for individual and team chats (unfortunately no @mention and useful search (yet))
  • Google Calendar for organizing our meetings
  • Workable for Recruiting with automatic publishing to job portals

Projects – Passion Makes It Awesome

Projects we want to put our time and sweat in need to be technologically challening and/or contentually interesting. Each project has a highly qualified, knowledgeable and motivated product owner. We participate in projects where we can bring immediate value to the table but at the same time also increase our knowledge. We look for synergies between projects to empower efficiency.

Some recommended tools:

  • Google Drive & Docs for keeping briefings, concepts, spreadsheets, etc.
  • FastBill for Quotations & Invoicing
  • SEM Rush for SEO/Marketing
  • PostPlanner for Social Media

Process – Speed, Accelerate, Launch

We live and breath a lean and pragmatic approach. That’s why we keep a close eye on overheads we can mitigate and use processes that are quickly to adapt if we need it. We learn a lot from our team in order to know what works best for everybody and the projects in general.

Some recommended tools:

  • Harvestapp for time tracking & budgeting, available on the Web, OS X and mobile devices
  • Forecastapp for general resource planning, connected to Harvest
  • Asana for project management
  • Beanstalkapp for Git Hosting & Automated deployments
  • Codacy for automated code reviews

Dmitry Korotkov, Art Director

Dmitry has over 15 years of work experience in the IT industry. He is responsible for concept development of new experiences, interfaces, maintenance of style guides, UI toolkits and experience design languages. He manages multiple Bekitzur projects from concept through completion and provides governance of overall corporate's brand look and feel.

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