Partner Post from Ryan Nichols
Podio and GROW help startups turn ideas into action
Every great company was once a startup with a big idea. Whether it is scribbled on post-it note, diagrammed on a whiteboard, or drawn on the back of a cocktail napkin, every startup starts with a group of people having a new insight about the way things ought to be done.
Of course that idea is just the starting point. In hindsight, we often see that these initial ideas are entirely wrong, or at the very least the “easy part” when it comes to building a successful company. The hard part is taking that initial idea (as flawed as it may be) and turning into the right set of actions.
This a topic that we spend a lot of time thinking about here at Podio, as we’ve grown from our roots in a Copenhagen basement and supported hundreds of other startups on the same journey. Our collaborative work platform is built to support the natural flow of work from unstructured ideas and thoughts to structured tasks and workflow and back again. This ebb and flow is important in any kind of work, but especially critical for the early stage in a company’s life, where idle talk that doesn’t result in action is especially dangerous.
Too many work tools used by startups fail to bridge the gap between talk and action. On the one end of the spectrum are “social” tools that make it very easy to talk about work, but very hard to actually get any work done. At the other end of the spectrum are heavy, rigid online project management tools that would make it easier to get work done…. IF they were flexible enough for people to actually use them as part of their day to day work.
Podio wants to help startups bridge this gap: Start by taking a photo of that whiteboard or napkin with your smartphone, add it to a workspace, and invite your team to comment. Add a Google Doc with your notes. Create tasks to represent what you agreed to do next and assign them to the folks who agreed to step up. Now we’re starting to add a little more structure to that initial brainstorming session.
But that’s just the beginning. Maybe your first tasks is to create a prototype. There’s an app for agile development in the Podio App Market that you can add to your workspace, along with 700 other apps that you’ll find useful to jumpstart new areas of your business over time: hiring your first engineer, organizing your first project, bringing in your first client, closing your first partnership, and tracking your conversations with venture capitalists. Soon, we hope that you’ll be using Podio to plan your IPO! When you have the luxury of building a business from scratch, you have the choice to use a modern, social work platform that can support your ongoing growth.
That’s one reason why we’re so excited to sponsor and attend this week’s GROWtalks, a one day bootcamp for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs. The conference is in Vancouver, and will bring together startup teams with industry experts like Brant Cooper and Patrick Vlaskovits, authors of the Lean Entrepreneur. The focus of the conference will be making better product and marketing decisions to improve design, product development, customer acquisition, and retention.
Conferences like GROW have the opportunity to really impact startups… if the ideas discussed at the conference can be put into action. We’re excited to help. Podio will be helping to continue the conversations started at GROW in three ways:
- First, we’ll be buying the beers at Mahony & Sons Public House after GROWtalks on Wednesday afternoon– always a great venue for pushing ideas forward!
- Second, we’ll be inviting all GROW attendees to a private workspace to download the presentations, ask questions, and share ideas.
- And third– if any new startups at GROW want to start using Podio to get their business off the ground, we’ll be giving them their first year for free!
So don’t just let all your great ideas from this year’s GROW conference sit gathering dust in a notebook or word doc somewhere. Sign up for a free Podio account and start turning those ideas into action!
Ryan Nichols was VP Apps at Podio before its acquisition by Citrix, and is now helping the combined entity take its collaborative work platform to startups everywhere. Ryan has brought together tech and business to change how people work at places like SAP, Intuit, McKinsey, and cloud-startup Appirio.