The JayPad Team

@TalkAboutJack

How we built a (very tiny) Slack competitor by accident

We set out to easily plan a roadtrip and built ourselves a project management tool

When deciding which way to pivot after a promising Alpha launch mid 2016 we asked ourselves what we needed most. As we described in this post it would be a simple tool to help plan our yearly vacations, friends- and family gatherings, birthdays and so forth. The basic functionality of our JayPads is to separate the relevant facts and information (finding a date, who brings what, who drives where etc.) from the ever growing blabla of, especially, a group chat — looking at every cat video ever. The times we planned bachelor parties through reply-all chain mails haunt us to this day and we cannot talk about these.

The times we planned bachelor parties through reply-all chain mails haunt us to this day

So we set out to help us keep sanity in these planning scenarios and since Trello did not enable the communication and discussions we needed we chose Slack as our main information and collaboration hub. Which was when the fun began.

This was our “information hub” during the first months of working in team JayPad.

I remember using the Slack “productivity hack” of utilizing the search function daily for accessing important information which was posted sometime ago. Slack quickly became this ever growing and organic discussion slash graveyard of URLs, pitchdecks, ideas, to-dos and deadlines. And this in a team of two. In hindsight it was a nightmare — we were discussing a competitor and deciding on its relevancy while believing the common narrative that these information would somehow magically be accessible forever. Which is not the case.

Slack quickly became this ever growing and organic discussion slash graveyard of URLs, pitchdecks, ideas, to-dos and deadlines

It wasn’t until two weeks into the active testing of the staging environment of our party planning tool when we first noticed that we had switched intuitively from using Slack as our means for project management and collaboration into our own JayPads. We figured our framework of one single discussion channel and a complementary content pad, in which results of this single continuous discussion would be stored, fit our needs much more than the presumably greatest collaboration software known to man.

Our solution is a very simple tool which separates relevant content from ever-growing blabla.

So one could say that we discovered somewhat by accident that building a party planner gave us the collaboration tool which we needed in order to build a party planner. In our opinion managing a project like a startup of two or any side project most likely will not benefit from using one of the common collaboration solutions and requires a significantly less complex tool. All we needed was a store for results, facts and information as well as a channel to develop these results. The separation of relevant content and general discussion.

If this is interesting for you: We are featured at Product Hunt: https://www.producthunt.com/posts/jaypad come and join the discussion — we’d love to hear your feedback.

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