• Jan
  • 27

The Road and the Future of BusyFlow

January 27th, 2014 by naktinis

When we started BusyFlow back in 2011, our idea was to make people more effective by helping them integrate their diverse cloud-based tools into one convenient app. A one stop shop for managing all aspects of a small or medium business. When we started there was barely anyone doing this ‒ the APIs had just started to get stable and more sophisticated, cloud tool providers started realizing the value of giving access to their data to third parties. Traditional project management solutions kept providing their homebrewn tools: calendars, task managers, file sharing, as disrupting new solutions, like Dropbox, Trello, or Google Calendar, were creeping into processes of small companies. If there was a way to make these tools work together, no one knew what it was, and we set out to find it.

Starting as a dashboard with separate calendar, task, file, and message views synced with external services, we soon realized we’re not adding enough value and even start to replicate features of apps that are the best in what they do. We redesigned the app to make it your business news feed ‒ see what has happened as it happened and react to it. Say, if a task was created on Trello, you would see it in your BusyFlow wall and all comments you make there would be automatically synced to Trello, same with task status changes and so on. We later introduced iOS and Android apps based on a similar principle.

A year in the making, we started to get some traction, but there was no explosion. As we did not want to charge our customers until we felt like we add enough value, we had no income. We became an unfunded research project. We went into a bootstrapping mode where four of us would work with external projects to have enough money for basic needs and still to be able to dedicate some time to BusyFlow. This quickly became unsustainable and we felt both physically and emotionally drained. After intense discussions we decided to halt active development of BusyFlow. One of our investors ‒ HardGamma Ventures decided they liked the project so much, they want to maintain it and maybe look for a pivot.

Today we are stepping down from active involvement in BusyFlow and handing it over to HardGamma Ventures. We have agreed that they will maintain the project and possibly come up with an idea for a pivot.

And as for us, it was an exciting ride. We were accepted, we innovated, we made mistakes, all of them gave us important lessons, though, unfortunately, some of those made early, were ones that locked us out. Looking back, the app integration market has recently seen some relative successes ‒ Apple buying Cue as a response to Google Now, Zapier raising a $1.2M seed round, or Hojoki surviving long enough to prove itself sustainable. We are happy to have been an important part of a new paradigm that promotes openness and choice, and one that is yet to see its best.

  • Dec
  • 20

Your Google Drive comments are now synced with BusyFlow!

December 20th, 2012 by admin

googledrive-busyflowGoogle Drive is most popular app on BusyFlow, so we decided to give even more love for Drive and added a few new features.

 

From now if you comment something on Google Drive – the comment will now appear on BusyFlow! Also, the other way around: if you see a Google Drive item on BusyFlow and comment it – the comment will go to the Drive.

Give it a try: http://goo.gl/MEkaK

p.s. we’re actually one of the first apps to support comment sync, because this fresh API was only enabled on Thursday.

  • Dec
  • 17

The inventive step

December 17th, 2012 by naktinis

Recently I got a comment from one user that BusyFlow is solving a problem that he didn’t know having. This started me thinking about serving people’s needs by innovation. It’s not like we solved a problem he didn’t have, or invented a problem and later provided a solution. We simply gave a new perspective on the way things are (in this case – productivity using multiple cloud apps). This comment means that if this user was asked about the problems he had regarding productivity, he would have likely said that he has none. He was using state of the art tools to do his work and was probably doing that better than many of his peers. However, this does not mean his work could not be improved, e.g. by making it more productive or enjoyable. He just didn’t know it was possible or how it was possible.

This is where it takes an inventive step: acknowledging that a positive change is possible and prototyping a design that could work. When coming up with a new idea we are constrained by existing terms that shape our thinking. Take, for example, project management. We all have some sort of mental picture of what it is and how it is supposed to work. And precisely such concepts not only give us means of understanding, but also limits us in finding new (but related) concepts.

You should, of course, listen to people you’re trying to help. They can be a real inspiration and point to problems that need to be solved, but their proposed solutions should not be taken for granted, because in many cases they only take time to ponder on very slight variations of existing concepts. It is not as if they were thinking how they should wipe their existing process and restructure their business from scratch.

In BusyFlow we’re often discussing whether we should create more a project management tool, a social network for enterprise, a personal productivity tool, or even a (recently coined) cloud aggregator. For me, however, the goal is to create a product that would help people become more productive and enjoy their work, not to squeeze it into some category. I still use categories to introduce something new by showing it next to something familiar, or when I have less than 2 minutes for an explanation. I try, however, to avoid categorization when prototyping and researching. And this, I believe, helps to take the inventive step.

  • Dec
  • 7

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Trello is here!

December 7th, 2012 by admin

The most wanted app to integrate to BusyFlow was Trello. You asked – we delivered. Now Trello integration is available to everyone!

Features:

 

From now on by adding Trello into BusyFlow you will be able to see Trello changes (added or archived cards, comments and edits) in BF news feed. Also, you will be able comment on Trello cards on BusyFlow wall and all changes will be synced back to Trello.

In addition to that you can even create a new Trello card directly from BusyFlow!
Read the rest of this entry »

  • Oct
  • 25

Latest UI improvements

October 25th, 2012 by naktinis

BusyFlow is not just a dashboard for your apps or a private social network for your company. We see BusyFlow as a productivity app, so we continue to work on our user interface to make it even more intuitive and convenient.

News feed for each hive

As many of you already love our news feed, we decided to add it to each hive, and let you choose which view is the best for you.

  1. Now you can switch view from discussions(wall like) to feed.
  2. News feed is available for each hive.
  3. Working on any project you will see notifications about changes in other projects.
 

Discussion Wall for All Hives

Now you can have all discussions, from all of your hives (projects) in one place.

We made these changes thanks to the feedback we got from our users, and of course we would like to hear from you what you think about them. Tweet us, mail us or just leave your suggestions on our feedback page.

  • Aug
  • 24

Using Basecamp with BusyFlow

August 24th, 2012 by jaro

BusyFlow meets Basecamp from BusyFlow on Vimeo.

  • Jul
  • 8

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We’re launching iOS app

July 8th, 2012 by admin
As you are well aware of, we are moving into a mobile world. Games, social media, photo sharing…and productivity apps! We know that switching between apps isn’t just web user’s problem, it’s even harder when you are on mobile.  For that reason, during last two months, we worked very hard on making fully mobile version of BusyFlow.  You be able to do the typical BusyFlow functions, such as create a new account, add apps to integrate with, see updates across your entire flow, and filter projects, but our integration with all of the other apps will blow you away.

From our iOS app, you can create:
Plus, all comments (if possible on external tools) will sync back with your apps and much more!  Only BusyFlow provides that kind of functionality. Now, you can literally work anywhere.  Sync all of your cloud apps in seconds!
Oh ya, did we mention the app is free?
  • Jun
  • 19

leweb-london12-logo-CMYK-copy

BusyFlow is a Semi-Finalist at LeWeb London

June 19th, 2012 by jaro

LeWeb is Europe’s biggest startup conference, which will be hosted in London from June 19-20. BusyFlow has been selected as a semi-finalist at LeWeb, along with other 15 startups chosen from over 600 applications in over 30 different countries.

The motto of LeWeb London this year is “Faster than Real time”. As they mention on their website, the rapidly shifting social, cultural, and technological disruptions and changes are forcing startups and their teams to respond faster than ever. We were chosen because we are at the heart of it as we’re integrating many great products into one seamless application.

You can follow the conference in real time on LeWeb’s YouTube channel to follow us and the other great product presentations (http://www.youtube.com/leweb). The conference will include many great speakers, including Loic Le Meur, Michael Arrington, Shervin Pishevar, Robert Scoble, and Kevin Systrome. Also, we’re extremely excited to see a handful of the founders of products we have plans to integrate with soon, such as Aaron Levie (Box) and Phil Libin (Evernote).

During LeWeb, we will have big news as we’re going to announce something very special for our users. Come follow us at LeWeb and tweet us at @BusyFlow if you have any questions or just leave a comment below.

For more information about LeWeb, visit their homepage: http://london.leweb.co/

  • May
  • 14

Meet the Founders Interview with Jaro Šatkevic

May 14th, 2012 by busyflow team

Learn more about the BusyFlow team and the people behind it via our “Meet the Founders” interview series. Our next and final interview, in our series of posts, is with Jaro Šatkevic, our CEO at BusyFlow, who talks about his story below. Feel free to follow him on twitterGoogle+facebook and Linked In.

How did you get started as a developer or entrepreneur? Did you catch the entrepreneurial bug or knack for coding at an early age?

When I was 13 years old, my friend bought ZXSpectrum machine with 32kb RAM and tape data storage. Yes, that’s right, 32 kilobytes, not megabytes ;) That was wonderful time. If you wanted to play, the only way was to create a game by yourself. We coded in BASIC, but then we got a tape with Pascal compilator. For that we needed more RAM, so we soldered our computers and gave them 128kb of RAM ;)

My first money I earned during school years was when together with my best friend we started creating web pages, setting up local companies’ networks etc. During summer before university we became Internet providers in my small home town. That was my first entrepreneurial steps.

Describe the years after middle school into high school and college. What did you study, major in etc? Did you start any projects or startups before?

During the first university years I became a big fan of Open Source and together with a few other people we created the Open Source association for Lithuania. We participated in exhibitions, talked with the government, organized FLOSS meetups in Lithuania etc.

When I was on the 4th year of my software engineering studies, together with my friends Rimantas and Rimvydas (he is also a co-founder of BusyFlow) we started our first startup Toostis. At that time nobody in Lithuania talked about startups, global internet projects etc., so we read a lot on Internet, participated in events in Poland and other countries. A year later, I decided, that if there is no infrastructure, I need to create it for myself and others, that’s how the Lithuanian BarCamps were born. That was the first events in Lithuania that were dedicated strictly to tech startups, where people could share their knowledge and talk to each other. Now, after 3 years, in Lithuania I see a rapidly growing startup scene and I am happy to have contributed to these changes.

What is your favorite hobby or activity? Why?

I love Martial Arts. I tried lots of them, from Aikido, Karate to Escrima. I was in South Korea twice (4 months combined) to study WonHwaDo martial art where I got a junior instructor level belt.

Martial arts help me concentrate, eastern philosophy helps me find my way in my life. That’s why I started my own small WonHwaDo class in Vilnius, where I share my knowledge and skills with my students.

What do you love doing the most in your free time? at BusyFlow?

Hmm, free time? Probably I will have it after IPO or my first big exit? :D
There is not so much free time after BusyFlow, social activities, and martial arts, so I spend it with people I love.

What excites you the most about your current startup? why?

Our team has a strong technical background, and I am happy that using these skills we’re going to solve the problem we had personally and we saw that other people have the same problems as well.

Where do you want to take BusyFlow in the next few years? How and what role do you intend on playing in that effort?

I see a big future for cloud app market, I also see big possibilities for integrating them and I believe, that BusyFlow could become one of the main players in this area. We have at least 3 additional ideas how to use our backend by solving different integration problems, so BusyFlow.com as a project management solution is only the beginning!

  • May
  • 7

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Basecamp Now Available on BusyFlow.com!

May 7th, 2012 by busyflow team

Thank you so much for participating in the survey that we released a few weeks back when we asked you which features you loved the most in Basecamp. Well, the time has come and we are extremely happy to announce that BusyFlow will now be offering Basecamp integration as well! Yes, in addition to the current suite of apps (including Dropbox, Pivotal Tracker, GitHub, Google Docs) you can now manage your Basecamp account within the BusyFlow interface. Isn’t that cool?

Features:

As half of the survey respondents were still using Basecamp Classic, we decided to integrate both Basecamp Next and the old version of Basecamp. The survey also showed that the most wanted features are to-do items and discussions. So we started by integrating them. Check it out! Next we will be adding calendar items and files.

Benefits:

Our goal, since the beginning, has been to provide a seamless experience for our community to connect so many amazing cloud applications into one interface. No more multiple logins or download/uploading files.

We hope you love and appreciate the latest release from Busyflow. Over the past few weeks we have been hard at work, along with our bee friends, to make sure we could deliver on our promise of integrating Basecamp. Let us know if you have any issues, would like to provide feedback or just want to say “hello” at: team@busyflow.com.

Read the rest of this entry »