Status updates are critical – Thinkfuse is going away, but here are some alternatives

Building a company requires building a tribe (team, advisors, investors, users, partners…). To build a tribe, you need to provide frequent updates to make sure everyone stays informed, aligned and energized.   But, keeping these groups informed is a technical challenge. So, when I found the guys at ThinkFuse (during Techstars) I was overjoyed and joined them as a mentor right away. Now, 2 years later they have been acquired by Salesforce (awesome for them) but are now planning to shut down the service on July 25 (sad for us).

So, to replace them for my team, the companies I advise and lots of other people I recommend the service to, I am now trying out;

http://15five.com/ – seems like it has much of the Thinkfuse with templates, email summary updates…

https://idonethis.com/ – which is really simple and easy to set up.

www.weeklydebrief.com - Aydin (CEO of Thinkfuse) reccomended it to me.

A Quora question on the same subject here - http://www.quora.com/Thinkfuse/Now-that-Thinkfuse-is-selling-to-Salesforce-what-are-some-other-options-for-easy-organized-team-status-reports

If you have a very large list (like customers or users), you can use http://mailchimp.com/ (we did at Gist for our marketing), but this is overkill for smaller teams, investors, partners…

Also playing with a Google doc/Google Group solution for this as well.

The real key is to be able to add a group of people, create template-based status updates, (the system sends updates via email to the group), allow people to respond to the email with comments (preferably in-line with) and everyone can see a history of the updates and comments. Clearly a simple email distrbution list can work too, but has none of the nifty features of these other solutions.  Still looking for the right way to build the tribe.

Other ideas?

 

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4 Responses to Status updates are critical – Thinkfuse is going away, but here are some alternatives

  1. Ali says:

    Just found Thinkfuse, this is the absolute perfect tool for me right now, and I can’t believe that its now gone! I hate Salesforce!

    The alternatives you mentioned don’t work the same, just had a look into them, but let’s hope someone creates this very soon. I’m absolutely sure people would be more than willing to pay good money for this product, I know I would!

  2. Jianshi Huang says:

    My friend Andrew@leanplum is simple and flexible. Just use Google doc and share the whole folder with your tribe.

  3. We’ve built Weekdone http://weekdone.com/ as the most simple and easy to use team and employee weekly status reports service. It’s the most zen reporting tool ever. We set out to build something really loved by employees, not something managers have to push on people. The users have found that one of the key aspects is team communication, both making sure others know what you’re doing as well as giving comments and getting feedback from others inside Weekdone.

    Managers have found they can save 5-10 hours per month just from not having to chase people to send in their reports and from removing all the unnecessary back-and-forth e-mailing and inbox overload.

    We use a best practice process called PPP (Progress, Plans and Problems). It’s something used by the likes of Skype and Facebook or startup accelerators like Seedcamp.
    - Progress describes last week’s achievements and finished items
    - Plans list goals and objectives for this week
    - Problems are challenges, stuck and delayed plans
    - Ideally a maximum of 5 items per section

    • mccann says:

      Thanks for the and suggestion. The app looks simple and clean, but would be good to have more flexibility in adding fields to fit a different kind/style of report.

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