Angel Grablev (@AngelGrablev) is the CEO and Co-Founder of Freedcamp, an online project management and collaboration application. Angel began Freedcamp as a side project, but has since built a global distributed team, and now works full-time to improve project management for thousands of customers.

Our conversation covers Angel’s previous work as a web developer, Freedcamp’s origins and intents, as well as the trouble faced in conventional project management. We also discuss management style and company culture more generally, as it relates to measured results and keeping your co-workers informed.

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Freedcamp

Sign up for Freedcamp, for free, at Freedcamp.com

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Show Notes & Links

“No team is alike.”

—Angel Grablev

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  • Angel got the idea for Freedcamp after attempting to organize a camping trip on email
  • “Underdo The Competition” — Basecamp’s tagline
  • iPhone 1, started with basic apps, but the App Store added tons of functionality

“No one is interested in paying money to organize a camping trip.”

—Angel Grablev

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“The biggest gift I have is the people I work with.”

—Angel Grablev

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“Take one step, everything else will take care of itself.”

—Angel Grablev

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Tools

Techniques

  • Reduce email; get everyone on a project mgmt. app as soon as possible
  • Don’t build a huge feature list; go for simple and easy to use
  • Think about where your product can grow
  • Find a technical co-founder; don’t suffer alone with skills you lack.
  • Go for 80% functionality and create a workaround for the final 20%
  • Be flexible with how you use any tool
  • Use [brackets] or #hashtags as a DIY way to have tags/categories
  • Create a catch-all “bucket” of to-dos for your company. It deters meetings & email.
  • Discover what works best for your team
  • Write down decisions made in [daily] meetings
  • Skim, don’t read, email. Just look for critical things.
  • Pause and look for the “most important thing”
  • Break down a project into two-week increments

Habits

  • Track time to get an accurate picture of your week, and to send invoices
  • Be social with your co-workers on the Wall
  • Establish a daily standup meeting to discuss what you’re working on
  • Follow-up and share results for projects or tasks
  • Continually gather ideas from your team
  • Use three monitors for Photoshop, Code, and Browsers
  • Quit Caffeine (be prepared for headaches)
  • Avoid email first thing; instead do your most important work first

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About the author: Prescott Perez-Fox

Prescott Perez-Fox is a New York-based graphic designer and brand developer with 17+ years experience in branding, packaging, graphic design, and web design. He runs The Busy Creator.

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