Small Companies Do it Better

As posted on the FreshBooks Blog:

It’s ironic…when you are small you control your own destiny – but most people would not agree with you.  They think success in the market place is determined by bigger players who have deeper pockets and wield a bigger club.  There is truth to that.  But when it comes to projects, I’d say little guys have more control.  

Right now we are running a little behind with the delivery of our upcoming ground mail invoicing service at FreshBooks.  In software it is common that things arrive late.  At FreshBooks it is UNcommon.  Why?  We are in 100% control of our development process.  I get calls to off-shore our software development all the time.  No thanks.  I like being on time, and I like great design (the downfall of off shore development in my humble opinion, but that is another story), so I’ll pass on the “cheaper” labour that WILL COST ME more time and energy.

Anyhow, ground mail is late.  I admit it.  Without going into the details, our partner (read “larger company”) has recently experienced some turnover.  No problem, these things happen, but from my vantage point it is a bummer when the lead developer on your project checks out when your project is 98% complete.  As a fairly seasoned project manager I know that one of the best ways to make a project FAIL is to change the team leaders part way.  I also know you have to roll with the punches and that’s exactly what our partner is doing.

Things are under control and their staff is competent…At this point it is really only a drag that we’ll deliver late – tough pill to swallow when not 10 days ago we were tightening the final screws and looking forward to kicking ground mail out the door last Monday.  C’est la vie. 

If you are following at home I’d say ground mail is now about two weeks away which will be three weeks late.  The good news is we have been adding more goodies to the upcoming release.  Thanks for your patience – it will be worth the wait.

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