How Dozens Of Entrepreneurs Are Navigating Uncertain Waters – Part II: Tech Tools Used

What we are experiencing today is unprecedented and offers us the opportunity to rethink our lives and the way we operate. Talking about our stories individually does not seem appropriate. What does seem appropriate is expressing our collective fears, anxieties, ideas and stories as we ride through this pandemic together.
by: Charles-Louis Machuron
illustration: Studio Polenta

How do we – the entrepreneurs, freelancers and startup founders – deal with the situation on a daily basis? How do we organize ourselves to work remotely? What technological tools do we use? What are the risks and opportunities for us? Are we ready to telework? Are all sectors at a standstill or does digital technology allow for the continuity of work? These are questions we’ve decided to collectively explore in this special issue.

We are all at the starting line but we may not all reach the finish line. This is precisely why we have to stick together, support each other, and ask for help (if needed) to get through this crisis.

II. Tech Tools Used

“Now that our team of 23 people is working remotely, the right systems are even more important than before. The main tools we use is Zoom for video calls, Slack for messaging, Confluence for documentation and Jira for project management. To manage the company, we use Governance of course! This is the first time that we can stress test our system under extreme conditions. The fact that all our information and decision taking is centrally available is an added benefit!

To keep people in touch, we try to do as much as possible with video. This week we did a video breakfast and even drank a cup of coffee via video call just to catch up. You cannot underestimate the social element of meeting each other in the office every day, so we try to keep that going as much as possible.”
– Bert Boerman,

“With the right tools, it’s actually quite simple to be efficient remotely. At Passbolt, we use Slack for messaging, Google Drive / Suite for documentation and real time editing (very useful while working on specifications or planning), Google Hangouts for video calls, and Gitlab for code versioning/reviewing.

Coordination is quite important. On Slack, we have a #whereabouts channel where people inform when they have to go offline for a while. We also tend to use specialized discussion channels for projects in order to reduce the noise and distractions.”
– Kevin Muller, Passbolt

“I think we use the standard set of tools of employed by any “modern” startup today. Slack as a messenger (with a few integrated bots and lots of GIFs), Zoom for calls with customers, Hangouts for internal calls, and Jira/Google Suite to collaborate. These solutions are probably the most resilient ones. It is very easy to manage permissions, and of course, they are cloud solutions accessible from anywhere, at any time, from any device.”
– Luc Falempin, Tokeny Solutions

“Although we work mainly on the ground, facilitating our coworking areas – we are no different from other teams. We use Google Drive to store and share documents and Zoom for team meetings. For daily updates, we use Whatsapp’s Group Chat feature. Our own app is almost ready and I hope we can launch it very soon. This will allow all our co-workers to stay connected and update each other on their projects and ideas.

How quickly companies can innovate in these times will define the path of return for many of us.”
– Gosia Kramer, The Office

“We work with the Zoho suite which provides us with all the services we need. Everything is interconnected and convenient to use. It is business as usual for us and I am in constant touch with my team. We are in the business of creating Web and Mobile applications, so we are used to working in the cloud, using online tools and being imaginative when problems arise. COVID-19 has not significantly impacted how we operate, yet.”
– Johnny Lagneau, Warrigal

“Slack is our best friend. And, Google Drive for any kind of sharing or collaborating. We also use Asana as a project management tool.”
– Gaëlle Haag, StarTalers

Read Part I: Working Remotely
Read Part III: Fears
Read Part IV: Issues
Read Part V: Opportunities
Read Part VI: 24 Hours In A Life Of An Entrepreneur
Read Part VII: How To Face The Crisis Personally
Read Part VIII: How To Face The Crisis Professionally
Read Part IX: How To Keep The Entrepreneurial Spirit Alive

This article was first published in Silicon Luxembourg magazine (special Covid edition “Hope”). Download now.

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