Short History and the New Beginning of VivifyScrum

26 Oct 2017

VivifyScrum History Cover

Here we are now, rolling out a new release and starting a new era. We are still far behind our competitors when it comes to resources and money, but we are here with a great product, and we are here to stay.

The first version of VivifyScrum was released on August 1st, 2014. When I recall those days, I realise that we were trying very hard to look like a serious startup - but, we were not. My name is Goran Prijić, I am the co-founder and product owner at VivifyScrum and here is the story of VivifyScrum. 

VivifyScrum version 1.

Miloš Janjić and I founded the web development company Vivify Ideas in April 2013. Even though we were young, we were quite experienced web developers. However, in those days, the market demanded the mastery of cutting-edge technologies of which AngularJS was the frontrunner. Besides that, we were a young company with not a lot of things to show in our portfolio. We needed a project where our devs could learn AngularJS and that would look great in our portfolio as well.

I realise now that we could have managed those two impediments in a much more efficient way than founding a startup… in our defense: we were young.

In addition, during our previous work, we used a lot of different project management tools including JIRA, PivotalTracker, Trello, ScrumDo... and none of those really met our needs. I recall a lot of situations when we were furious because of Jira's complexity, Trello's lack of functionalities, etc. It was in late 2012 when I first came up with the idea of making a better PM tool, and then, in late 2013 we were finally at the point where we were able to carry it out.

Bottom line, we needed an angular project, we needed something for our portfolio and we wanted to make one excellent project management tool. That is how the story of VivifyScrum began.

We hired guys from Superawesome and our friend Žarko Cvijović to work on designing the product and after a few months of development, struggling with the resources and hardly finding time to work on the project, the first version saw the light of day.

VivifyScrum v1

On the day of the release, one of our first tweets got retweeted by Laravel official twitter account which led to a couple of hundred users trying our product. Feedback was very good. Parts of the community started speaking about our product while others wrote reviews on their blogs. All of that led to a significant increase of users and activity without a single dime spent on marketing.

Laravel retweeted VivifyScrum tweet

Problems with version 1.

Unfortunately, not everything was so great and exciting. First of all, we were totally inexperienced with how one startup should be developed after it’s released. We didn’t know anything about marketing, social promotion and very little about SEO and product development.

VivifyScrum started as a totally free product, so we didn’t have any revenue to maintain or promote it. Furthermore, being a company with a focus on outsourcing we didn't have enough resources to improve our product.

In addition, the product was implemented using Angular v1 not because it suits the product itself, but because we wanted and needed to learn it. This decision led to huge performance issues later on.

Altogether, we weren’t mature enough to run a startup.

VivifyScrum v1

VivifyScrum version 2.

Despite that, in the coming years, the number of users and activity continued to grow. That gave us valuable information that we have a market fit. What followed was the introduction of payment plans, which brought in some revenue. Also, Vivify Ideas has grown to 50 employees so far, and all of this led to what we were aiming for - a team of developers fully dedicated to VivifyScrum.

We started experimenting with a lot of marketing funnels, began to analyse the data from our database and listen carefully to the needs of our growing customer base. We improved our knowledge about product development, SEO, marketing, social promotion…simply put: we have grown.

So, we decided to make a new version with just one thought stuck in our mind: make a f... great project management tool.

Somewhere around June 2016, we finished the breakdown of our data along with the analysis of other similar tools and trends in project management. The next step was the creation of wireframes and design mockups which we finished by the end of 2016 coupled with the formation of a dedicated team of developers that would work on the implementation.

Learning from our previous mistake regarding the choice of technologies, we approached the decision process with the utmost care and attention. We formed a specialised team with a single goal - to find the most suitable javascript framework for this kind of project. The best fit turned out to be VueJS.

We spent nine long months on development, paying attention to details, adapting functionalities… After many trials and errors, numerous experiments with various concepts and countless tests, we finally got a product we are very proud of and which also incorporates different proven concepts from popular products, such as Slack and Twitter.

Laptop with VivifyScrum 

It wasn't easy, we had our work cut out for us, but what kept us going was our initial goal - to create a great project management tool.

Here we are now, rolling out a new release and starting a new era. We are still far behind our competitors when it comes to resources and money, but we are here with a great product, and we are here to stay.

 

So let's rock'n'roll.

 

Sincerely yours,

Goran Prijic

Product Owner at Vivify Scrum