In my last post announcing Notify My Team I mentioned that this was something we had previously considered building when we started using our Twitter-based notification system back in 2018. Well, what changed that made us decide to tackle this project now?
In short, the COVID-19 pandemic. In early March, as it was becoming obvious that shut downs were imminent, I had a discussion with a friend who is the head of HR at a staffing firm about emergency closures. She was concerned about the roughly 100 people who worked from their NYC office. How would she alert them that the city, or the office building, or the subway was closed? She asked what we did.
I explained our Twitter system, about how we weren’t really happy with it, about how everything we looked at seemed like overkill (i.e. systems for fire departments or school districts), and how we almost considered building something ourselves. She responded something along the lines of “if you built that, we’d be your first customer.” That’s when the light bulb went off.
A few weeks later, as my partners and I started contingency planning for every possible scenario, including our business being shut down in some capacity, I had the realization that all of the projects I was currently working on were – for the time being – useless. We wouldn’t know what direction to move in until we got a few weeks or months of data, and until we saw exactly what types of stay-at-home orders and business closures would take place. In the interim, I needed something to work on (well, needed is a strong word given that I had a toddler at home to watch after, so I suppose I should say that I wanted something to work on that I felt like a positive contribution to our business).
I told my business partner Mike the story of the conversation I had, and within an hour we had mapped out what is now Notify My Team. I’d work on it and release the first version as quickly as possible to add an additional revenue stream to the business.
Fast forward seven months and we’re lucky that nothing catastrophic happened with Detailed Image. In fact, our growth ended up slowing down my development on NMT. I’ve also had the luxury of not being rushed, so I have been able to put some additional time and effort into building the exact product that I would want to pay for.
Maybe we still would have found our way to NMT if there wasn’t a pandemic. I’m not so sure, because we had other long-term projects we were working on. As it turns out, I’m really excited for this new venture. I’ve always wanted to build a B2B SaaS company. We’ve just never quite had the right product until now.
If you’re interested in being an early tester (I’ll give you a free account!), or if you have any other feedback or questions, get in touch on Twitter, LinkedIn, or by emailing me at adam@ this domain.