Résumé : Greg Voakes is Content Strategist at Metalab, the design consultancy behind Peak. Like 37signals, Metalab also make products they need to solve problem they face. Peak si one of them. Peak purpose is helping people to know what everyone in the company is working on at any given time by passively pulling in snippets of team’s activity, without requiring any specific data entry.
Peak was made based on what happens when a manager wants to keep track of the daily progress made by their team – instead of tapping them on the shoulder at their desk, or sending a handful of emails, there had to be a non-disruptive solution to checking in with the team. Peak shows you what people are working on, and what is getting done, by passively pulling in snippets of your team’s activity broken down by person, and provides insights on the way your team works on the whole. No data entry is required by your team.
MetaLab started as a design consultancy with a handful of people, and as we have grown, we’ve made products that address our own needs–something we’d be happy to use every day ourselves. We built Flow for project management, and Ballpark for time tracking and invoicing our clients. Peak is the latest product to be built to address an internal need.
Today we’re a company of nearly 50 employees, and it’s getting harder for us to know what everyone is working on at any given time. To solve this, we tried some of the traditional ways of staying updated–things like status meetings, timesheets, or even going over to someone’s desk to talk to them. While they worked at first, they eventually fell apart for whatever reason: they wasted time, took too much manual effort, or created too many disruptions.
Peak’s setup is simple. Team members authorize their apps like Google Drive, Dropbox, Gmail, GitHub, Harvest (and more being added soon.) From there, Peak runs in the background and creates the stories of files being uploaded to DropBox, the number of emails sent and received (but no data about who is sending what to whom is shared,) work done by a person in a selected GitHub repository, and time tracked in Harvest.
Insights are the place where you can learn about how you and your team works. They’re based on aggregated activity data, and tell you things like when people are busiest, who’s working weekends, and who is working a lot more than usual.
So far, no other solution addresses the problem like we do. We make teams more effective by making output more transparent, cutting down on daily disruptions, and shedding light on work patterns. This includes getting managers to know when to back off and see things being done, rather than asking if things are getting done.
We got a great response when we initially launched a few months ago. Thousands of teams were telling us that our problems were their challenges, too. Since then, we’ve been taking the time to meet with them to communicate how Peak can help them, to make sure there’s a good fit.
There were a couple people who had initial complaints about an app like Peak; saying that they didn’t want to share this information with their peers, so they wrote about us and it started a discussion. Since then, we’re pretty happy that people seem to get that this is a solution for everyone to reclaim more of their time, and be better teammates. Many people who reached out to us were those people who read the critical articles but recognized right away that this was a solution, not a problem.
MetaLab is a unique company because we have a few different outlets that do different things. There’s the design consultancy, the product team, and our theming agency Pixel Union. Having strengths in different areas of our office means we can go to each other for help and support if we need it.
We set our own schedules, are able to work from home should we need to, and that allows us to keep a clear head and really focus on getting things done when we’re at our most productive. As a rule, we only care about the quality of output, and not about how much time someone is devoting to being in the office or present online; this shows through with Peak, by displaying just that: output. Being good at what we do and living happy lives is what’s important to us.
Peak is designed for any team. From studios to enterprises who need to keep in sync, cut down on disruptions, and have a better idea of their output and working patterns.
Business model & funding.
Peak is completely bootstrapped, it’s being funded by revenues from our other products.
We’ve learned a great deal from our previous experiences in building software and from client work, but Peak is a very unique product with its own set of obstacles that we’re going to have to navigate when we arrive at them.
Getting more incredible companies on-board with Peak!
What else ?
We believe that every shoulder-tap to check in on progress breaks focus, and in turn reduces the overall output of an employee.
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