Crashlytics provides real-time crash reporting for mobile apps, down to the exact line of code that caused the crash. They were an early iDoneThis customer before getting acquired by Twitter for north of $100 million after less than 2 years in business. Since acquisition, they're leading the charge at Twitter Boston using iDoneThis.
Connecting the islands of information that form during rapid growth
The inspiration to start Crashlytics began from an acute pain point that mobile developers felt. As Director of Engineering, Rich Paret, described it, "Software companies were paying an engineer to read the reviews in the app store. Any review that was under 3 stars, they would try to reverse-engineer from the reviewer’s comment what was wrong with the app. That’s a crazy sort of situation to be in.”
Solving that pain point led to Crashlytics doubling in size in six months. The challenge they then faced was maintaining team cohesion and a shared knowledge base in the face of precipitous headcount growth.
Rapid growth leads to the formation of what Rich calls “islands of information”, where some people know certain bits of information, while others don’t know what’s going on. Some teams try to use daily standups to solve that problem, but they can get unwieldy and time-consuming as teams grow. Standups just don't scale well.
Crashlytics found their solution in iDoneThis. iDoneThis ensures “everybody is aware of what’s going on, in a lightweight way” — with just a daily email that asks what everyone got done that day, plus a morning digest with the team's highlights from yesterday.
For Crashlytics, iDoneThis serves as “a good base layer for a bunch of collaboration and communication that might not otherwise happen. It makes it easy to focus on the work but also stay in sync.”
With iDoneThis, everybody is aware of what’s going on, in a lightweight way.
Lowering coordination costs by enabling autonomy
Every day coordination costs have the potential to get worse and worse as the team scales up. Experienced in building and managing great collaborative teams, Rich has observed that oftentimes a team will lose "a general awareness of what's going on, how things are going" during rapid growth.
That's why it's so important at Crashlytics to build a team of individuals that are self-directed and collaborative. When you have that kind of culture, managers can "step back" and don't need "to be mediating every relationship." That means no more meetings just "to make sure everybody is talking."
“Investing in the right tools and taking advantage of things like iDoneThis allow me to pay a lower coordinating cost than I would otherwise have to at this stage,” Rich told us. The common knowledge that it builds between team members empowers them to work autonomously and with far less overhead communication cost.
"We use iDoneThis as a tool to encourage the behavior that I want to see and that I’ve hired for," Rich said — and that's the behavior behind building amazing solutions for developers, not wasting time sitting in meetings and talking amongst themselves.