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December 2017
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How They Get Sh*t DONE: Stuart McKeown – Co-founder at Gleam.io

GeorgeGeorge

Do you know your competition(s)?

Do you know your competitions? No, I am not talking about your business “rivals”. I am talking about campaigns like giveaways, limited offers,  etc… Every brand nowadays seems to be doing one, but very few of them know how to do it successfully.

Like every great entrepreneurship story, one man has decided to do something about it. This man is our latest guest – Stuart McKeown from Gleam.io comes. He has managed to build a great business around competitions and similar campaigns. Gleam.io is now powering the growth for 5000+ companies around the world. The key? We all know it – having a great team.

Without further ado, here is our latest Get Shit Done interview with Stuart McKeown, Co-founder at Gleam.io on what are the keys and dangers of collaboration.

The interview

Stuart McKeown, Co-founder at Gleam.io

Q: In your opinion, what is the team characteristic that has the most impact on the effectiveness of collaboration inside a team?

A: Everyone being good at what they do and having defined roles. For example, pushing out a feature you might have someone that scopes the feature, someone who designs it, someone who builds the UI, then a developer who integrates it into the app. I’m a big fan of small isolated teams that serve a specific function.

Q: In your experience, what is the number one mistake that teams make that saps their effectiveness as a team?

A: Not being given enough autonomy. I used to work in Enterprise and you’d need a Business case to spin up a couple of servers just for testing. My philosophy is that people should have absolutely nothing trivial blocking them other than decisions that need to be made by more than just them. Need a server? Go spin up a Linode instance etc.

Q: How many teams do you currently work with/in?

A: We are one team at Gleam, we all have defined roles. We work more like an open source project than a “team’ though, which works really well for us. In the past I’ve worked in 20+ person teams and smaller 4-6 person teams, however generally these were siloed and required you regularly meeting with other departments/stakeholders to get stuff done. We don’t have any of that bureaucracy, come to work, get shit done, do something meaningful. Life is too sort to waste all your days in meetings 🙂

Stuart’s Tips on better collaboration:

  1. Give users hardware that allows them to work to the best of their ability. People work better on systems/furniture that they love to use.
  2. Have a clear defined process for how to ship products from start to finish, for example all our project management happens inside Github and we can see commits against project deliverables and discuss them:
  3. Make sure people are working on stuff that they enjoy, or are capable of doing. We’ve made mistakes in the past of trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, and you end up taking longer and getting less out the other end.

Hi! I am George Spasov - Growth guy at Swip. I simply love creating things! I've created many articles for sites like Startups.co, Swip, etc. I've been part of the creation of three startups. I love hearing creative electronic music and I love the brain-shattering creativity of mystery/crime novelists. Like my creations? Follow me and Swip around in social media!

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