San Francisco, CA
San Diego, CA
November 21, 2015
Love Flightfox, but sometimes it seems like more work than it's worth (it's only especially useful when there's a 'tricked fare' that might not otherwise be obvious when booking. Certainly not a bad service, but it's not self-serve, you're basically hiring a travel agent for an additional cost.
Recently discovered that Capital One has issues with syncing to Abacus and Expensify, so while Capital One might look good for some benefits they offer, you're going to pay your bookkeeper hundreds a month to classify expenses manually.
MessageBird seemed like an awesome YC-backed alternative to Twilio. So that part sounded great. Signup and approval was disappointing, as it had to be manually unblocked before we could implement anything, taking 2-3 days. And once it was fully implemented, we found out that some SMS's were being filtered (which was stricter than Twilio... all messages sent to AT&T with URLs, for example, were filtered out). We reached out to them and a day or two later it was fixed, but the fact that messages were being shown as delivered, yet filtered out, without our knowledge, was an unforgivable product flaw. They seem to be highly motivated to make these things right, but it's just not there yet.
Love that they offer S Corp incorporation. Seemed simple in premise, and we'll see if they work as promised, but the product is somewhat buggy (PDF errors, stuff like that), and the UX leaves much to be desired. If you're doing the standard Delaware C Corp route, Clerky is the reliable best bet, it seems.
Upwork isn't bad, but it isn't magical either. There's lots of upfront setup work, in terms of filtering and onboarding assistants, and they may or may not be available (or interested) in longer term projects. But they have a pretty giant number of workers, so it can be a fairly effective service way to get repetitive tasks done (like getting logos for all the companies on Founderkit, as one example).
Used a few times to incorporate in California (LLC) and Delaware (S Corp). Easier but not easy. Clearly designed a decade ago (everything arrives hard copy, confirmations made by robo-dialer, etc.). Just use Clerky, if you're okay with a Delaware C Corp.
Quick, easy, cheap, surprisingly thorough. Was about 1/3 the cost of SVB's offering for a one-time valuation.
Haven't used myself but another founder pointed out that bench only supports cash accounting, and officengine supports cash and accrual. Apparently lots of SAAS companies sign up for bench, get excited about how awesome it is, and then quickly realize they have no good way of doing accrual accounting and have to move off.
GoSquared is neat, makes watching analytics pretty fun. They've got a sweet Slack plugin which sends traffic spikes and user notifications right to Slack.
Implemented in one hour, you're using it now if you're using search. Founders are refreshingly available to help.
Holy snap. Goodbye Google Hangouts. Up to 8 simultaneous live video connections. Reliable, no signup, no BS. Completely changed our daily video conference workflow.
Heavy, clunky, and the spam contact requests get old. Our whole team was incredibly happy to switch over chat to @slack. Wish there was something Slack-quality for video chat.
Best screensharing experience I've ever had. Can't wait til it's a part of Slack.
Mind blowingly good. Not a ton of personalization but I often can't believe what they will do for me for free. I rarely make outbound phone calls any more, or wait on hold.
Just curious, what do you have them do for you for free? The service has been very expensive for me, in the past.
I think it may have just been their limited beta (when they launched), where they were getting data on request types. When they started opening up to more users they started charging for phone calls, etc. (I think it was like $5 or $10/call, for simple tasks), by the request type, then rolled out their super premium tier ($100/hr), and now they seem to be rolling out a mid-level priced tier ($35/hr) which competes well with other VA services like TimeEtc. Tbh I'm not sure I even know where they fit as I just TimeEtc these days for a dedicated personal assistant, but I was always happily surprised by the quality of Magic's service.
Decent virtual assistant service, reasonably priced for totally fluent English speakers, but everything is recurring/subscription based, so I probably think more about having to use the time that I buy that I would like, especially since they round up to the nearest hour every month, which feels like a weird trick to inflate monthly rates.
Suuuuuuper clunky, heavy interface. Seems to make things harder than they should be.
A bit expensive, but incredibly useful for early product development, albeit kinda creepy. 👻
Haven't worked on a project, since it was released, without Segment.
I think it's incredible, but it's basically been stagnant since the beta started. Needs iOS/mobile to fully hit the mark for my needs.
Free, but @mixpanel is better.
The new design is great. Took a while to be finally refreshed, but the latest version is less bulky/heavy than before. It may not be perfect or as full featured as Google G Suite, but it's the only product that feels designed for mobile *and* web/desktop.
I've been using NexTravel since they were in YC. It's a great product, has super responsive founders/service, and I've loved the idea of using a platform that gives a business of any size the pricing benefits and controls of a large company, so employees and job applicants can book their own travel, within the constraints you set. And it's used by Drake (yes, the rapper), Stripe, Twilio, Lyft, etc.
Stripe was the only service that our engineering team literally never complained about. Founders are surprisingly available to help.
Nothing is as easy. Just wish it was fuller featured, for other common legal events.
Joined and I never once had to think about payroll again. It was easier than having "HR service" to support me since the last thing I actually wanted, it turned out, was to be supported. It's literally a perfect product.
AMEX makes all the other cards look painfully average.
It was a great CRM, then Salesforce basically neutered it as a sales tool so it didn't compete with their core product. So, not recommended if you want to use it as a CRM, sadly.
Can't live without Hellosign. As seamless as Slack, Dropbox, etc., and a can't live without product.
Light, easy to integrate, beautifully executed product. Everything else in the space feels bloated.
Google Hangouts is somehow the quiet killer in the space. Super useful videochat product, just wish they had native mobile apps.
Currently used by a client for which I'm consulting. I do like wikis but feels no better than PBwiki back in 2007. I think I'm happy with Dropbox Paper/Hackpad.
Used Algentis, hated having to pay to do busy work and send them spreadsheets, then @zenefits came along and I could finally hire just by adding employee name and salary.
Built a B2B service without doing anything related to payments, and it made getting paid ridiculously easy, especially for my clients, which I seriously appreciate.
Mailchimp is awesome. Period. Great interface, just works, they care about design.
The model just feels broken, and the price/value ratio way too high.
It will be a cold day in hell before I stop using Wufoo. Best form service ever. Although the main dashboard interface and reporting feels a little heavy.
Not great. But gets the job done. Would love to replace with something that just makes this stuff mindless. Apparently they have fraud issues as they require re-entering your credit card for renewals.
WF is decent, like many service relationships, it really depends on your banker, which I believe is assigned when you open your account. I used a virtual assistant to find the best banker in my area when I was consulting in Nashville and she found me a hustler, but he didn't seem incentivized to support me (despite his being highly responsive via email and phone). So, find a great banker and you'll likely be very happy with Wells Fargo and their consumer quality web/mobile interface.
Pretty much the standard, but probably only because you can use POP for other clients since Gmail's apps aren't that great.