Our Project Management Software Manifesto, now 40% less preachy!

Just kidding, it’s still a little preachy, but read on if you’d like to know more about how we’re steering our little ship toward the big seas and how we’d like you on board (paddling, or bailing water, or as ballast. OK, enough with that metaphor).

We’ve been through some significant changes in the last three months, we’ve restructured our team, systemized parts of our business that required too much administration effort, introduced some new partners to the business to improve our marketing and PR efforts, and have otherwise spent the better part of this quarter getting ready for the next round of developments.

Namely, Copper version 4.0. Wow. Version 4.0. It sounds so mature doesn’t it? And it’s only taken us six years to get to this point! Biting wit aside, I truly believe that this next version will be something special, especially as it will require a greater collaborative effort between us, our partners, and you the customers/supporters/cheersquad. However, I can tell you the 4.0 specification is in place, and to borrow an Anglo-Australian colloquialism, it’s a ripper! It will be the best Project Management Software tool available, period.

But I thought I’d share with you our manifesto, a half decade in the making, so here it is:

We’ve spent years working on building the best product we possibly can, years refining our marketing and sales model, casting the nets each month (you thought I was done with the nautical angle right?) and connecting with those who best suit our product. We’ve got our support systems to where we want them, we proudly have one of the best response rates and solution rates in the business. We have our development methodology down cold, we ask our customers what they want, and filter this through a philosophy to arrive at both great features and a compelling product. The question remains: Where to from here?

Well, we believe we can be the best in the world at building efficiency products for creative teams. After years of refining this idea, I recently read Good to Great by Jim Collins and I had an “A-Ha!” (not the band) moment. You know the kind of moment? Anyway, it crystallized my thinking of the previous six years. If you haven’t read the above book and you’re in business, make it the next book you read.

In order to build a great company, the kind of company that matters, you need to synthesize three things:

1. Be passionate about what you do
2. Be the best in the world at something
3. Discover your economic engine.

It’s called the Hedgehog principle, and in your corporate heart you become fanatical about doing one thing really really well. Suffice to say, we were well on the way to this principle anyway, we’d just never put a name or model to it.

We continue to be amazed at the organizations enquiring and purchasing Copper. From multi-national Film & TV organizations, leading Ad Agencies, technology product marketers, medical & legal teams, the list is long and broad, but there is a common focus. All of these teams want to be the best in the world at what they do.

What is Element passionate about? We’re passionate about helping those that make a difference be more efficient at it! In other words, any leading team that is out to make their environment better. No matter if it’s Apple, WWF, Greenpeace, Wilco (the band), Nissan. No matter if it’s product development, solving world hunger, shaping a cultural response, selling a family their dream home, cancer research, educating the population, or touring the world connecting with those that need a lttle soul therapy. We want to help creative teams take the myriad information and shape their response more efficiently than ever, do what they were born to do, and ultimately reduce their administrative footprint.

We’ve worked with/in/around creative teams for years, and are passionate about what it means to push new boundaries. We know we’re not uber-Geeks creating a new search engine algorythm or the next web 2.0 phenomenon, but we ARE a company that understands, values, and is committed to producing a software that helps creative professionals make a difference.

Can we do it without making a profit ourselves? No! Which leads me to the economic engine. This is the one metric that great companies instinctively know as the most important metric for maintaining that passion, being the best in the world, and continuing the evolution. I won’t go into our metric, but it involves our Advertising and Development budget (or lack thereof!).

So combining these thoughts, we’re again inviting you to become involved in our next Copper development. We have an Inner Circle program that we are offering, as well as an industry-specific stream that will allow us to further refine Copper toward these verticals. It’s a great program that is effectively a customer-sponsored feature-fest that everyone benefits from. It’s what you do when you want to be great, want to maintain and drive the vision, but you don’t have Valley funding.

If you’d like to get involved see the next post, or click here to get in touch.

– Ben Prendergast