About the company
Product Brew is a Poland-based consulting company and boutique product house for your modern software needs. Whether you’re a big corporation or a promising startup, Product Brew was built to provide a comprehensive approach to product building: from product consulting, overseeing feature additions that are strategic to your company, and aiding with the complete timeline of a new product, from design to conception, to training developers of your organization in used technologies to smooth out the turnover process.
Luke Czyszczonik co-founded the company in 2019 with his partner, Matt Zatorski, after both developers tried their luck individually, working on startups and the corporate world. That’s when they realized they wanted to start a new, friendly place for developers, where they had time for exploring new technologies and fostering the relentless spirit of simply building cool things for the wider developer community. They do this by balancing the number of clients and the time available for each project. As a boutique-oriented business and a small consulting company of six, they usually keep only a few select projects active, where they can immerse themselves as an extension of their client’s team.
Currently, they have active projects in the US, Israel, and Sweden, and they exchange not only static “deliverables” between companies but an organic body of knowledge in the form of automated reports or active training.
Sharing knowledge is an essential tool for development
A defining characteristic of Product Brew is its culture, where sharing knowledge with teammates, clients, and other stakeholders is not only accepted but encouraged. This is how they went from a team that was essentially focused on solutions with React Native to a full-stack process where each developer acts as a point of contact for all of their client's product needs, either front-end, back-end, DevOps, or even deployment. They evolved from the regular software agency model as Luke was training a foundation in Poland and the process of sharing knowledge organically turned from focusing on a small subset of the product development cycle like the UI to involving considerations on deployment and they went further into the backend.
Immersion is key to knowledge sharing. Product Brew’s modern approach to software agencies could be explained as a “full-time plug-and-play team” for their clients, and they share their spaces as if they are just another team in their company. They share communication channels like Slack or email, too, which is how they met DailyBot.
Automating knowledge transfer
Product Brew is conformed by four people on Development and two on People Ops, and they take “roles” as developers, sometimes working on UI/Native stuff, others full on the backend. As a team, each developer takes on a project, but internally they’re always sharing ideas and problem-solving together, if the situation requires it, eventually turning this knowledge to their clients in the form of daily updates and training.
As a boutique at heart, Product Brew is focused on keeping its team size manageable, projecting an ideal growth of 20(ish) senior developers to work full-stack on their clients’ products and implement end-to-end solutions. Based on their goals, Luke and Matt predicted that, as the team grows, they will want to continue sharing knowledge as they do now, so they embarked on the task of finding a solution that would allow them to continue sharing this knowledge.
This opportunity quickly evolved into the best way to scale knowledge sharing for Product Brew and its clients. They wanted to keep the transparency of what everyone was working on, posting daily updates in a Slack channel.
Now, some of their clients do synchronous standups, while others prefer more async, company-wide standups. Looking into solutions, they realized that one of the clients they were sharing space with had DailyBot installed. They did some research and found how well aligned DailyBot was with their goals of maintaining a culture of transparency and, on top of all this, we had a set of functional APIs they could take advantage of to transfer information quickly across spaces.
DailyBot became a starting point for centralized information that later could be fed to different spaces as they juggle clients and different environments.
How to win at chat collaboration by automating reports
As an “external” team, Product Brew still has to track what they did every day for their clients.
Before Product Brew installed DailyBot, the team was keeping reports in Slack that would later be used to feed their time-tracking system and tools. They were doing all of this manually, so it was a time-consuming task, in short, a pain for the entire team. After discovering DailyBot’s APIs, they found a way to connect DailyBot to Make.com, which in turn would connect to their time-tracking app, Clockify, and create these reports for them automatically.
Product Brew now has a few check-ins per product (client) and their updates go straight to their tracking tool system. They enrich their Clockify reports automatically from DailyBot check-ins and use this info to report back to clients without manual intervention. For Luke, automating reports is a no-brainer, as it’s fairly easy to do and saved them tons of daily work.
When you have “teammates” on different Slack channels like developers at Product Brew do, a unified place from where you can push relevant client data to different endpoints is bliss.
Now they save dev time and some more in operations that can use to expand their tech stack, or build their own cool things and grow as developers, teammates, and partners. That’s how winning at chat collaboration can free you up time for more, and from there, the sky is the limit.