Foxbox Digital 2020 Q2 Update—Big Product Launch, Steady Growth, and Less Covid-19 Chaos (For Now)

Foxbox Digital 2020 Q2 Update—Big Product Launch, Steady Growth, and Less Covid-19 Chaos (For Now)

Since our last quarterly update, so many great things have happened, and we actually continued to grow at a steady pace. This means we’re officially out of survival mode, which we were in when the pandemic started. We’re also learning a lot about how we work, and just how important our culture is to us as a team.

Here are the highlights of what’s happened.

We continue to grow our engineering and product team

All of our core team members that were put on furlough are now officially back from furlough because of increased client demand. It was a painful decision to put them on furlough, but it was necessary to protect the future of Foxbox.

My good friend and one of our earliest team members, Jasmine Slivka left Foxbox to lead product for another organization. She's had a huge impact on Foxbox - our culture, our team, and of course, our clients. She set the foundation for how we deliver for our clients and her successors have a lot to be thankful for. So, I wanted to personally say thank you, Jasmine!

This quarter, we brought on 11 new team members!

  • 3 Engineers (Mariano, Bruno, and Lautaro)
  • 2 QA Engineers (Alexis and Anthony)
  • 2 Product Managers (Sachin and Amelia)
  • 2 in operations (Luciana, Operations Coordinator, and Karina, Finance Analyst)
  • 1 Designer (Allyson)
  • 1 Marketing Lead (Alec)

And we're looking to hire two more for our Chicago office:

We closed a few new deals and launched the new Brideside.com

We formally launched the new brideside.com on May 4th for Brideside, a Chicago-based retailer that sells beautiful bridesmaids dresses. They came to us to re-platform their infrastructure in order to provide a whole new shopping experience and a reliable operational backend. Brideside is powered by Shopify, React, Sanity CMS, and Salesforce.

On the same day as the Brideside launch, we kicked off a project for a company that owns and runs a portfolio of residential buildings. As a member, you'll have access to coworking space, special events, and other really fun things. What sets them apart is that you don't have to rent a full apartment, you could rent a bedroom and share the apartment with other cool people. We're building a mobile app that residents will use to access their space, and I'm excited to show you the end result when we’ve officially launched.

We signed two new deals with companies that are on the cutting edge of innovation of technology and business models. We also renewed a few projects, and we’re seeing a trend of many of our clients renewing for future phases. I'll take that as a sign that our execution capabilities are maturing, and renewals are great for everyone involved.

On a side-note, our win rate is increasing because we’re doing much more work upfront to close deals. Instead of sending over a deck with a final number, we’re working hand-in-hand with prospective clients and doing a lot of work upfront to showcase our capabilities.

On one deal, we researched, architected, and planned meticulously for months, for free. We’re doing work that no other agency would do, and being flexible with how we do it. We start early with brainstorming ideas and strategy with our prospective clients. It’s a lot of work, but it’s paying off.

We’re paying more attention to our company goals and OKRs

As we continue to live the "Foxbox way," we’re starting to be more serious about our goals and tracking our progress against those goals.

Our first attempt at company OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) were good, but a bit dry. I wanted them to be exciting and motivating. Instead of focusing on earning more revenue, we focused on delivering value. Revenue and profit are side effects. The core is basically the same, but I think these new OKRs are a meaningful shift in perspective to have us aligned toward the right goals.

Our revamped organizational OKRs revolve around three main areas:

  1. Become the leading, go-to digital agency for mid-market businesses.
  2. Delivering measurable value and delighting our customers.
  3. Creating a highly talented, passionate, and driven team.

Here are our goals for next quarter:

1. Improve the consistency of delivering stable products.

  • We are putting a bigger focus on automated testing and QA. To do this, we brought on two QA engineers to help us. This includes the work of writing effective automated tests across our backend, front-end, mobile, and web.
  • Every build-phase project will have dedicated QA hours.
  • Focus on improving our testing strategy and process.
  • We are changing the staffing mix to dedicate more project hours to Product Management. PMs will handle fewer projects than they have in the past, which is essential to delivering quality software.

2. Focus on growth, even during the pandemic.

  • Not growing is not an option for us, and this is the only approach to avoiding survivor mode. We are not growing for the sake of getting bigger, we are growing to make us more stable. Frankly, we need more clients in order to minimize the impact of any single client leaving us.
  • We’ve invested in account-based marketing/sales outreach to target the customers we believe we can help the most. We are in the early stages.

3. Improve our website to reflect who we are and how we work.

  • As we evolve, so does the website. It feels like we just re-did our website, but so many things have evolved in positive ways that we need to make sure our website reflects our new positioning as a full-service digital product agency.

We’re in a good position, and I'm cautiously optimistic

Covid-19 isn’t over. It’s not close to being over, so we have to work harder than ever to keep growing. I learned a lot from our Q1 update about going into survivor mode, and I will use that as a frame of reference as we expand and build our capabilities.

Thanks again for listening, and you’ll hear from me at the end of Q3!

- Rob

August 13, 2020
Rob Volk
Rob Volk

Rob Volk is Foxbox Digital’s founder and CEO. Prior to starting Foxbox, Rob helped Fortune 100 clients, including Pfizer, USPS, and Morgan Stanley build and scale enterprise apps. He was the CTO of Beyond Diet and implemented technology that scaled to over 350k+ customers, and was the CTO and Co-Founder of Detective (detective.io), a venture-backed intelligence platform that amassed 200k+ users in a short time frame. Read more

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