“The idea is quite simple. Dedicate some time to innovate.”

Felix, ShuttleCloud’s Director of Engineering, sent us an email with a very motivating proposal—have all teams work together on the same project for one week to test whether or not the selected idea is viable. This would be our first Innovation Week.

Our first task has been to think about interesting, innovative ideas that have great potential. Before Innovation Week, we started to collect the best ideas, with no limits or prejudices. All team members could share their ambitious projects with the rest of the team. The main goal was very simple: collect the best ideas.

After a few weeks, we had twenty-two potential projects, including the winner, EmailMeter, similar to GmailMeter, also produced, developed, and maintained by ShuttleCloud but with an important difference: offer advanced email analytics to users of more than 240 email providers, not just Gmail.

Innovation Week: First part

From Monday, October 5, to Today.

First work meeting. Brainstorming?

The start of Innovation Week has been very interesting. We had scheduled a meeting to analyze the selected idea and organize different work groups. Innovation Week - ShuttleCloudThe team has begun began to discuss the idea, thinking about our available resources, the business focus of the new product, and considering other possible projects related to ShuttleCloud’s mission: boost user growth and engagement to social apps.

In the beginning, perhaps we lost some direction, but the discussion has helped us focus on the business vision of the project and strengthen our idea to develop EmailMeter.

Engineering research and first implementations

As we have planned, we created two different teams: engineering and product development.Engineering Meeting - Innovation WeekThe first action of the engineering team was to research the best framework for developing the product. They considered three possibilities: Spark, Storm, and Celery.

Celery was chosen for the following reasons:

– It’s the framework the engineering team knows best.

– It assumes the learning curve will not be very difficult.

– It’s the simplest solution—the best option if you want to test an idea.Engineering Board - Innovation WeekAfter deciding on the framework, they started to create the development environment (tests instances), and they are adjusting the search engine to extract accurate information from email headers.

Product development

The product development team has focused on the following during the first two days of Innovation Week:

– Knowing the product’s business value. Who will be the likely purchaser, and what are the best metrics to offer.

– Defining the most valuable metrics. Think about the order of the metrics, the insights we can obtain by them, and how we should show them to users.

– Selecting the most accurate chart per metric.

– Defining what metrics we will show in the user report or how we’ll show the metrics in the web user zone.Product-InnovationWeekStarting today, we begin the second part of the week: design, development, and marketing. Later, we will start analyzing how the user receives the product.

We continue this exciting week.