Yodiz takes the scum out of scrum with new task tracking platform
By: Administrator 03/19/2013
A company begun to fix many of the problems plaguing development tracking software today, Helsinki-based startup Yodiz is the project of two former Nokia developers Asif Raza and Shakeel Tabassam. Yodiz is looking to replace aging tracking platforms with a fresh new online app that makes sure developers are all on the same page with to-do lists, bug tracking, user feedback boards, and integration with outside platforms.
We sat down with Raza, who talked with us about the departure from Nokia that started the project back in 2009, along with some of the new updates and features coming to Yodiz over the next year.
What is the backstory behind Yodiz?
The inspiration and the story was that we wanted to develop the kind of tools that we didn’t have while working at Nokia. We were discussing it with other people in the same domain and there were a lot of complaints and shortcomings in most of the tools, which were very popular, very expensive, and widely used in the industry.
We left Nokia and our plan was to design some project management tool and develop in a way that would make it useful for the developers over project management. We wanted to remedy all the shortcomings that we had seen in the popular tools.
When did you know that you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
Actually it was three years ago at Nokia. In Finland they were not doing very well, and there was a chance to leave Nokia and start up something of our own. That’s the time I decided -- me and my friend Shakeel -- that this was a good time to jump from this enterprise world and startup something of our own. We decided let’s take the idea and make it a reality.
What does a typical workday look like for you?
We’re either working on a new concept or improving the existing ones. Starting out from usability, testing, improving the UI, architecture study, analysis, study the competitors, marketing, you name it. We have to do everything on a day to day basis.
What do you like to do for fun?
Mostly it’s sports. We do swimming and those kinds of things, that’s how I relax. But we get very little time. Most of the time goes to developing and concepting and marketing and those things.
We’ve been working at improving the UI, because we’ve been listening very closely to customers and there are more than 100 ideas, and most of them are being implemented but some of them are still in the pipeline.
We are constantly listening to the customer and improving the UI. We have a major UI update coming out soon.
If you had all the money in the world, what would your days look like?
If I had all the money I need, there are many things that limit us in terms of finance, so I’d be able to take more risk and develop out the ideas, prototype the ideas and improve our product.
What advice would you give to any beginning entrepreneurs out there?
I would say go with the very minimum viable product, don’t be shy, and don’t get scared, because the world out there is, of course, very challenging, but if you go with the very small ideas, go to the market as quickly as you can. If you think long enough and you develop long enough, there’s a chance that, when you come to the market, you will likely have to redo the whole product. You’ll realize that you started off on the wrong foot, in a totally wrong way.
Develop something small, go to the market, and try it out with a real user. As soon as you have something working, share the idea with other people, discuss what they want to see, and then work on it. The user feedback is the most important thing. Go very, very lean. Build something very small and iterate based on the user feedback.
What’s next for Yodiz?
The improvements in UI are halfway done and we will be integrating different tools. For example, interacting with the user where there will be a help desk, and integrating different tools like Google Drive and DropBox integration. These kind of different tools that people use every day to make it easier for people to user Yodiz. That’s the next step for us.