Nestled about an hour west of Boston, Moon River Software, Inc. was founded by Mike Taber in mid-2005. In the beginning, the company primarily did consulting work and included development for .NET, web applications, database tools, an embedded Linux appliance, a former military simulation toolkit, and more. But before long, the consulting work increased and they quickly spun off Moon River Consulting, which became a Symantec Gold Partner. Moon River Consulting clients include six Fortune 100 companies and dozens of smaller companies. Their projects have a broad range but mainly focus on systems management and security. These days, Moon River Software and Mike Taber continue its founding function by providing great software tools for small and medium businesses.
We had the chance to talk with Mike Taber himself about his work and how Teamwork Projects supports his work process.
Tell me a bit about yourself and your business.
I own two small businesses. I’m the co-founder of the Micropreneur Academy, a company aimed at serving self-funded software entrepreneurs. It includes an online training course, our community called FounderCafe and we host MicroConf in Las Vegas and Europe each year. We also host the Startups for the Rest of Us podcast, which has over 10,000 weekly listeners. Moon River Software is my software company which serves as the backdrop for everything else I do. This includes several small software products, a bit of consulting work and a book I wrote called The Single Founder Handbook.
Why did you make the switch to Teamwork Projects?
I was using Basecamp and had been using it for a couple of years. While it did the job in terms of tracking work to be done for me and my team, it wasn’t much more than that. There were a number of different workflow automations I wanted to do, but simply couldn’t. I ended up doing a lot of manual work for these kinds of things until I stumbled on Teamwork Projects.
What are you favorite things/ features about Teamwork Projects?
Recurring tasks, subtasks, and task dependencies are killer features to me. I didn’t have those kinds of things inside of Basecamp and they were painful to work around. Generally speaking, I would re-order various tasks so they sort of looked like they were dependent tasks or in a specific order, but it was something I did for myself. The team really didn’t always understand the notation I was using because they were naming conventions rather than features built into the product.
What makes Teamwork Projects the right solution for Startups?
I think of Teamwork Projects as Basecamp plus Project Management. Basecamp is nice for having a repository of the stuff that needs to get done or data that’s associated with a project. But Teamwork Projects is much better at the project management aspect of it. The advantage small startups have over large companies is that they can maneuver faster. But sometimes large undertakings still need a bit of structure to help them move forward. In addition, it can be easy to dismiss a recurring task if you have a pile of unstructured tasks on your todo list. Teamwork Projects eliminates that by creating recurring tasks. If you aren’t keeping up with the workload, it’s much more obvious and it helps you make hiring decisions better. Another way to put it is that Teamwork Projects is Basecamp on steroids.
Would you recommend us to others?
Absolutely and I have. The UI is so much nicer than Basecamp has ever been, even after two complete rewrites.
Anything else to add?
One of the huge advantages of using Teamwork Projects is the ability to systemize a business with recurring tasks. There are lots of things that need to be done over and over in a business and on a regular basis. By adding these as recurring tasks in Teamwork Projects, it allows the business owner to focus on what needs to get done, rather than actually doing the work. It helps the business owner keep the business moving in the same direction, rather than having to slow down and do actual project management. It’s obvious if some work isn’t getting done.
The only other thing I’d mention is that I never realized that some of the things missing from Basecamp were available elsewhere. I think I assumed that most project management tools were largely the same until after I started using Teamwork Projects and realized the huge difference between what I had and what I could have had. It wasn’t obvious to me until after I started using it. This seems to be an education problem which is in some ways, difficult to overcome.
The one-click import from Basecamp made the switching costs almost zero. In fact, this is really what made me able to switch at all. The last thing I wanted to do was manually copy everything over. It would have taken forever and I likely wouldn’t have switched at all. But the data migration was flawless and I was completely moved over from Basecamp in maybe 5-10 minutes. I was floored at how fast it was. I haven’t looked back or had any regrets whatsoever since switching.
Great interview with Mike. We hope you’ve enjoyed hearing how he enjoys and uses the features within Teamwork Projects. As you know, we love our customers! No, really, we LOVE them. We want to sing ballads to them under star-lit skies. We’ve got just the song to serenade Moon River Software, Inc. too, “Oh, dream maker, you heart breaker. Wherever you’re going, I’m going your way” And we mean it, we are going your way and supporting you for the journey.