Solutions that Scale — Building the World’s first Searchable Comprehensive Case-Study Database
Veronika, project manager and lead developer of Industolutions, and I met for a coffee on Friday afternoon to discuss the origin story of the project. The team itself is small—just three people—but their work stands to benefit and inform business leaders across a gamut of industries.
With quiet but approachable confidence, Veronika shed light on the vital roles that clarity and establishing trust have played in bringing founder Jim Kelly’s vision to life.
The adage ‘there’s nothing new under the sun’ still rings true across many industries. Founders, entrepreneurs and venturesome innovators set out every year to write their individual stories of success.
When it comes to overcoming challenges as a young business, the biggest expense can often be the time it takes to find and implement the correct solution.
Jim Kelly knew this and decided it was time to do something about it. Industolutions is the product of his vision.
"I had spent many years working on both sides of the B2B sector and over the years my idea for Industolutions took shape. It was one of those ideas that my mind kept circling back to and eventually I knew I had to either commit to bringing it to life or regret not pursuing it. Obviously, the fear of regret trumped the fear of failure."
The Problem: Case studies can provide high-value solutions that guide business development and can inform entrepreneurs who are grappling with launching a new venture. Unfortunately, many of these case studies are scattered across the web, hidden from search indexes as PDF files on some page that is probably only found through a sitemap. And there’s the gap—new businesses seek answers that already exist but are simply not visible.
Solution: By collating these PDF documents into one easily searchable database, Industolutions has positioned itself as a high-value resource to business leaders who can quickly survey, learn from and adopt solutions to their particular challenges.
Start with a dialogue
Paralect picked up the Industolutions project after a previous development team had simply lost interest in it. From first glance, it seemed like roughly a month’s worth of tasks. Two years on, both Jim and Veronika’s team are happy with the continued collaboration.
Veronika shared honestly how at first, due to the unclear tasks Jim requested, the team simply cherry-picked what could be accomplished quickly. But by completing and implementing the ‘low-hanging fruit,’ the team showed their capability and thereby started building trust.
Jim didn’t want to repeat his past experience, so he made it a point to visit Paralect. This is when the scope and development timeline really came into focus. His initial strategy for technical development tasks did not really match the overall project goals. The team could have gone down that road comfortably coding in ‘task’ security. But they didn’t.
Jim’s decision to spend six weeks hands-on with the team at Paralect HQ brought the working relationship to a new level of clarity and mutual respect. The path to building out a digital product that’s been someone’s dream for many years has to start with this foundation in order to succeed.
In line with the vision of Industolutions, the team collaborated with Jim to outline a rapid development roadmap that would more closely achieve his goals.
A founder may not always know the best course of development or technologies necessary to efficiently reach the MVP level. A project manager should have the agency to inform stakeholders and direct product development down the optimal path.
Bumps in the Roadmap
Since Industolutions is a single page web app built using AngularJS, Veronika and the team soon ran into the one major drawback of this framework. Despite the fact that AngularJS was built by Google, it was not allowing Google’s search engine to properly index all the Industolutions site info.
So a collection of over 200 thousand tested and implemented business solutions was there but not ‘seen.’ Of course, Veronika’s team was not the first to run into this problem with AngularJS based SPAs. With a few months of focused work, the site indexing improved and to date, the pages on Industolutions continue to climb in results.
Communicate plus Collaborate
As the roadmap passed by the MVP stage, what stood out to Jim as the working relationship matured was the team's vision for future feature implementation. With regular conference calls, the team itself was taking initiative to iterate and propose new features in line with Jim’s vision for Industolutions.
Across the many many projects and products that Paralect has been a part of, this theme rises again and again. Veronika’s team is one prime example of how we endeavor to transcend the usual remote development paradigm.
Long-term contracts not only add stability and profit to our bottom line. Everyone involved benefits, from the junior devs to the founders to possible future acquirers. The product and development team often grow hand in hand over time.
When it works well, that means the team is empowered and motivated to offer the best solutions they can for new features and overall customer experience with the product. A sense of agency is powerful in creating an efficient and lean team dynamic, especially in a remote setting.
Veronika, her team, and Jim all agreed that the Industolutions project has been a valuable learning experience as well as a joy to be part of. The product is live out there in the wild, so dig into the distilled database of proven solutions and, who knows, perhaps it will help you bring your own vision to life.