Gorilla Theory Logo
With Support From:
ghSmart is the management consulting and assessment firm for CEOs and Investors
Xing - Powering Professional Networks

Get the Meeting Organiser

Gorilla Theory Meeting Organiser
Hoosh Case Study
Hoosh Technologies
“If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Rikke Blix is the co-founder and CEO of Hoosh technology, a competitive intelligence supplier that helps businesses improve the ecommerce performance of their products and services online (via rigorous analysis of search marketing results).

Rikke has a technical background as well as business smarts, having worked in the software development and technology sector for many years, including roles in product development, before taking the leap to start her own business

1. What steps did you take to get Hoosh off the ground? Did you spend much time sanity-checking and refining the idea with friends and mentors?
Hoosh Technology is a spin-off from a search consultancy company, as they experienced a need for providing easy to grasp intelligence to CMO's and other decision makers. Hoosh started as a business plan and some prototyping in the format of manual reporting. The prototyping phase was very valuable as early clients were giving us great feedback, so we could adjust the product to their needs before automating the data calculations and layout. We also work with a great Advisory Board challenging us to deliver the best product, communicated in the right way to our target group.

Gorilla Theory Tip: The product advisory board and initial user feedback are tremendously helpful sources of product guidance and vigilance so your product can be the best it can be for users.

2. Building the all-important beta and first customer-ready product? How long did it take and who with? Much pain along the way managing the technical build?
We have been extremely lucky with the team and when I look at how far we have come in the short time period we have been around it is a good reason to be proud. Allan Pickler is our Mathemagician and Chief Software Architect and he deserves much credit together with his dream team. Jacob Hagemann with +17 years of experience within search marketing is the core expert who made sure we deliver a highly relevant product to our clients. It took us around 8 Months to get from Micosoft Excel to the first non beta version ready for our clients, was it painful you ask? well I think this kind of transformation is always a tough process, but when you go LIVE it is all worth it ;)

Gorilla Theory Tip: Find the best team members you can for every role. Talent and team chemistry, and team commitment (Start-Up TCC) can be the difference between the delivery of a quality product in decent time, to not delivering at all or delivering a poor product that will not do well. Take time to recruit well; understand exactly what you need (and hope for a little luck too!).

3. What was your approach to project management? Did you look at project management as a discipline or did you just wing it to get everything done?
In a start-up it is very important to find the right balance between planning and executing - Don't plan to much, just keep a prioritized backlog and take it from the top. Allow for new ideas to arise and get included when valuable. We still allow ourselves a very agile development process and it is important both for motivation in the team and to make sure our product always meets client needs. When you ask about project management style, I would call it SCRUM freely interpreted by Hoosh. Collaboration and prioritization are key.

Gorilla Theory Tip: Use a project management style that suits you and your team. ALWAYS. blindly prescribing to a type of process or framework without understanding your particular start-up dynamics may cause lack of commitment and a rigidity that does not benefit your team and it's aims.

4. How do you check that Hoosh is providing value and fixing a problem?
We talk to our clients and present it to prospects that gives us instant feedback on pains we are solving or even ideas to new areas we can help them with based on the same data. Gorilla Theory Tip: Always be guided by user feedback. Log it and review, and - most importantly - act on it.

5. Enhanced communications is another key principle of Gorilla Theory. How is this applied in terms of customer communications (support alerts, hosting issues, value-added services?)?
In regards to support alerts and tech issues we mainly communicate to our clients directly through our online intelligence platform using messages that pop-up when they log-in. In addition they can get alerted through email.

6. Traits you find in the most effective project managers in a start-up business?
Be ready for chance - as no plan will last too long if you remember to look up. Empower the team to lead the way as the project management role is embedded in small start-up teams. Be good at asking questions until you identify potential issues. Keep a positive attitude and communicate.

7. How does Hoosh keep mission critical projects/support on track (policy? processes? training? reliance on great tech tools?)
We focus on high priority and make sure we all know where we are heading and why. On the tools side we are actually big fans of Trello, as it is easy to use and provide the basic functionality we need to run projects.

Gorilla Theory Tip: Vigilance of critical support and operations can mean the difference between happy or dissatisfied customers/users. Find the processes that will enable you and your team to keep on top of support issues and responding quickly.

8. The importance of people skills when dealing with customers and within a busy data analytics business amongst the support team?

Understanding your customer is key to any business and we do our utmost to see the world from the view of the customer, so we can help out when needed. We collect happy clients and there is only one way to do that - you have to care!

Special Offers for readers: Rikke is offering the Hoosh Free4Ever version of their competitive intelligence tool if you sign up for it @: ii.hoosh.com

How to spot a Baby Gorilla
Baby gorillas are projects that are deemed small and straightforward, and it is assumed that enough information is known of what needs to be done (the full requirements and delivery specifications) to get the project delivered, but these details are either not gathered, defined and approved, and (usually) not enough time is given for the delivery. Baby gorillas tend to be media campaign, HTML newsletter, microsite, site/page update-style projects.
Got a great case study or question?
Then get in contact with the Gorilla Theory team: click here >

All the Gorilla Theory project scenario solutions are supported by a checklist mechanism. The checklist mechanism supports the core principles of:

And don't forget to use your checklists!
We have tailored the Gorilla Theory checklists for each of the three problem scenarios. You can buy the project checklist pack or the full checklist pack: click here >

Useful Software
Useful Project Management Software
You are forewarned, so be forearmed. Check useful tools for managing your projects.
The Troop
Several projects on the go? Worried about how to cope successfully? Find out how.
The Silverback
The big beast of a project. Find out how to know you have one, and how to avoid being crushed by the sheer power. Learn to tame one.