There’s an oft-quoted, frequently misattributed, and rarely heeded piece of advice that goes something like this:
“A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.”
Four years ago, we started our journey…
…but in the intervening time, we’ve only moved 0.8 miles.
From the attic of a grocery store, down the street to our current abode: the headquarters of Crew has only moved a couple of blocks. But our product?
That’s a different story.
Announcing Dream Crew
20 thousand projects submitted. $30M in contracts. Apple keynotes. Today Show appearances. Apps that have ballooned into tens-of-millions-of-users territory.
It’s a thousandfold difference from our first few steps, years ago, when we patched together a Mailchimp newsletter, Wufoo form creator, and a bunch of free Stripe trial accounts in order to process our first projects.
Despite our humble beginnings, we’ve managed to assemble one of the most formidable design/development teams in the world, hailing from more than 30 countries — and having worked at every unicorn startup you can think of.
If Uber is the biggest “not a taxi company” company in the world, then Crew is the biggest “not a tech agency” agency around.
However, the supply-and-demand dynamics are a lot different for $11 cab rides vs. $11,000 dev/design projects (our average project size). Understandably, we spend a lot more time than Uber vetting our professionals.
…and our customers.
Most unicorn startups you hear about are lucky to have a single big app. Okay, maybe two. But as a platform for making apps and websites, we can’t rest on our laurels when a customer manages to take their product from MVP to MTV. We have to be in production mode. Every day.
Not only do we screen every project proposal that comes in (we won’t build you Tinder for dogs no matter how much you pay us) but we also screen every single person who wants to work on Crew projects.
Reliability, skill, and friendliness are all prerequisites for getting approved to work on Crew projects. Luckily, we’ve found some of the best (and most fun-to-work-with!) people in the world to help build the app and website ideas submitted to Crew.
Our members are top coders, award-winning designers, and veterans of places like Dropbox, Facebook, Uber, Pitchfork, Apple, Twitter, Medium, Google, and yes — even Tinder. (The real Tinder).
So when it came time, earlier this year, to update Crew’s own app, the bar was set kinda high.
Crew members are awesome. Crew customers are awesome. And while the existing Crew app was good enough to get the job done, it was hardly the omfg-generating machine that we knew it could be. Just in time for summer, we’ve revamped everything.
Humbly, we call it Dream Crew.
New: Real Time Everything
Whether it’s for the bus, a doctor, or the bathroom at that bar, few things are less pleasant than having to wait.
And yet when people came to our site, looking to hire, that’s exactly what was happening.
We’ve since decommissioned our old email-dependent chat service, and (inspired by our friends at Slack) replaced it with real-time everything: real-time chat with our Happiness team, real-time chat with the collaborators on your project, and online/offline indicators so you can tell who’s awake, asleep, or AFK.
Since launching real-time chat, the time it’s taken to start a project has plummeted from 48 hours to less than fifteen minutes.
Of course, you can still correspond via email. But who would trade a Tesla for a horse cart?
If you’re a designer on Crew, you’re probably the type of person who agonizes over the typography of street signs, blows blood vessels at misaligned wall art, and sheds tears at the phrase “font keming”.
We’ve updated our design to appease your (slightly worrisome) perfectionist habits. Behold, our new triple column layout:
Accented with cheerful illustrations and rich typography, the new Crew design lets you see your project’s most important details at a glance:
- In the left column, you’ll find Crew’s new powerful search bar, as well as a list of all your projects
- In the main dashboard you can access real-time chat and project documents
- In the right column we’ll notify you of upcoming project tasks (do you need to wire funds? Is a deadline looming? Do you have to sign-off on completed work?)
Whether it’s the fluid, natural conversations facilitated by real-time chat, or the subtle UI nudges to keep your project on track, we’re confident that our new design won’t just make for a more pleasant user experience — it will make it much easier to hit milestones and complete your projects faster.
All payments are now processed in real-time. You can now also pay by bank wire. Yep… that pretty much sums this section up.
New: Submissions! Support! Search! Sriracha!
No more forms. No more email. If you want to start a project, you’ll be greeted by our friendly chatbot, Crewbot, who’ll ask a few questions about your project. Then, she’ll introduce you to one of our (human) Happiness team members, who’ll take you from there.
From the minute you submit your project to the minute you deploy it for the world to see, you’ll be guided along by your very own Happiness Account Manager. They’ll be there, in the top right corner, watching over your project like a happy guardian angel. (In the four years since Crew’s been around, less than 1% of projects have ever had an issue, thanks to their incredible, tireless work.)
Looking for an old message? The Crew FAQ? Your project agreement? Specs? Drafts? A wireframe, perchance? Sure, it might have eluded your memory, but it hasn’t eluded ours. With our new lightning-fast search you’ll be able to quickly locate any project detail, no matter how old or obscure.
Okay, we lied. There’s no sriracha. But aren’t all these features hot enough??
Imagine you’re on Tinder. Every person you swipe through is a 10 out of 10. Not only does the app help you find people you like (and message them) — but it’s the fancy restaurant you meet them at. The chapel where you get married. And the sprawling house where you raise your kids.
That’s what Dream Crew is all about. No longer is Crew just a way to find top-end talent to build your app idea. It’s now equipped with all the features to help accelerate your project’s development. From idea to sketch to mock to publication, all in real-time, with your own guardian angel guiding you every step of the way.
As we built it, we called it Dream Crew. But it’s no longer just a dream.
It’s live. Give it a try.