The Web Setup: Sticker Mule

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In this installment of the Web Setup, I spoke with Anthony Thomas of Sticker Mule, the easiest way to buy and sell stickers! Here’s a look at how they run a fast growing, ecommerce startup with small distributed team.

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Hi Anthony, tell me about your team; what kind of office setup do you have?

Our core team is 8 people, but we don’t have much of an office setup. Most of us work remotely and our headquarters is mainly factory space. Only our design lead and myself work at our factory.

While we don’t have much of an “office”, we have a few humanscale float tables and freedom chairs. Everyone also gets their machine of choice and we’re currently all on some type of Mac. Beyond that, we use Meraki for wifi in the factory, Nest to control our thermostats and a few of us use an OfficeRunner headset.

What web apps can your team not live without? How do you pick them?

Mainly we decide based on how well it’s designed and how useful we find it. Using well designed apps keeps us motivated and inspires us to continue improving our own applications. The apps we can’t live without include:

  1. Desk.com manages all customer inquiries and powers our support content.
  2. Asana tracks all tasks & ideas for every aspect of our operation including design, development, marketing and any remaining administrative stuff.
  3. Github is where we develop and collaborate on our web site and a few other applications we built to support our operation.
  4. Cloudapp is our favorite tool for sharing screenshots and we use it frequently throughout the day.
  5. RJMetrics let’s us build metrics and dashboards to monitor progress towards our goals.

We also use and like Wistia, AWS, Bugsnag, Stripe, Skylight, Pusher, EasyPost and Mailchimp.

How do you hire and onboard new people?

Generally, we decide to hire someone when we see a queue of meaningful work building up in Asana. The type of work that’s backlogged will determine the position we need to fill. Once we find a candidate we like we’ll run through the queue in Asana with them to give them a feel for the work they’ll be doing if they choose to join us. Then, on day 1, they get started rather easily by opening Asana and working on the tasks assigned to them. We’ll usually run through their initial queue via Google Hangouts and, within a few weeks, they’re usually comfortable pushing their own ideas into Asana.

Of course, we also provision access to everything else they will need using Meldium.

Do you have any tips for managing your remote team? Any way you could make this easier?

Yes, as I mentioned, we are almost all remote. I’m in New York with one of our designers; the rest of our team is in Colorado, North Carolina, Missouri, England and Canada.

Our most important tools for collaborating remotely are Asana, GitHub & Google Hangouts. We chat on Google Hangouts throughout the day and also have regularly scheduled video chats where we discuss current and future projects.

I’m quite happy with our current setup. My dream would be for travel to be faster and less expensive so we could do more in person meetups.