Frustrated by too many notifications, meetings, and time zone differences, we iterated through solutions until we built our own: a platform for transparency, team communication, and cutting through the noise with minimal interruption.
Hi there, I'm Henry Poydar, founder and CEO of Status Hero. I live and work in New York City. I've been writing software and leading both co-located and remote software teams for over twenty years.
Awash in Noise
A few years ago, I was a co-founder and the CTO of an angel-backed web application startup, which was acquired by a publicly-traded software company.
As part of the acquisition, my team and I were trusted with swapping out a crucial piece of ten-year-old infrastructure without any disruption to the business.
Our small team quickly grew to more than 50 people across engineering, ops, product, marketing, execs, and more — all spread out over several time zones. Meeting requests and pings of all sorts were coming in, at all hours, across different channels.
And, in truth, only about 5% of these messages really deserved my attention. But because I didn't know which 5% mattered, I had to triage them all.
Searching for Signal with Snippets
A few current and former Googlers turned me on to their solution for the madness: a process called "snippets."
It's remarkably simple: each week, team members respond to an automated email asking for accomplishments from the previous week and intentions for the upcoming one. I implemented this system and saw immediate results. These emails from direct reports became my "source of truth" for the project. But it still had drawbacks. Most notably, all the data had to flow through me.
Who's Doing What, and Why
When I left that company and founded Status Hero, I realized a snippets-like system of check-ins could work for any size team or project. That's how the product was born (with some key improvements).
Your Team, Your Communication Channels
Status Hero works with any communication channel, not just email. It collects check-ins via Slack, Microsoft Teams, Webex Teams, and text messaging. It also distributes reports to your teams through those applications.
Hundreds of Integrations
No team uses just one communication tool or system. That's why we made sure Status Hero aggregates project management data from popular apps like Jira, GitHub, Trello, and others — more via Zapier and our API.
Everyone on your team can understand the details behind check-ins without manually collecting them.
Transparency, Trust, and Intentions
We designed Status Hero to maximize transparency. In my experience, high-performing digital teams do their best work when individual intentions are transparent to everyone on the team. This builds trust avoids duplicative work, and teamwork happens without manager intervention. This often leads to more accurate planning and estimates, as well as a generally calmer, happier team.
Simple and Insightful Reporting
And finally, we have focused on finding the best ways to filter and analyze check-ins and project management data into clear and helpful reports, whether it's a daily dashboard or report templates for use in retros, 1:1s, or planning sessions.
We designed these reports to be consumed by everyone in your org — team members, managers, and stakeholders.
Optimized to Minimize Disruption
Interruptions are poison for deep work and creative endeavors.
Status Hero is an asynchronous tool designed to collect accomplishments, intentions, and blockers with as little disruption and friction as possible. Starting with smart defaults, individuals have fine-grained control over their notification settings, methods, time zone, and absences.
But Not Necessarily a Stand-up Meeting Replacement
Many teams use Status Hero instead of holding the traditional stand-up meeting since Status Hero aggregates their project details asynchronously. Other teams are still holding stand-ups, just less frequently with more efficiency. Why? Because Status Hero has already captured the details, they can use the time to focus on meaningful interactions instead.
Mood Matters Too
Mood and emotional state are often conveyed through body language and tone. Sure, we're conditioned to bottle this up in business settings. But good managers know an individual's mood can affect the whole team.
In Status Hero, there's an optional way for team members to indicate mood with emojis. It's an unintimidating way of signaling an emotional state in an asynchronous environment (without explicitly broadcasting something you'd rather keep private). It's been a big hit with our customers!
At Status Hero, we use the product daily to manage our all-remote team's workload. All support requests are answered by people who rely on Status Hero and know it inside and out. We don't even have a dedicated "support" person - we believe that's just part of everyone's job.
So we love critical feedback and are dedicated to continually improving Status Hero. After all, we are customers too.
Please send us your thoughts!
P.S., In case you haven't seen it, we have a popular email newsletter for team leads and managers. Every couple of weeks, I curate articles and tips designed to help you right away. Here's how to get on the mailing list.