Free Team Collaboration Tools

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17 Replies - 848 Views - Last Post: 08 September 2015 - 08:59 AM

#1 NeoTifa  Icon User is offline

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Free Team Collaboration Tools

Posted 03 September 2015 - 11:06 AM

Hey guys, upon an initial search, I didn't see anything like this posted before. I have like 2 project courses where I work in teams creating, managing, etc. software. What I'm looking for is a free app that can store documents, a discussion board, quick chats, maybe some screen sharing, etc. that would be useful for a startup (like we're pretending to be). Any suggestions?

I looked into cubetree, but I couldn't figure it out. Looking into Moxtra now.
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#2 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Free Team Collaboration Tools

Posted 03 September 2015 - 11:17 AM

my first thought - basecamp deals with communication, documents, project management bits. I don't think project management tools have 'screen sharing' so you may want to find an alternative to that.

http://elearningindu...mp-alternatives
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#3 NeoTifa  Icon User is offline

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Re: Free Team Collaboration Tools

Posted 03 September 2015 - 11:18 AM

But it's only free for 60 days...
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#4 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Free Team Collaboration Tools

Posted 03 September 2015 - 11:20 AM

Again - the link has alternatives..
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#5 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: Free Team Collaboration Tools

Posted 03 September 2015 - 11:21 AM

Then you should run your kickstarter for 60 days minus the number of days the free-trial has been initiated.
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#6 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Free Team Collaboration Tools

Posted 03 September 2015 - 12:43 PM

I think you can do most of what you're talking about with google hangouts and drive, if you want easy and free.
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#7 cprop  Icon User is offline

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Re: Free Team Collaboration Tools

Posted 04 September 2015 - 10:57 AM

1. Google Docs

My real world experience working in startups confirms the usefulness of Google Docs. I got the most use out of docs by managing metrics and reporting (spreadsheets) within the docs ecosystem. I also found document collaboration very useful for realtime feedback on specs and designs.

2. GitHub (or Bitbucket)

A software startup is not without code and that means version control. At my current startup we make heavy use of GitHub. In particular, we use standard practices here; developers work on branches and submit pull requests to master, the team lead reviews pull requests and merges into master when they are ready. I recommend using some version control and code review practice.

Furthermore, all of these version control systems have issues/bug trackers which are very valuable in a startup. All issues should be tracked, prioritized and assigned by someone (team lead, product manager etc).

3. Mockups/Designs

I don't typically recommend any mockup or design tools unless you have a dedicated designer.

I recommend doing in person whiteboard designs when possible. If that isn't feasible then pen and paper designs you can collaborate on through Google Docs should be sufficient. One tool I do recommend is Skitch, it can help you mark up designs and give better feedback on designs (or report bugs!). You can see Skitch here. It's free.

With all that being said, I recommend keeping your workflow as simple as possible and not getting bogged down with tools. Use a few sharp tools and focus on getting an MVP done and iterating on it quickly.
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#8 Skydiver  Icon User is offline

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Re: Free Team Collaboration Tools

Posted 07 September 2015 - 05:40 AM

As I understand things, Github is not free if you need a private repository. Is the assumption nowadays that any project will be open source even if it involves making public the "secret sauce"?
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#9 astonecipher  Icon User is offline

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Re: Free Team Collaboration Tools

Posted 07 September 2015 - 06:44 AM

With Neo being a student, they have the GitPak for students that gives you a small private repo (5 projects) and a few other nice to haves. It works on the same premise as Microsoft's dreamspark.
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#10 cfoley  Icon User is offline

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Re: Free Team Collaboration Tools

Posted 07 September 2015 - 10:10 AM

BitBucket allows private repos for free. I use Github for public stuff and BitBucket for private stuff.

This post has been edited by cfoley: 07 September 2015 - 10:10 AM

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#11 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Free Team Collaboration Tools

Posted 07 September 2015 - 12:17 PM

View PostSkydiver, on 07 September 2015 - 07:40 AM, said:

As I understand things, Github is not free if you need a private repository. Is the assumption nowadays that any project will be open source even if it involves making public the "secret sauce"?


If I could kill one bad idea in the world, it would be the idea of "secret sauce". It's easily the most pernicious myth in business. For 90% of the startups that I see, nothing about their execution needs to be secret, and their IP gains them nothing - and protecting it costs them resources that they can't afford to spend for no return.

There are a few things that you need to assume about the world, because they're true. One is that if you've had an idea, many other people have had that idea, and if it's worth doing, some of them are doing it right now. A second is that there are only a few good ways to do any particular idea, and that number will generally be smaller than the number of people trying to do that idea. A third is that you're not that much smarter than everyone else, so your implementation is not going to be that much different from theirs.
So from this we can draw the obvious conclusion that your "secret sauce" isn't very secret. Anyone who's interested in doing what you're doing will probably have something very much like it.
So let's think about what it means to protect IP. Iif you've been paying attention you'll have noticed that IP cases are generally resolved in favor of the party with the most expensive lawyers. This means that the only people who gain any benefit from IP protection are the ones who are going to dominate in any relatively static market in any case, and who will surely move into any market you pioneer within a year, no matter what you do. They don't need your source code - they have your finished prototype product, and they have rooms full of programmers who will happily bang out code to implement your spec idea.
So the way you win as a startup is not by going toe to toe with them - the way you win is by winning the dynamic game. You move faster than they do, you own the market before they know there's a market to own, and you get on to the next thing they haven't thought of while they're incorporating your idea into their lumbering hulk of a platform.
Upshot: forget your "secret sauce". Everyone knows the recipe, they can make it if they want it. Your job is not to keep secrets, your job is to sell sauce, and you do that by coming up with new sauces.
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#12 Skydiver  Icon User is offline

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Re: Free Team Collaboration Tools

Posted 07 September 2015 - 04:31 PM

So if Page and Brin were just starting up Google now on a student budget, they should have not patented the PageRank algorithm and just gone Open Source?
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#13 cprop  Icon User is offline

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Re: Free Team Collaboration Tools

Posted 07 September 2015 - 05:20 PM

I would have to disagree. There are certainly situations where a "secret cause" exists and is core to a business's value proposition.

It is true with enough resources (money and time) a competing company could eventually compete on equal grounds after they created the secret sauce for themselves. But why make that easier for them? The time gained by not sharing the secret means more advances will be made, more market share taken away from the competitor and the brand created in the eyes of the consumers.
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#14 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Free Team Collaboration Tools

Posted 07 September 2015 - 05:39 PM

That's an interesting case. I suppose I'd have to wonder whether PageRank really made much of a difference. I tend to think that what made the difference for Google was that by the time anyone realized that there was a problem with the way we were doing search in, say, 1996, they'd completely owned the market. And what really made that was not the algorithm, it was that they'd done the crawling already. Remember, the internet is growing exponentially at that time, and they'd already crawled most of it. They just had to keep up with growth. Any competitor had to get ahead of a two-year head start, and that's hard to do.

So I think Google is probably a case where they won by getting out front and staying there, and protecting the algorithm didn't really make a lot of difference.

One way to think about that would be to ask yourself whether a different team of reasonably bright CS students in a different department somewhere would have come up with a different algorithm that would have produced approximately similar results. And I think it's likely that this could have happened half a dozen times, and gotten half a dozen different algorithms. If that's the case - and this is just speculation - then it wouldn't have been hard for Alta Vista or Yahoo to come up with their own search algorithm and start challenging Google's IP. Why didn't they? I think it's because they realized it would have been too little, too late - that they'd already lost.
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#15 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Free Team Collaboration Tools

Posted 07 September 2015 - 06:05 PM

View Postcprop, on 07 September 2015 - 07:20 PM, said:

It is true with enough resources (money and time) a competing company could eventually compete on equal grounds after they created the secret sauce for themselves. But why make that easier for them? The time gained by not sharing the secret means more advances will be made, more market share taken away from the competitor and the brand created in the eyes of the consumers.


So you're saying that FaceBook couldn't possibly have succeeded because MySpace and Friendster and Orkut already had such market share and brand, due to their proprietary codebase?

Or, to put it another way, if Orkut and MySpace and Friendster had delievered their source code to Mark Zuckerman as a Christmas present when he was a freshman at Harvard, would that have made any difference to anything at all?
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