Sniffie Product Team – A year in review
As 2019 comes to a close, let’s reminisce on what we achieved this past year and what’s in store for 2020 and beyond.
First, let’s look back at where we were at the beginning of 2019. Our initial plan of coming out of beta with our new rewritten product was delayed. Our “active” product had not been updated in months and users we getting anxious to get their hands on the new product. Our first public release had a required checkbox when logging in:
I accept that this is an experimental release that may break things.
Needless to say, the product wasn’t all that reliable. It was a stressful time for Sniffie employees and our clients alike. We thank you all for your patience 🙂
A couple of months later we had fixed the stability issues and finally announced that we were officially out of beta. This was a big milestone for us. However, there was no time for celebration. We were already working towards the next big goal: becoming a Pricing Automation company.
In February our sales team attended a fair in Berlin. CEO Tomi wanted to present our vision of our Pricing Automation module by making a mockup. Test early fail fast, they say. The response was affirming and we concluded that we were on the right path.
Focusing on processes and product management
We put great effort into developing our working methods this year. We started employing more agile methodologies (Scrum) and are now working in two-week sprints to release features and fixes in a continuous and predictable manner. With the addition of a new dev team member in Sang, we’ve had the opportunity to not only increase the speed of our development but also focus more on having transparent product management operations. This will be a focal point going into 2020 as well; providing more transparency on product development progress for all stakeholders in the form of product roadmaps and release plans as well as thinking carefully about feature prioritization.
Automating matching and pricing with the use of AI has been our vision since day one. As Mark Cuban put it:
Artificial Intelligence, deep learning, machine learning — whatever you’re doing if you don’t understand it — learn it. Because otherwise you’re going to be a dinosaur within 3 years.
This year we saw a ramp-up in the development of our AI initiatives when our “data guy” Aleksi joined us. We have put in significant effort into developing our AI and data-crunching abilities which will eventually be the largest part of our product team.
We love numbers, so I dug through our repository and found some interesting stats:
The codebase of our web app alone is just about 100,000 lines of code.
97.5% of lines of code in our codebase was added or modified in 2019! This is staggering, but not surprising I guess.
We created about 3,100 commits this year, about 5/person/day.
In addition, we created native mobile apps for iOS and Android, added a bunch of backend services and re-wrote a great part of our backend code.
As we step into the new decade, we have a clear vision of where we want to be in a couple of years. Becoming a leading Pricing Automation company is priority number one.
The pricing automation module,
which we started working on in February, was recently released as private beta and we are currently developing it with a few clients. We expect a broader release in the coming months.
We are also very much focused on clients not yet willing to take the leap into automatic pricing just yet, by developing our analytics offerings. More robust dashboard analytics and Price Matrix improvements are in store for Q1 2020.
Transparency on our development.
As stated earlier, we want to be even clearer on what and when we are developing by providing release plans, updates and roadmaps. We are also focusing on the feedback loop to enable users to bring their own ideas efficiently.
AI and backend
As mentioned, great effort will continue to be put into AI and backend development. We already have initial versions of AI-based price suggestions, automatic matching, and smarter data collection. 2020 will see the introduction of this development in production. We are very excited.
A lot happened this year and we only expect to accelerate the pace going forward.
Thank you for 2019, all of us at Sniffie want to wish you a happy new year!
– Fredrik and the rest of team Sniffie