The ucreate Playbook
When we started ucreate we always wanted to be different to a standard development agency. We chose to not only focus on working with startups, right from the ideation stage through to exit, but also to focus on building real businesses and not just products. We saw that many agencies would just build what the founder wanted, not building products for the end users. This would often lead to the startup failing.
Over the last 4 years we have learnt a lot on how to build great tech businesses. We created two programmes (Flash and Strike) which are in effect our process and the blueprint that we use when we work with a new founder. We have been using that process over the past 18 months, honing and tweaking it to what we believe is now the best way to launch and scale a startup.
We have converted that process into a playbook and chosen to make that completely transparent. This allows potential founders and partners who want to build their business with ucreate to see how we work and to get fully bought into that process.
When we go into partnership with a founder it’s vital that we are both fully aligned; many of the businesses we have been working with over the last few years have been doing so from inception and will continue right through to exit.
And of course, the playbook is just a guide; all businesses are different and will need a specific approach but our process gives us and the founder the buyilding blocks to creating a successful startup.
Benefits of a playbook
Playbooks are great as they visualise what you do, how you do it and most importantly why. They are the perfect material for new joiners (or customers) to read as it helps to bring them up to speed super quick. If you’ve mentioned who has contributed you also provide a direct contact for that individual to find out more.
It’s imperative to deliver your services consistently. Your brand has been built on your service delivery so any deviation from your usual output will be noticed. A playbook helps to ensure that your standards are upheld and that your quality remains high. There is also the added benefit of being able to swap individuals in and out should that be required.
A well-documented process is an efficient process. If any of your team are ever unsure, they have a reference point which they can quickly return to. Mastery also comes with repetition. A familiar format rehearsed many times before means that your team becomes better at what they do, which in turn increases their capacity.
It’s all very well having a process but even the best processes can’t stand the test of time. The world is constantly evolving and the rate of innovation is ever increasing. Your playbook helps you to judge your performance and whether you’ve been able to improve on it. Challenging old ways of working is a great way to make sure you stay ahead of the competition.
How to create a playbook
1. Identify your audience and set a goal
Start by asking yourself who you are creating this playbook for. It might sound obvious but just like any product it needs to have a clear target market. Once you’ve identified your audience you then need to consider how they will benefit from your playbook. When this has been outlined you have your goal.
2. Organise your stakeholders
This playbook is going to embody everything your business does so the more perspectives you involve in the creation process the better. You need to make sure everyone is engaged from the start and all involved need to be able to dedicate a sufficient amount of time throughout the entire process.
3. Collaborate throughout
This isn’t going to be a solo activity. You might be the main sponsor but everyone should be contributing. Follow lean techniques and share your progress as you go. If you keep everything a secret until the big reveal the likelihood is that you’re going to fail. Have frequent and open discussions to continually generate new ideas and improve your content.
4. Launch, learn and iterate
There will be a few edits before you’re happy but that’s part of the process. The sooner you make your playbook public the sooner you’ll start to make significant improvements. You’ll understand the areas that are well received as well as the areas which need improvement. With fresh insights you can continue to improve.
Why our playbook is public
We made the decision from the outset that we would make our playbook public. We decided to do this because we wanted to empower founders to make an informed decision. We didn’t want to hide behind fancy copy or illustrations. We wanted to give founders the facts they needed so that they could make the right decision for their business.
We also decided that while our processes are good that’s not the sole reason a founder decides to work with us. Ultimately it comes down to execution and we have a team of highly talented individuals who deliver our services. They also go above and beyond and offer far more than what our normal processes. If someone wants to copy what we do, we see that imitation as a form of flattery.
While we’re proud of our ways of working we also acknowledge that everything can be improved. By publicly sharing our processes we hope that others will challenge us and ignite discussions. We put collaboration and communication at the heart of everything we do and the more people that we can get involved the better for us and them.
You can read our playbook by following this link.