Running your company on web apps

One interesting thing about starting a company today versus a few years ago: Lots of cool web apps are now available that you can more or less run you company on.

Among the apps we're currently using, or trying out, at Odeo are:
  • Basecamp - project/task management (much is moving to FogBugz, though)

  • JotSpot - internal information management (haven't fully committed, but looks good)

  • Blogger - for, ya know, the blog

  • Gmail - I think nearly everyone here uses it as their client. We just forward our mail there.

  • FogBugz - Awesome bug and customer email management (although we haven't tried the email yet). We were using something I think called BugTrack, which comes with Textdrive, but it was a little sparse in features. (FogBugz also has discussion forums, which we're not sure if we're using either.)

  • Google Groups - internal and external mailing lists

  • Kayako - a really intersting customer support app. Haven't decided how to use it yet or its relationship with FogBugz.

None of these apps are running on our own servers or required our installation. (Although, FogCreek doesn't host FogBugz itself, dissapointingly, so we went with Server Intellect, which does turnkey FogBugz hosting. Why is that, Joel?)

Through Textdrive, we also have hosted Subversion, email management, DNS management, and more -- all with web front-ends.

The improved efficiency of having these apps available, and not having to install and maintain servers for them is huge. At Pyra, we wrote our own discussion board at one time (not that there weren't other available) and, later, I wrote a support management tool, because I couldn't find anything like Kayako (or Neotonic -- which Google bought and took off the market). And I was dying for email management, like FogBugz has.

It all can be a bit to handle, remembering what goes where. What's nice, is a lot of these apps (FogBugz, Groups, Blogger, Gmail?) also produce feeds, so we could conceivably create a little dashboard (or just use our feedreaders) to keep up on them.