2018 Retrospective: What happened at Localz this year?

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By Tim Andrew, Localz CEO

While we have a number of dogs in our lives/at the office, our connection with canines perhaps runs even deeper than that. A year at Localz is like seven at a large/enterprise organisation. The pace at which we conceive, create, test, run, deploy and replace parts of our platform stack is immense.

Three key things enable us to operate sustainably at this pace — our people, the tech we use, how we communicate.

Our awesome team has grown by over 50% this year. The risk of rapidly scaling a business is that you lose your identity and the thing that made you special in the first place. So, earlier in the year, we spent some time as a team looking at our values, what makes us unique, how they can guide us in making choices, and what we look for in others. Ours are:

- Diverse thinking

- Actions not words

- Transparency

- No dickheads (this applies only when we’re recruiting. It’s blunt and arbitrary, but also a very effective filter!)

They can be challenging to live by, and sometimes work against each other (e.g, making sure you’ve got diverse thinking to help you solve a problem can go against actions not words), but they’ve been instrumental in helping us grow while keeping the Localz culture we love.


Growing exponentially

Localz has people working across three continents and multiple time zones. The ability to communicate effectively is the single biggest influence on whether the business succeeds or not. Transparency helps us with our communication, aided by the rights tools — like Slack, Notion, and Zenhub (the latter two are new to us this year and look to be working well).
We have more than doubled our code base this year and simultaneously made it easier to work on and more efficient to run. We’ve shipped a bunch of cool new features:

  • New iOS and Android SDKs to make working with partners and 3rd parties easier;
  • Real-time driver ETA triggers in addition to dynamic geofences;
  • Live traffic delay notifications and two-way communications for drivers and recipients;
  • Improved the battery efficiency of our real-time tracking SDK;
  • Enabled multiple geocoding providers to improve address and navigation accuracy;
  • Infrastructure changes to make our platform even more efficient and scalable;
  • A completely new Field Services Technician App;
  • New Drive Thru and Drive Up features;
  • A completely redesigned Collections App for in-store workers; and
  • Enhanced User Management architecture and interface



Moments of Happiness on our live dashboard

These features have been quickly taken up by our customers and used for millions of interactions across the globe. We call these interactions with our platform “Moments of Happiness”. When a service technician arrives on time as expected, or you collect your shopping from a store in seconds instead of waiting in line for 20 minutes, you can’t help but be a little bit happier — a moment of increased happiness. We monitor this in real-time on a big dashboard and see tens of thousands of moments of happiness happening every day — one of my personal favourite releases this year.
While 2018 has come and gone in a flash, I’m super excited with what 2019 holds — we’ll be continuing to grow, opening a new office in LA, growing the team and launching a whole bunch of cool new tech for use by the world’s leading brands.
Here’s to another Localz dog year!

2017 Christmas party with founders

This blog post is part of the 2018 Localz Advent Calendar series. You can read the rest of the blog posts in the series here.


Photo by Jim Kalligas on Unsplash