Published: March 15, 2022
Making waves in social sailing
5 minutes read
Sam and Felix (Founders of Tendrr) approached Cell 5 with a vision - to build a community for sailors where you can plan your sailing season, link up with boats, crews, events, and build up a record of your sailing experiences - a first of its kind in the sailing market!
They aimed to create the best way to get more people sailing. To start, they had already built a basic MVP but had run into some challenges as they planned many more changes in the future. So Sam and Felix figured an ongoing well-aligned tech partnership was the best way to go.
As founders, their passion was infectious, and we liked the vision and felt they were collaborative. The project also met our criteria for making the world better than we found it!
As the last step in vetting, we did a current tech assessment, and we knew pretty quickly that we could pick up and pivot their MVP and make a great platform out of it, so we agreed to help.
Of course, there are technical challenges, but we are used to handling those. The product challenge was making the most discoverable and trustable network of sailors and sailing opportunities.
Imagine someone saying this: "You, Mr. Sailor, whom I've never met, you can take my boat out."
Probably crazy, right?
What We Did
We built a virtual dock for different types of sailors - from novice to pro, for individuals, and clubs, wherein they could connect in this diverse customer base and form a trusted network on Tendrr.
The Tendrr team brought the product vision, customer knowledge, and a commercial context. The Cell 5 team, on the other hand, brought specialist tech build knowledge and a keen sense of how to pivot and scale start-up products.
Of course, it was not all plain sailing! As we made more customer discovery, we identified new features and optimizations to the user experience as we iterated. COVID was challenging but gave us an opportunity too. Early adopters of Tendrr were able to focus on helping us to tune the product while not out at sea as much.
We know communication is more than half the battle on product teams. So we ran regular catch-ups, used Trello for a task board, Figma for design, Slack for daily chats, and always had a working live demo environment for regular product demos of the latest changes. Of course, it's not about the tools, really, but they helped enable an excellent remote work setup.
Our experienced team in the Philippines worked more than a half-day overlapping with the UK for constant collaboration. Thankfully, the team operations were not hugely impacted by COVID as we are all used to working in a globally distributed team and have been doing this as default since early 2018.
As a tech product, we built Tendrr using CraftCMS, a PHP-based framework providing an ultra-flexible and user-friendly content management platform. Alongside using CraftCMS, we developed Tendrr using the latest web stack. Cell 5 has preferred stacks, but we hire and train bright engineers who can apply themselves to the changing technology landscape using timeless best practices. It was our first CraftCMS project, and overall it was a joy to work with.
By late 2021, Tendrr had set sail on its voyage of discovery to help fill more boats on the world's waterways and enable everyone - from professional sailors to first-timers - to get involved with sailing.
Tendrr is making waves in social sailing, and for us, at Cell 5, it has been truly humbling to work with the Tendrr team on their vision. However, it is still so motivating to think we have played a role in enabling more people to experience the fun, excitement, learning opportunities, and personal discovery and development that can come from sailing.
The next stage of the voyage
Post-launch, Cell 5 is still very much involved below the deck of Tendrr, making minor course corrections and supporting Sam and Felix at the helm as they focus on building out more value for more sailing communities.
If you have not been sailing before and want to give it a try, or it's been too long since you were last on the water, or if you are a boat owner who wants to see your boat on the water more, sign up and give Tendrr a try!
If you are a founder looking for a tech partner to make your vision a reality, give Cell 5 a try! Talk to us.