Celebrating Spirē at One : Working and Building at Spirē From The Lens of Employees.

Celebrating Spirē at One : Working and Building at Spirē From The Lens of Employees.

In April of 2021, we started Spirē. What originally began as a chat followed by a series of tweets soon became a full blown tech startup. In the past one year we have tenaciously built, gone back to the drawing board to review but most of all, we’ve found ourselves as part of a team scattered across Nigeria with a common goal — make collecting customer feedback easier and better.

To celebrate turning one, I have an interesting chit chat with some of the employees at Spirē. They are going to be sharing briefly what their experience building Spirē has been like so far.

If you expect roses, there has been some. If you expect chaos, there has also been some chaos. Pretty much If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like behind the scenes building a startup, then stay tuned.

I’m going to start with Spirē’s CEO and co-founder, Charles because I believe he has a lot to say about the past one year.

Note this is not your conventional blogpost. I’m hoping you get to read this and picture a proper behind the scenes at Spirē.

Normally I send Charles a message on slack with this questions but we are going to pretend we sat over coffee and talked about this. Our team works remotely for now.

So Charles, tell us a bit about you and you do at Spirē.

Hey, I am Charles, a product and experience designer turned tech entrepreneur. At Spire, I direct product and business strategy while also making sure there is money to keep us going.

He sounds really cheerful  which is a bit surprising, word on the streets is that his job  is not really one of the easiest but moving on....

What do you or have you enjoyed the most about working to build Spirē in the past one year?

Hmmm, building Spire has tested everything in me, (oh well now he’s talking)’, the good and the bad. From managing people to managing investors. Sleepless nights and unending calls. The anxiety? I hate it. The uncertainty? I detest it. The weight of decision-making? I would abscond from it if I could. But the opportunities and the possibilities that we could create and be part of, the thought of it is what keeps me going. My co-founder is the one person I enjoy doing this with, I would have quit if it were some other person.

Shoutout to Chuks!

What part of the product building were you excited to work on the most?

I enjoy product strategy, the hard long, sleepless nights of thinking about how a product should work, crafting the touchpoints and just making it make sense.

What’s your favourite product feature and why?

Feedjet! I think its potential to be our major entry point tool for so many solutions we are building makes it my favourite.

How would you want people (businesses) on the outside to experience this product you’ve contributed to building so far?

The outcome for me is for businesses to be able to learn more about the experience of their customers as they use their product or service, be able to improve their customer experience through the available customer feedback and ultimately see tremendous growth in their business as a result.


Awesome!

Talking to Charles was enjoyable, so let’s hear from Chuks. He’s co-founder at Spirē too, and helps direct and organize a lot of our processes.

Chukwuka Ezeoke, Chief Design Officer, Spirē

Hey, I am Chukwuka. I wear multiple hats at Spirē, but my official title reads Chief Design Officer. My job as a CDO involves collaborating with all stakeholders to ensure our design solutions are aligned. Other things I do are operations, finance, and a pinch of HR.

Interesting! This is really quite the Portfolio.

What do you or have you enjoyed the most about working to build Spirē in the past one year?

Chuks: Omo, this question sha.

It’s Ok Chuks, it’s ok to breathe….

In the midst of all the pressure, it sort of gets difficult to pause and reflect or take consciousness of things you enjoy the most. That said, I have enjoyed having to learn so much in such a short time. I have also enjoyed working in different capacities, it’s interesting to see how the dynamics of conversation changes depending on the hat I am wear in a given moment. I also thoroughly enjoy working with Charles. I love the way he thinks and is always looking for ways to improve Spire’s strategy. And oh, I enjoy working with team members that don’t stress me😅

What part of the product building were you excited to work on the most?

The design part! I enjoy breaking down Charles’s vision and trying to make that into something tangible. I also enjoy our bickering during feedback sessions.

What’s your favourite product feature and why?

I would say Feedjet. I think Feedjet is a tool businesses who are invested in growth can’t do without. It is a key ingredient in propagating the culture of feedback.


How would you want people (businesses) on the outside to experience this product you’ve contributed to building so far?

The goal of any business is to make money, money comes from customers and so I want every business that uses Spirē to experience an increase in their bottom line.

Well that's pretty straight to the point!

So let's move on to.....

Engineering

Engineering comes up a lot during standup and if you work in Startup, you might have an idea as to why. They are responsible for working around helping us have a product ready to push to the outside world so let’s hear from them quickly starting with Saviour, Spirē’s Backend Guy.

Saviour, Backend Engineering, Spirē

Hello Saviour, Tell us a bit about you and what you do at Spirē.

My name is Saviour Essien, I am a backend engineer. The work I do at spirē is making sure the engineering that powers our product is efficient enough to serve our customers. I work on Spirē Backend architecture and sometimes dabble into some frontend magic.

What do you or have you enjoyed the most about working to build Spirē in the past one year?

Building Spirē has honestly been fun for the most part and frustrating for the little part. I have gained valuable experience which makes my stomach filled with joy when I think about it. Getting a product MVP out to the public isn’t an easy feat. Spirē stretched me mentally, physically and I am happy to put in the work. At this point I have to say omo (x100) but we move.

What part of the product building were you excited to work on the most?
The backend engineering is my turf and I must say product planning too because I enjoy building products that are awesome and I want our users to get the best experience.

What’s your favourite product feature and why?
My favourite product feature for now is the Spirē Feedjet. I believe I will soon have a new favourite.

How would you want people (businesses) on the outside to experience this product you’ve contributed to building so far?
I want businesses to experience Spirē in a way that they can’t make some business decisions without referring to the data Spirē has helped them collect as a deciding factor. I want businesses to experience Spirē as a must use tool for business success.

Saviour is not the only one working on Spirē's Engineering team. He's joined by Moyowa who is going to tell us about his role and experience at Spirē next.

Moyowa, Engineering

Tell us a bit about you and what you do at Spirē.

I am Moyowa, a web developer at Spirē, I mostly handle matters pertaining to the user interface of this product, I am also responsible for building the frontend portion of this product -that is, the part users see and interact with.

What do you or have enjoyed the most about working to build Spirē in the past one year?

I’d say the trill of it all, my teammates here, the early morning standups, sprint planning, the little banter here and there, the different tasks, deadlines, just that feeling of being a part of something.

Just a little brag but we have some of the best standup banters sometimes hence his emphasis on it.

What part of the product building were you excited to work on the most?
I’d say building the product itself, I can’t pick just a part of it, the feeling of seeing something you worked on, up and running, that feeling? It’s beautiful, it was stressful at times, overwhelming in fact, I even remember a time we had to rebuild the entire product from top to bottom due to some technical problems and we were able to accomplished this feat in less than a week, it was a really beautiful thing.

​What is your favourite product feature and why?

Tough pick between the Feedlink and the Feedjet, but I’ll go for the Feedlink, simply because it makes dropping customer reviews easy and seamless, the feedlink can be shared across multiple social media platforms and can also be accessed by simply scanning a simple QR code.

How would you want people (businesses) on the outside to experience this product you’ve contributed to building so far?
Knowing what your customers want, their level of satisfaction pertaining to the products and services offered by your business is very important, in turn this has the potential to affect the growth of a business, I want People to experience thid product as a way of getting reviews and customer experience data from your customers.

Really cool. Shoutout to the engineering team, here's to crushing more codes.

So let's make a quick stop at another department now shall we?

Suzanna, Content Marketing

Tell us a bit about you and what you do at Spirē.
Hi, I'm Suzanna and my job mostly revolves around whining people to send what their experience has been like so you can have content to share on your anniversary . Most times I do content Marketing for the whole product.

What do you or have you enjoyed the most about working to build Spirē in the past one year?

I think my most exciting project would be working on Feedback central. Feedback central is that place where we bring together professionals to talk on feedback and the customer experience. Majorly because it was one of those things you are a bit sceptical about that actually turned out great. We are coming back third week of this month so watch out.

What part of the product building were you excited to work on the most?

Without content there’s no product so pretty much every single content aspect . It’s exciting selling a product by knowing how to merge words and emotions I guess. This sounds like a subtle brag but that’s not what I’m doing. [Inserts laugh]

​What’s your favourite product feature and why?

My favorite product feature hasn’t launched yet but it’ll be Spirē for vendors especially because I have seen things in the hands of online vendors so I think it’s one feature that would really help reduce the drama with shopping online and finding credible Vendors.

How would you want people (businesses) on the outside to experience this product you’ve contributed to building so far?

I want more businesses to understand how important building and fostering a relationship with their customers through feedback is and use it to improve on their customer experience. I think this is really important.

Nice....

In another wing at Spirē, we'll be speaking with Osaz. Osaz is your Guy for a lot of things at Spirē, working at the Cross-intersection of many teams.

Osaz, Product design

Hello Osaz, Tell us a bit about you and what you do at Spirē.

Hi, my name is Osaz and I’m a product designer at Spirē . I also do Graphics designs for our Socials and work with the Content Team sometimes.

What do you or have you enjoyed the most about working to build Spirē in the past one year?

The most exciting thing has been seeing the dream come through from a simple idea on a chat into something that can help product teams solve a problem and it’s being cool seeing it play off.

What part of the product building were you excited to work on the most?

Lmao I don’t understand this question but I enjoy being able to think of how it all comes together especially talking with our initial testers with Spire Crowd and potential users

What’s your favourite product feature and why?
My favorite feature is the ability for non technical people to use our product and be able to print out a barcode they can attach to their product. There’s a whole lot in the consumer space that needs to be tapped into especially for online vendors to attach barcodes to their products and have people leave feedback about them.

How would you want people (businesses) on the outside to experience this product you’ve contributed to building so far?

Getting feedback is still a hassle but I think there’s so much potential so I'm hoping more Businesses are able to tap into this to create better experience for their users/customers.

It was exciting to speak and hear from everyone but another major news is that Spirē officially launches this month after three months in private beta and we are excited to share this product with the world.

If you are interested in being one of our very first users and staying updated on all we are doing prior to launch, you can follow us everywhere on social media @SpireAfrica