Announcing GroupNews

Michael Bester

I’ve been doing client work for many years, welcoming and embracing the unique challenges that come along with each project. There was always something new to learn. The demands of each project—both technical, and interpersonal—have kept me on my toes and on top of my game. I’ve dedicated myself to each, and have been proud of many of them.

Satisfying as that can be, I’ve long had a little voice in my head that kept telling me:

“You’re spending so much time on other people’s projects. You have ideas of your own you can build, platforms and products that you can build, run, and own. Won’t it be great?”

While I’m a slow thinker and not an idea-generating machine, I have had numerous ideas for SaaS businesses over the years that I might like to build. Some of them have been pretty lousy in hindsight. With one or two of them, I got fairly far down the road of building out an MVP before I realized that there was there really no demand I could identify for that product aside from scratching some weird, idiosyncratic, highly personal itch.

About two years ago, my brother Chris and I were discussing some of those ideas. He’s been a higher education administrator for years, and he saw a lot of opportunities for smarter software in educational institutions. We started focusing on the silos which seem inevitable in those large organizations, and the communication breakdown that can happen between them. I assured him that that problem wasn’t only limited to higher ed. So we asked ourselves, what can we build, what can we offer that can help bridge those divides and close those gaps?

Of course, there are plenty of ways to share information, each with its strengths and weaknesses. Email and messaging apps like Slack or Teams are too unstructured for true cross-team communication. We wanted something more formal, archival, and trustworthy. We honed in on the predictability and formality of good newsletters. How could we harness some of that approach? Here’s how: we reframed the newsletter paradigm, and over the past few years, crafted it into an organization-specific news publishing platform which we call GroupNews.

GroupNews Website

I’m so proud of what we’ve been able to put together and launch. There’s so much possibility for it right now, I truly think GroupNews has a bright future.

If you’d like, you can read more about what needs we think GroupNews can serve over on the GroupNews blog. I hope you’ll take the time to have a look at what we’ve put together, and maybe even give GroupNews a try with some of your people.

Note: Between my focus on GroupNews and my existing client workload, I’m not seeking out any new contract development work at this time.