Part of our replies to the committee’s questions on the team:
♣ What does “cynefo” mean?
“Synnefo” /ˈsinɛfɔ/ is the Greek word for cloud. The inspiration for this name came directly from our modus operandi.
♣ Is cynefo really a team or is it just some friends who got together?
Most of us have worked in pairs and there is some professional experience between us. However, the rationale of assembling “cynefo” team is clearly to serve the project’s needs.
♣ A team of this size & diversity would need a very solid starting point for the idea, and existing tech would be that.
The initial step is to create a platform including technology challenges, marketing, strategy and substance to integrate them all. If the foundations are based on technology alone, there will always be someone else who can present better / different / new technology, forcing us to compete on that level. The target of a platform is to create a sustainable competitive advantage and make it possible to scale through new products and concepts.
♣ How can cynefo address the challenges that a distributed team creates?
The benefits of face-to-face contact are invaluable especially for a startup team. Still, working online with Google documents, Skype video conferences, Dropbox folders etc, is pretty much the same as working in the office next-doors. After all, these online tools did not become so popular without a valid reason.
Distributed teams are becoming the standard, not the exception and what may seem as a disadvantage can actually be an advantage: getting experience and having access to different countries and mentalities is crucial for the first steps of the venture.
Bonus reading on the issue: http://blog.stackoverflow.com