As Lee Salminen browsed through his daily dose of Hacker News, he came across an interesting post. Staffjoy, a tool for managing workforce schedules was shutting down the company and open-sourcing their code. Lee needed a scheduling tool for his startup Gingr, so he quickly responded to the post. Lee ended up implementing Staffjoy into his platform, and now has more users than the original Staffjoy product!
Building a platform for Dog Daycare
Gingr is a software application that manages dog daycare, grooming, boarding and training services. He started the company after moving to Boulder Colorado and adopting a dog of his own, Ginger. After enrolling Ginger in a local doggy daycare, he noticed the management software at the daycare was very hard to use. Lee decided to develop a software of his own.
For Lee, it was important to develop a software that was both easy to use and would make pet owners feel safe leaving their furry friends in somebody else’s hands. After testing out the product for several months and partnering with the manager from his dog daycare, Gingr (the app, not the dog) was born!
Lee worked on perfecting the scheduling of pets coming into doggy daycare, making it easy to find a good home for your pet. Many of Lee’s clients were also looking for a scheduling solution for the workers at their locations. To begin with, Lee would often refer his clients to other apps that included this feature. But seeing the opportunity, he eventually decided to build this into his own product - using Staffjoy as the technology.
Integrating Staffjoy into Gingr
Staffjoy was a workforce management startup in San Francisco, it started in 2015. After failing to achieve product/market fit, they decided to shutdown the company in early 2017. As part of the shutdown, they did something unusual: they open-sourced all of the code. This meant that anybody could host, modify, or sell all of its code for free.
A screenshot of the original StaffJoy interface
Lee found a contractor on Moonlight to help him set up Staffjoy. He ended up working with Philip, who was the co-founder and primary author of Staffjoy. The setup process was fairly technical, and required provisioning a Kubernetes cluster, deploying load balancers, and configuring a variety of API keys. Because of Philip’s expertise, he was able to deploy the whole system to Google Cloud in about a day. Lee also had some infrastructure customizations added - such as setting up CircleCI for deployments and configuring a different email provider.
As Gingr customers began to use the StaffJoy integration, Lee found more ways to improve the experience. He hired another contractor who had experience with Staffjoy to start customizing the software. The first tasks included changing the logo, keeping track of pay rates, and allowing users to upload profile photos.
Successful scheduling in the petcare world
Today, gingrschedule.com is scheduling users in the pet care industry. The StaffJoy code was originally engineered to work for the restaurant industry, but it’s proving to work even better in the petcare world. Shortly after the release, Gingr’s scheduling feature has more paying customers than Staffjoy did before they shut down!
Lee’s daily dose of Hacker News lead him to Staffjoy, a tool for managing workforce schedules. He was able to re-host Staffjoy to add a new feature to meet the needs of his users. Today Lee still resides in Boulder with his two dogs, Finlee and Gingr. He's working hard to make the lives of pet owners and pet care businesses better.
Stats from the Ginger Website about their users