Case Study: Keep Local Alive

Kevin Xu, 3/22/2020

During the midst of the Coronavirus lock-down, Anna and Sara Zervos of The Pao App were struck with a thought – how can we best support the businesses we love in our communities that have been faced with sudden closures?

The vision that the Zervos’ shared with the Golden Mean team is now Keep Local Alive, a centralized site listing many of our favorite watering holes, boutiques, and places of gathering in major cities across the country.

Although we typically do thorough due diligence before taking on critical projects, Keep Local Alive was an instant yes. Sheltering in place is critical for our collective public health, but it has blindsided virtually all of the small, brick-and-mortar businesses around us. Many of these local spots were built and staffed by our friends and family, so anything we could do to support these communities was a no-brainer.

Having a nimble software team is critical in times like these. In a matter of hours, we were able to jump from initial project calls to writing and shipping code. Rich Seviora, one of our senior engineers (Vancouver) and Holly Denton, our client relationship manager (Denver), worked hand-in-hand with Anna (Miami) and Sara (Boulder) of the Pao Team.

One of the technical challenges we faced when building KeepLocalAlive was how to keep the list of community-sourced cities and businesses up to date when the landscape was constantly shifting. To facilitate fast entry of dynamic content, we used Google Sheets as the main data source. Gatsby provides smooth integration with Google Sheets, and the site stays up-to-date through periodic rebuilds using snapshots of the sheet.

Through constant iteration and extremely tight feedback loops enabled by our remote workflow, Rich and the team were able to go from mockups, to static pages, and finally to a production ready site in only three days!

At Golden Mean, we believe that we do our best work when we feel empowered by our environments. By leveraging our distributed team, we were able to focus on what’s most important, and it allowed us to deliver a much-needed win for our communities.

See it in action – Keep Local Alive