Two weeks ago, we held CV’s first ever startup day. On the previous Thursday, many ideas were pitched, and two were selected as finalists. From there we formed two teams, and on Friday both teams spent the entire day building their product. For more information or an overview of our startup day, please visit our website: startup.calevir.com.
If you’re unfamiliar with startups or startup days/weekends, they are basically an opportunity to build out an idea—with full devotion—over a condensed period of time. The goal is to build out as much of the end product as possible. Our startup pitches only consisted of one rule: they must be related to Caledon Virtual in some way.
We built out Barketing: Marketing Unleashed, and Pro Love Marketing: Be Accepted, Be Heard. You can visit barketing.calevir.com and prolovemarketing.com for more information, and to see what was created in one day at our office.
Without getting into each concept too much and the end product, I would instead like to focus this blog on my takeaways from CV’s first startup day.
Throughout the day my team met at a community table with a large TV on one side that was connected to our designer’s computer. We were able to work closely with each other and implement changes on the fly due to the fact that we could talk instantly rather than start multiple Skype chats every time we had a question. It was also a great opportunity to work with team members that I usually don’t get to work with on a regular basis. I got to know them better as a friend and a peer. We could see each other’s work style and adapt accordingly.
The biggest challenge of the day was getting everything done. We started the morning with a list of deliverables for our MVP (minimum viable product) and it was not a small list! Throughout the course of the day we wanted to have a finished website with an ecommerce shop, newsletter template with content, business cards, and merchandise (2 t-shirts and wristbands) fully designed and developed. I have never completed an entire website in a day before, let alone everything else, so this was a huge goal to reach for and our team accepted the challenge without flinching. We learned how to work more efficiently simply by having a time limit. Sitting together at one table all day was probably the most helpful in terms of efficiency. We were able to ask and answer questions on the fly. We could quickly look over a design and provide feedback.
While the day basically only consisted of me sitting at a computer coding line after line without a break except to grab a breakfast burrito or slice of pizza here and there, the energy was contagious. We all had a common goal and agenda for the day. Everything was laid out; all we had to do was piece it all together. I think we were all excited to work together and challenge ourselves to get so much done in 8 hours.
Finally, fun was had by both teams. It was fun to compete, and we even managed to steal a person from another team. Trash talk was slightly encouraged, but was all done with a kind heart. I had the most fun working with people I don’t get to interact with everyday, and design and code simultaneously with Miranda.
With all of that being said, I can confidently say that startup day was a success not only for the individual teams, but also for the company as a whole. We all were able to push our limits and exceed as a company building something new and creative. I believe I speak for everyone when I say that this is something we would like to continue doing as a company, and recommend to other companies looking to build their culture and creativity.