Weeknote 476

January 5th to 11th

It’s been a long time since I wrote the last weeknote. After my return from the Pacific Northwest, where I spent three months on parental leave, I dived right into a project that demanded at lot of my presence with an external team. I spent more time at betahaus than our studio, which disqualified me for writing about the activities of the rest of the precious team. Thankfully Christophe carved out some time to prevent the weeknotes from withering away.

Before coming to the main act – week 476 – a few more words on the recent weeks.

Three month is a long time. And although I wasn’t completely out of the loop while away, a lot happened which I wasn’t aware of. When I left in the summer, we couldn’t complain about a lack of work. When I came back to Hamburg, I was kind of shocked – in a good way – how busy the place was. I said goodbye to a handful of people before leaving the country, I said hello to almost a dozen in November when I returned to the studio. During my absence, some familiar faces started to work on projects with us again, new people joined the team and a few freelancers supported us. Actually so many people worked there, that I didn’t even have a desk on those few days when I wasn’t at betahaus.

I can only imagine how intense the time must have been for Christophe and Michael. They did a terrific job, because the company was doing better than ever. Despite – not because – my absence they assured me. Phew…

Fast forward to last week, which started yummy. Louise cooked for the whole team to celebrate Michaels birthday, which usually doesn’t get too much attention in the studio, because he shares it with this guy who was supposed to be born 2014 years ago (give or take).

More food was brought in on Thursday. Florie introduced us to the French tradition of Galette des Rois. David was appointed king and had to wear a crown for the rest of the day.

Between all those meals and cakes and the usual cappuccinos we even managed to get a significant amount of work done.

Jan worked on a search algorithm, which in itself is a small new project, but could be the basis for a more extensive one. Unfortunately this was the last project with us for a while. After supporting us for about 5 months, he will pursue another endeavor for the time being. But we hope to get the chance to work together in the future.

David, Michael, Marcel and Jan finished a prototype of a news app that will be tested with a couple of hundred users in the coming weeks.

Marcel, Amanda and I, together with a developer team from mindmatters, kicked off the next phase of Malakwa. After a month focusing on conception, prototyping and evaluation, we now entered the production stage.

David and Christophe worked mainly on Puichon. I would love to give you some more info on it, but it’s kind of hard to describe it in a few sentences. I hardly understand it myself, although I was very much involved in the project at some point. But it has evolved a lot. It’s crazily complex, but somehow they managed to get a grip on it.

Florie has worked on the same overall project, but in a totally different way. Her output was research findings and scribbles related to a type of application we all use on a daily basis.

So much about our current projects. To get a better idea of the type of work we want to pursue in the future, we had an internal workshop with the whole team. We explored what makes a project worthwhile for each of us personally. I won’t go into much detail this time, because we will have some more follow-up workshops about this topic. Once we get a clearer picture we’ll share the results.

Happy new year!

This weeknote is 677 words long