Week 55

New client, new office, new roommate, new talk – and some thoughts on our company culture.

We’ve been pretty much heads down, working on a number of short-term projects as well as a big one that’s going to keep us busy for more than just a few weeks.

New client!

We had only been hinting at it for a while. But last week, we were finally able to announce officially that we have taken on the Postbank AG as a new client, with a project that’s quite big for our little three man shop. Thanks again for all the nice words and congratulatory tweets – What a nice way to celebrate our first anniversary!

New office!

What’s more, we’re really settling into our new office space. You saw the basics on some photos in last week’s weeknote, but this is just the beginning. The whole Makers Loft still needs some renovations, but it’s going to be huge. Expect an opening party of some sort or another later this year.

New roommate!

Speaking of the new office, we are also very happy to welcome a new roommate, so to speak. Our friend Matt Patterson just moved over from London and is going to be working from our HQ.

New talk!

Igor spoke at WINnovation, an event organized by our friends over at Brainjuicer in Hamburg. We’ll post the video once we have it. Until then, enjoy Igor’s write-up.

Pick it up-culture

We always enjoy studying and discussing organization cultures. Every company is completely different based on the cultures they nurture (or don’t), encourage (or discourage), let emerge (or try to squelch). As anectodal as it is, read Steve Yegge’s post about how the corporate cultures of Amazon and Google differ – it’s fascinating!

So, we talk about this a fair bit, and like to try out new things. One of the things that has emerged over time is a certain kind of “pick it up” culture: When one of us notices something that needs to be done, we try to never just say “we should do this!” Instead, you either do it yourself, or if you can’t, you ask one of the others. No task shall go unassigned!

This is something I can highly recommend; it needs nurturing, especially when there’s pressure and deadlines and whatnot. But once you get to this point, stuff just gets done so quickly, it’s like a breeze. And it helps prevent all kinds of overhead and organizational clutter.

In an earlier conversation, Christoph Fahle – one of the founders of the fantastic Betahaus – mentioned one particular culture the Betahaus team follows: When you notice someone’s not getting all their stuff done, you may remind then to do it (if you must), but then that person loses their right to finish that task, and you are allowed to pick it up. How awesome is that? Tasks not as duties, but as privileges. It’s the next level of what we’ve been practicing here at Third Wave, and something to work up to. Anyway, I love the idea.

What’s next?

We’ll be splitting the week between Berlin and Bonn – before a series of trips kicks off basically all through November. Also, as this post goes live we’re trying out a topic sprint, a half-day of concentrated work on one topic. Expect more on this soon, once we know how well it works.

Week 54

It was one of those weeks when most of our work was confidential. So instead of talking about what we did, I give you a glimpse into our new office space.

It was one of those weeks when most of our work was confidential. So instead of talking about what we did, I give you a glimpse into our new office space.

As you might have read before, we moved into a bigger space next door to our old office. Our old and new neighbors Gidsy have labeled it Makers Loft. And here’s an idea what our little area looks like.

Logo designs

Week 51

Last week sucked, at least for me. Simple reason: I was sick. Knocked out by the flu and a heavy fever. I guess, my body finally threw the towel and said “enough is enough”. Good news, though: We moved into a new, huge space.

Last week sucked, at least for me. Simple reason: I was sick. Knocked out by the flu and a heavy fever. I guess my body finally threw the towel and said “enough is enough”, time for a break.

Exhaustion is a difficult topic, especially in young companies and with a small team. There’s just no time to take a break. You feel the pressure to keep going or the business might fail. I don’t think that there is an easy way out of this problem. If you found a business, you will have to continuously work on it for the first year or so. At Third Wave, we try to compensate this at least a little by creating smaller “vacations” in our every day life. Good food, decent coffee and some fine cocktail bars are the main ingredients for this approach. An Old-Fashioned won’t replace a week off, but it can at least take your mind off that difficult project for just a night …

As Igor mentioned last week, we won that big pitch that I’ve been writing about throughout the last week notes. This has truly been one of the major highlights of my professional life so far. Feels very good to see the hard work appreciated. Now I can’t wait to dig into the first projects with this new client.

We’ve finally moved into our new office space. And boy, is it a big space. If you’ve seen our old space and desk, you know how happy the question “Where do I want to put my desk?” makes us. In case you wondered, we moved one house over and a few of floors up. We’re still Kotti by heart. We’ll let you know when the space is ready for a proper party.

Peter will be working for an agency in Frankfurt all week. Igor and I will do a little bit of traveling, too. Next Saturday, the People In Beta festival will happen at Betahaus in Berlin. I will give a talk on how to cope with information overflow and Igor will sit on the jury for the Betapitch. Make sure to come by.