Looking back, those were incredibly productive times, because:
My father always told us that in the future we would end up in an office, working regular office hours. Today we all know it's a bit true, but we try everything to prove him wrong as often as we can.
We intuitively returned to an unorthodox style of working. We camped in the office (yes, with tents), which didn't work well because it annoyed the other people in our shared work space and the cleaning people kept waking us up. So we began going back to the farmhouse as often as we could, sometimes for a couple of days, sometimes for a couple of weeks. The formula was simple: Leave everything behind and escape to the countryside where there is nothing at all to do except work hard and relax in nature. Thus, the concept of the “sprint” was born. We noticed that if you go into a sprint with a goal of what you want to achieve, the magic just happens. People become uber-productive again, they stay up working until 3am without realizing it, and more importantly without even feeling tired.
All the trips had two things in common: cool stuff was built and incredible teams were created.
We wanted to share this with everyone who works at Jimdo -- not the knowledge of how great a sprint can be but really the feeling of getting stuff done in crazy time. As we know, if you make it easy for people to do stuff, things start happening -- like creating websites with Jimdo ;), so we rented a big house right next to the old farm where Jimdo was born and rigged it up like an awesome vacation rental. Several bedrooms, a big work room, a backyard with a barbeque, a woodstove, the works.
We even bought a van to make it easy to get there. Every team at Jimdo has the keys to the house and to the van, and can schedule a sprint whenever they need one. For training, for developing a new feature or concept, and for team-building in general.
We have had the house for about two months now and it has really started to take off. The last three weeks were fully booked and the next three are already scheduled. One small team launched the new German support center (http://hilfe.jimdo.com/ ), a team from Italy, UK, US and Poland kicked off the Jimdo Experts program for their countries, and the support team will go there for a training week. The possibilities are endless and shit gets done. Almost every week, one of us is at the Sprint House, sometimes only for one night -- just because Matthias, Fridtjof, and I enjoy it so much and don't want to miss it.
And because we're still trying to prove my father wrong.
Co-founder at Jimdo
When Christian was 12, he started his first business, buying and selling Kinder Surprise collectible toys at flea markets. Just a few years later he met up with Fridtjof, and the two started creating websites for small businesses in their hometown. Christian currently takes care of Jimdo's operations and helped start the U.S. office in San Francisco.