Everything is constantly changing. We can sense it. It’s even more noticeable for internet companies like ours. New technologies, trends, browsers, and devices ensure that the internet is always in a state of flux.
What does that mean for us? It means that we don’t plan projects in their entirety. Instead we break them up into small parts that are relevant now. In other words, we take an agile approach to software development. There’s also the fact that we’re no longer just a German company: we offer Jimdo in 11 different languages. We ourselves as well as our customers are affected by changes and upheavals all over the world.
It’s clear that everyone at Jimdo has to be constantly open to change, but that’s easier said than done. When the things that are familiar to us are going well, it’s incredibly difficult to let go of what we are used to and change everything. After all, it could just get worse!
Most of us are afraid of change. It’s natural to first be afraid of losing something comfortable rather than to imagine what we have to gain from something new. Getting our fear under control and constantly questioning our work and routine is unbelievably difficult. And yet it is essential! The rest of the world is in motion and the fast-moving market won’t wait for us to catch up.
The question, then, is: “How can we take our fear of change head on?”
To overcome our fear of change, we need confidence: confidence in ourselves and in the people who we work with. And we need a few anchors.
Change vs. Constancy – Paradox?
If we ask ourselves and everyone at Jimdo to be so open to change, it means we also need to offer security and stability in exchange. Without confidence and support, it’s not easy to rush into the great unknown.
Looking back, we recognize the anchors we have held on to: in particular, our company culture and our shared values. No matter how our objectives change in the course of a year, no matter what we need to leave behind, no matter what new goals we set for ourselves, we will keep building on the foundation our company culture provides us.
Atmosphere & Community
Whether it’s just three of us hunkered down in a farmhouse (our first office) or a team 100 strong storming a barge for a summer celebration, I can always count on atmosphere and good humor at Jimdo. I still look forward to going to work every day and love the team I work with.
We laugh together.
We all work hard and want to push Jimdo forward, but we still have time for fun. And often it turns out that the best ideas turn up when we’re laughing together.
We look out for each other.
“How are you?” is often said but rarely meant. At Jimdo, we try to ask that question with sincerity, and look out for each other in our daily routines. We really listen to each other, pay attention to what’s said (or not), and work at understanding each other – that’s the way the wind blows here.
We do stuff!
Whether we’re on a sprint in Cuxhaven, getting a beer together after work, hanging out in an old castle for our annual company field trip, or if it’s just us three founders heading to the mountains for a weekend… life at Jimdo is never boring!
Giving and getting feedback.
We value honest and respectful communication. We trust our team to communicate only when something just isn’t working. That was the case when it was just us three founders, and it’s still the case with 140 people. In many companies, it’s just managers who are responsible for feedback, but at Jimdo everyone learns how to give and receive feedback, and we’re all responsible for offering feedback when it’s needed.
After writing them all out, I’m just now realizing how important these simple-seeming ideas have been for Jimdo’s growth and development, and how essential they will be for our future.