Officevibe innovative project in Barcelona

10 Crazy Days Of Innovation and 5,913km Away From The Office

Officevibe took 10 days to travel to Barcelona to work on an epic project.

The goal was to travel with the team to work in a new environment, out of our comfort zones, and deliver something mind-blowing.

Slack, the messaging app for teams and one of the fastest growing companies ever, has changed the way we work. It’s made communication perfect and we use it every day at Officevibe.

An integration with Slack has been one of our most requested feature from users, but what really made it a no-brainer for us was when we realized how aligned both of our companies are.

Our missions are almost identical.

Slack’s Mission: We’re on a mission to make your work life simpler, more pleasant, and more productive.

Officevibe’s Mission: Everyone should be happy and productive at work.

So we traveled to Barcelona to build the integration.

Not everyone on the team was able to make it (family, personal reasons, etc.) so there are a few members of the team back in Montreal. Naturally, we’re using Slack to collaborate with them and it’s been an interesting challenge with the time difference.

We believe that transparency is one of the most important aspects of building a strong culture, so we’re going to share every aspect of our journey. What went well, what could have gone better, and share as many key learnings as possible to make it simple for you to do something similar with your team.

We’ll be updating this post every day with our learnings for that day. Follow along with us as we build Leo – the #1 Slackbot for a better culture.

Day 1 Of 10: Clarifying The Goals

December 9th, 2015
Quote Of The Day:

Life is a journey, not a destination.

setting our okrs

We give today 7/10. Here’s what happened:

  • It was a crazy day because we all travelled for a full day with barely any sleep
  • Two people on the team (Guillaume and Fanny) discovered that their luggage was lost by Air Canada… including all of our camera equipment.
  • The first thing we did when we arrived was sleep for 4 hours
  • We went to a local restaurant to kick-off our journey and start on a good vibe
  • We then went back to the apartment to enjoy some wine and brainstorm

We outlined the desired outcome of this journey with 4 OKRs:

  1. Technical development done: Launch the Slack integration

    • Onboarding with Leo, our Culturebot (with a nice personality)
    • Inviting people through groups is easy
    • Officevibe’s feedback that managers receive now lives in Slack
  2. Slack loves Officevibe

    • In contact with 5 account managers at Slack
    • Be in the app store within 2 months
    • We have 1 epic video that Slack will love to share
  3. Customers fall in love with Leo

    • 300 networks use the Officevibe and Slack integration by Jan 31
    • Our customers who registered for the Slack beta are happy to stop using emails
  4. The Slack community falls in love with Leo

    • Giveaway launch promotion item
    • Have 5 Slack Influencers promote our integration

After a nice night of brainstorming and laughs (and a few glasses of scotch, *hem hem*), we went to bed around 6:00AM (jetlag!).

Daily Wins

Here are the things we were proud to accomplish today:

  • Clear goals: We defined clear OKRs for the duration of our project.
  • Good vibes: We started with very positive vibes thanks to our kick-off dinner.
  • Sense of emergency: We made it really clear that the project was extremely ambitious for the time that we had. We made it a mission and gave it a codename. That helped re-emphasize the importance and boost the team spirit.

Daily Improvement

Here’s what we think we could have done better:

  • Communicate more: Communicating the OKRs with the rest of the team would have made it easier for them to align with our goals
  • Use carry-on for key equipment: When you travel with equipment that’s critical for your project (in our case it was our high-end photography equipment), make sure you bring it as a carry on. We lost a day of shooting and content because of that.
  • Start well-rested: We had our annual Christmas party in Cuba 2 days before the start of this special project. This combined with the full day of travelling made it really hard for us to get started with maximum energy levels.

Key Tips & Takeaways

Here are step-by-step tips you can learn from:

  • Start the right way: If you plan to do a special project, we recommend kicking-it off with a happy hour or a nice dinner. It gives a good vibe to get started.
  • Make it a real “mission”: Focus on the fact that the project you’re working on is a special one. Give it a codename if possible.

Day 2 of 10: Starting The Machine

December 10th, 2015

Quote of the Day:

The simple act of paying positive attention to people has a great deal to do with productivity.

simon in barcelona

We give today 7/10. Here’s what happened:

Here’s what happened today regarding the product:

  • We defined a clear order for the product backlog
  • We taught our bot to ask questions through Slack (Leo can now speak!)
  • We designed the whole onboarding flow with Leo the Culturebot so that anyone who wants to add him to his Slack network can do it in seconds

Here’s what happened today regarding the marketing:

  • Created email outreach templates
  • Built an outreach list in Buzzstream for journalists (now up to 450 people).
  • Interacted with journalists through Twitter and Linkedin
  • Connected with key employees from Slack

Here’s some other stuff that happened today:

  • Ate way too late and went to a pretty good bar for some team building ;)
  • Made an interesting team building experiment of putting the spotlight on one member and asking him one question about ANYTHING we want!
  • Learned some interesting embarrassing stories about our team

Daily Wins

Here are the things we were proud to accomplish today:

  • Nice interactions from journalists from big publications
  • Key contacts at Slack spoken to
  • Clear product vision for the project

Daily Improvement

Here’s what we think we could have done better:

  • Spend less time exploring Buzzstream. Especially knowing that anything from Buzzstream takes time to implement and we don’t have that luxury. We should’ve been more efficient with the tool.
  • Go eat earlier! We ended up going out to eat at 11h30 pm. All restaurants were closed and we just grabbed a quick slice of pizza.
  • We underestimated the volume of tasks to do from a design and development point of view. It will be even harder to complete all the tasks in 10 days

Key Tips & Takeaways

Here are step-by-step tips you can learn from:

  • Use your time wisely. Buzzstream is a great tool to research potential influencers. But you have to be careful with it and know that you’ll spend time setting up everything on the platform. Considering buffer time between actionables will help tremendously!
  • Don’t forget about wellness: Take care of yourself, move, and remember to eat!

Day 3 of 10: Living Like Vampires

December 11th, 2015

Quote Of The Day:

The early bird gets the worm.

team dinner in barcelona

We give today 6/10. Here’s what happened:

Here’s what happened today regarding the product:

  • Designed and started to build the integration page in the app
  • Scoped down the onboarding flow to make it easier, both for us and for our customers

Here’s what happened today regarding the marketing:

  • Experimented with social advertising
  • Worked on marketing material to announce the integration
  • Reached out to a lot of people on social media to start building relationships
  • Made videos for tasks unrelated to the Slack integration

Here’s some other stuff that happened today:

  • Sophie cooked us an incredible meal (thanks again!)
  • Another brainstorming session and worked until 4am
  • Reached out to Slack’s legal team for questions (to be continued tomorrow)

Daily Wins

Here are the things we were proud to accomplish today:

  • Worked on marketing material to help promote the integration
  • Managed to clear a bunch of pending work unrelated to the Slack integration that had to be done.

Daily Improvement

Here’s what we think we could have done better:

  • Should have woken up earlier
  • Could have had clearer goals
  • Could have communicated more
  • Should have had a better eating schedule
  • Because we slept in, we worked hard and didn’t take any breaks, which wasn’t good for productivity

Key Tips & Takeaways

Here are step-by-step tips you can learn from:

  • Remember that you’re there for work. If you want to party, that’s fine, but make sure you’re up the next morning. Your other teammates are depending on you, so it’s not fair to be unproductive.
  • Set clear goals and communicate often. We need to hold each other accountable. We’re only here for a few days and we have a huge project to work on. I can tell already that the next few days will be intense.
  • Find ways to spend time with the whole team. Having supper together is a good idea without slowing the work down.

Day 4 of 10: Inspiration From A Soccer Game

December 12th, 2015

Quote Of The Day:

Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.

soccer game in barcelona

We give today 8/10. Here’s what happened:

Here’s what happened today regarding the product:

  • Built the integrations page inside the Officevibe app

Here’s what happened today regarding the marketing:

  • Finalized social ads
  • Outreach to key employees at Slack
  • Worked on a press release

Here’s some other stuff that happened today:

  • We went to a soccer game and saw Lionel Messi in action! He quickly became our inspiration for our bot we’re creating. Not only is he the best, but he’s also extremely cool, calm and admired by millions of people for his humility and team spirit.

Daily Wins

Here are the things we were proud to accomplish today:

  • We went to the soccer game
  • Explored the city
  • Had an amazing dinner at Sensi Tapas

Daily Improvement

Here’s what we think we could have done better:

  • We should have woken up earlier knowing that we were going to the soccer game
  • We should have came home right after the soccer game to do more work

Key Tips & Takeaways

Here are step-by-step tips you can learn from:

  • Schedule your time perfectly. It’s fine to go out for a soccer game or dinner or whatever, but make sure to reschedule your day around that to get some good work done.

    Having said that, enjoying an event like a soccer game in Barcelona is a great way to spend a Saturday.

Day 5 of 10: Leo’s First Words

December 13th, 2015

Quote Of The Day:

Success is a series of small wins.

barcelona day 5

We give today 8/10. Here’s what happened:

Here’s what happened today regarding the product:

  • Finalized Leo’s design and avatars
  • Finished the layout of Leo’s questions in Slack

Here’s what happened today regarding the marketing:

  • Wrote wording for in-app when Leo talks to you
  • Wrote content for the landing page
  • Worked on a press release

Here’s some other stuff that happened today:

  • Today was a huge work day. Everyone was very focused on getting their work done. We also had a nice healthy dinner at Teresa’s.

Daily Wins

Here are the things we were proud to accomplish today:

  • Leo is starting to feel alive
  • Figured out a clever way to reward and inspire employees through quotes
  • There’s a sense of excitement on the team that’s nice

Daily Improvement

Here’s what we think we could have done better:

  • Probably didn’t spend enough time on researching journalists and influencers
  • Probably could have communicated/brainstormed more. Again, everyone was in their zone
  • Should have taken more time to get up and walk around

Key Tips & Takeaways

Here are step-by-step tips you can learn from:

  • Celebrate small wins. Even though we haven’t launched or anything, things are starting to come alive. It was nice to be able to celebrate that with the team.
  • Don’t be shy to balance brainstorming with focused work. I don’t know if it’s such a great idea for everyone to be so in their zones. It could have been nice to really work together on the wording and design.

Day 6 of 10: Leo’s All Grown Up :)

December 14th, 2015

Quote Of The Day:

The best way to predict the future is to create it.

barcelona day 6

We give today 9/10. Here’s what happened:

Here’s what happened today regarding the product:

  • Finished wrapping up the various assets for Leo (avatars with different emotions in the proper slack resolutions and full size post images)
  • Face game and praise trigger mock ups, wireframe landing page

Here’s what happened today regarding the marketing:

  • Edited all the questions in Slack
  • Finalized the press release
  • Contacted key journalists

Here’s some other stuff that happened today:

  • We went for dinner together as a team. Even though the food wasn’t spectacular, we still had a lot of fun after a few bottles of wine.

Daily Wins

Here are the things we were proud to accomplish today:

  • Leo is becoming a member of the team
  • Huge advancements in terms of development/design

Daily Improvement

Here’s what we think we could have done better:

  • Could have done more in terms of contacting journalists, etc.
  • We should have communicated more with the team back in Montreal. It’s tough with the timezone difference.

Key Tips & Takeaways

Here are step-by-step tips you can learn from:

  • Communicate like crazy. Even if the development team communicated a bit, the marketing team could have spoken with the marketing team back home much more. Big mistake
  • Don’t be shy to take breaks. We’re all in the zone, and everyone wants to work hard, but we need to take breaks for wellness.

Day 7 of 10: The Design Is Done!

December 15th, 2015

Quote Of The Day:

People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.

barcelona day 7

We give today 9/10. Here’s what happened:

Here’s what happened today regarding the product:

  • 2 Landing page designs
  • Tons of progress in terms of Leo speaking

Here’s what happened today regarding the marketing:

  • Massive outreach to influencers
  • Did the wording for the landing pages

Here’s some other stuff that happened today:

  • We got some beautiful sight seeing done
  • Had an incredible dinner at Sensi Gourmet

Daily Wins

Here are the things we were proud to accomplish today:

  • The landing pages look beautiful
  • Got to see Barcelona from the top of a mountain

Daily Improvement

Here’s what we think we could have done better:

  • Could have coordinated better on the marketing team in terms of who’s doing what.
  • We did a lot of sightseeing, so we had to work most of the night to catch up, not the most ideal schedule.

Key Tips & Takeaways

Here are step-by-step tips you can learn from:

  • Be meticulously organized. There were moments where we were waiting for the design team to produce so that we could start writing the copy. That led us to start doing “busy work”. We should have been much smarter about our planning.
  • Test like crazy. Before blasting out a message to either journalists or influencers, test your messaging with a few people first to see how it resonates.

Day 8 of 10: The Final Touches :)

December 16th, 2015

Quote Of The Day:

The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.

barcelona day 8

We give today 9/10. Here’s what happened:

Here’s what happened today regarding the product:

  • By far the most productive day. Leo is almost done.

Here’s what happened today regarding the marketing:

Here’s some other stuff that happened today:

  • Worked all day, landing page done, app 95% done
  • Shot an incredible amount of video footage for our marketing material

Daily Wins

Here are the things we were proud to accomplish today:

  • Leo is 95% complete
  • Amazingly productive day for marketing

Daily Improvement

Here’s what we think we could have done better:

  • The marketing team realistically could have done more to prepare assets for promotion.
  • Probably could have taken more breaks for wellness. We were working so hard today.

Key Tips & Takeaways

Here are step-by-step tips you can learn from:

  • When it’s crunch time, it’s crunch time. I’ve never seen the Officevibe team as productive as today. Even everyone in Montreal was working like crazy. It’s important that everyone feels that sense of urgency.
  • Set realistic expectations. Before going crazy announcing your new Slack integration, make sure everything is ready for promotion, you have good relationships set up, and you have a proper plan for marketing.

Day 9 of 10: Leo’s All Grown Up <3

December 17th, 2015

Quote Of The Day:

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.

barcelonaday9

We give today 9/10. Here’s what happened:

Here’s what happened today regarding the product:

  • Everything is done, like 95% of it. All that’s left is to test the app.

Here’s what happened today regarding the marketing:

Here’s some other stuff that happened today:

  • Worked like animals to get everything ready (it’s 4:30am Montreal time as I’m writing this)
  • Had an incredibly productive session at a local coffee shop

Daily Wins

Here are the things we were proud to accomplish today:

  • Leo’s landing page
  • Social media is starting to get crazy
  • Video teaser up and running

Daily Improvement

Here’s what we think we could have done better:

  • Inter-team communication could have likely been better, but we were all so focused on delivering

Key Tips & Takeaways

Here are step-by-step tips you can learn from:

  • This is only the beginning. Now that the landing page is up and the app is pretty much finished, we need to realize that this is only the beginning. We have to really push the marketing into full gear.
  • Celebrate with the team. After a long hard day of work, don’t forget to take some time to pat each other on the back for a job well done.

Day 10 of 10: Deliver On Time :)

December 18th, 2015

Quote Of The Day:

Delivering on time…that’s all that matters.

barcelona day 10

Special shout out to Elodie Ascenci, Jerome Gingras, Carl Tremblay, Francis Thibault, Dan Benoni, Guillaume Roy, Fanny Lacasse, Simon De Baene, and Sophie Choukah for working so damn hard!

We give today 10/10. Here’s what happened:

Here’s what happened today regarding the product:

  • Leo is up and running.
  • Final QA and testing done, app launched.

Here’s what happened today regarding the marketing:

  • Massive outreach, the marketing machine is in full gear.
  • We went crazy today celebrating the launch, trying to get everyone on board.

Here’s some other stuff that happened today:

  • Leo is officially live! When we launched it today, we went crazy.
  • Celebrated and shared all of our wins, worked hard during the day, but played hard at night.

Daily Wins

Here are the things we were proud to accomplish today:

  • Leo is alive!
  • Influencers have been reached out to

Daily Improvement

Here’s what we think we could have done better:

  • Could have coordinated better with the team in Montreal, the time zone difference wasn’t perfect, but we still made it work.

Key Tips & Takeaways

Here are step-by-step tips you can learn from:

  • Taking time away for a focused project is crazy. Looking back now, what we accomplished in ultimately 8 days was unreal.
  • Celebrate. Once your project is done, have a great time and celebrate your success. Often, we’re too hard on ourselves, we need to set realistic expectations for success.

Thanks so much for following, and happy holidays :)

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