Being our own customers

This post is about a live-updated team page we built during an internal hackday last week. Check it out here:

When we hold an internal hack day, we all work on whatever we want. Hardware-hacking to language-learning to game-building – it’s all fair game. That said, some of the most fun hack day projects so far are the ones that put us in the shoes of our customers for a day. The last example of this was Beau’s app, Idego, which tells users how early they adopted various services in comparison to their friends and the rest of the world.  Idego had tens of thousands of users and a handful of press mentions within a few weeks.

Last week we became our own customers again, this time to rebuild the team page of our website. Using the Singly API, this page displays check-ins and photos we take near our office, GitHub commits, distance we’ve walked, hours we’ve slept (using FitBit data), and our avatars and bios. Each team member just auth’d the services they wanted displayed, and our data was live online.

We felt this was a great way to show the world our personalities and show off our product simultaneously. This exercise was great for finding bugs and looking at our API from another perspective, and it also gave us an energy boost. We often talk of creating an experience that feels delightful – or even magical, as some customers have put it – but we don’t always get to feel this ourselves. But last week, we did. Upon plugging in the Singly API and calling the endpoints we needed, this page was up and running in minutes – like magic.

It’s tough to put hard goals on an internal hack day, as it exists largely to pull us from the daily focus on metrics and meetings. But if we could set a goal, it would be for every hack day to be like the one last week: it gave us internal feedback, produced something we’re proud to display on, and accelerated our ever-growing excitement and pride in the work we’re doing.

If you like this concept and want a page for your team, hit us up and we’ll let you know when we release the open-source version.

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