We're a small start-up, so you wouldn't think we'd be able to take 12 of our co-workers to SXSW in Austin, TX. But thanks to a great idea by my co-founder Sean, we were able to do it, and it was a blast.
We couldn't afford to pay everyone's airfare, so instead we hit on a compromise: We offered a "work-cation" to our employees -- they pay their airfare to get to Austin, and we'd cover the hotel + pay them each $100 cash for spending money. In exchange, they'd get to spend the weekend in Austin during SXSW and we'd all party in the evenings, while working during the weekdays while we were there. It worked out great. It was an incredible bonding experience for all of us, and even though we stayed in the worst hotel in Austin, we all had a blast.
I can't stress enough how awesome and important it is to really kick back with your team and get to know each other as people. Especially considering how hard we all work, spending some time together outside of work is really fun, great for everyone, and part of our company manifesto.
At SXSW this year, I also saw a rise in the use of QR codes, as well as augmented reality and video capture on iPad 2 tablets. We also all used Beluga, a great group messaging app that changed the way we interacted with each other during the event (one of those things you're not sure how you lived without).
Here's a video Isaac made of our trip, and below it are pics just a few of the many moments we all shared together during SXSW:
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Hard to imagine what the worst hotel in ATX is, ouch! Glad to hear you all were able to rise above that.
Sue is 37 weeks pregnant, so we're spending our weekends really getting our ducks in a row.
Since Sue and I come from the tech world, it's an easy leap for us to use geeky tools to plan for our birth.
One example is Basecamp, a project management tool we use for work projects. Although I've written about my pains using Basecamp over on my tech blog in the past (http://go.DanielOdio.com/basecamp) , it continues to be the best lightweight & effective project management tool we've found.
So, we figured, why not use it to plan our birth?
Here's a screenshot of what our Basecamp birth project looks like, with some notes:
When you're on the road for this long you get good at rationing. In our case, that applies to batteries and to food. I just last week ate a vegan food bar that I bought in LA in the beginning of March.
We don't plan far ahead, so we never know exactly when we'll be able to buy acceptable food. Batteries are the same way. We're on a 32 hour train ride that spans two nights from Saigon in South Vietnam to Hanoi in North Vietnam.
It's the second night now, so it's time to burn off my batteries which I haven't really used much of yet.