How to grow lean unicorns? The striking story of ShipIt 33

So what exactly is ShipIt ?

It’s time set aside for people to work on whatever they want, from practical to inspiring, simple to insane, technical to non-technical. The goal is to foster creativity, scratch itches & have some fun. The ShipIt Day concept itself gained a lot of popularity as a result of mentions by Dan Pink in his popular TED Talk on the science of motivation as well as his book "Drive".

Atlassian holds ShipIt Days 4 times a year and the 33rd edition of this event was run at our Spartez office by Wojciech Urbański, our very own front-end developer a.k.a. event Jedi, from Thursday the 10th through to Friday the 11th of December.

In Gdańsk we have a long history of shipping

It is a 1000 years old harbour city after all. Not that long ago our shipyard used to be the second largest in the world regarding fishing vessels construction; nowadays the shipyard is world's 5th producer of steel towers for wind turbines. We also shipped democracy to (and outside of, for that matter) Poland in the late 80's. Anyway, we know how to ship and this time we made ShipIt 33 the best ever.

shipit 33 decorations

Gdańsk ShipIt 33 in numbers:

  • 24 hours
  • 63 out of the 75 people currently working at Spartez participated
  • 25 great projects submitted
  • 100% projects delivered presentations
  • 5 non-technical entries
  • 7 people in the biggest team
  • 12 single warriors
  • 186 votes (each person could have up to 5 votes)
  • 1.2m3 of helium (there were some awesome balloon-delivered ShipIt goodie bags “flying” around the office)
  • 120 energy drinks
  • 5 kg of candy
  • 12 pizzas and 2 sushi plates

Wojciech Urbański, the hands and mind behind ShipIt 33 at Spartez, commented:

“One of the greatest benefits of ShipIt, apart from fostering innovation, is its positive social effect. The excitement and vibe starts to be visible few days before the event: teams are forming, ideas are blooming and it all leads up to the culmination during the finals, when the teams have 5 minutes each to present their projects to peers. The presentations are followed by voting; each person has only 3 votes, so the choice isn’t easy. The winner, apart from the prize, gets the ultimate bragging rights for the next quarter.

This time the majority of the projects were code-related and concerned implementing new features or making our everyday tasks easier. After all, we are code warriors. But there also is a special category and prize for the non-technical, “unplugged” projects. This is where the more unusual projects happen - a card game about our core values and the way we work, or a makeover of the kitchen & relaxation room to make them more friendly and cosy, just to name a few. I myself went for baking cookies with the Spartez logo imprinted on them using 3d-printed mold.”

So what does growing lean unicorns have to do with Gdańsk ShipIt 33?

Well, one of the lighter note ShipIt projects was a bit of a silly (yes, we admit ;-)) game, the objective of which was to encourage more of our team members to share interesting information regarding Spartez products, projects, plans and passions via this blog. The game participants were asked to unleash their imagination and create catchy headlines using four keywords, randomly selected from a group of terms associated with what Spartez does. All the headlines were then subject to voting and the one earning the widest recognition got to go live (with minor tweaks) as the title of this blogpost.

That’s some striking out-of-the box content marketing for you right there ;-).

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