The past twelve months have brought us a lot of new things here at Applifting, and though we ran into a difficult situation right before the year drew to a close, we believe it ended on a good note. In our traditional end-of-the-year review article, you’ll find out how we’ve managed to get our new business development department up and running, how the tribalization of Applifting progressed, and how growing in numbers pushed us to expand to another office floor.
Last year saw us reach a significant milestone in our tribalization. In the fall, we officially established the new Applifting Enterprise tribe, which focuses on scaleups and internal startup projects in corporations. Enterprise is thus our third tribe, standing shoulder to shoulder with the London-based Applifting UK and DX Heroes, whose mission is rooted in improving the lives of developers. On the same note, one other tribe is currently in its testing phase. Should it prove itself viable and profitable after a year, nothing will stand in its way of separating itself from Applifting.
Establishing the business development department was another major event for us. Perhaps you’re wondering: why the fuss? We had previously considered the lack of a sales department to be something of a competitive edge, so this was truly a huge leap for us. The larger the company grew, the clearer it became that the previous setup—where business was handled by our gurus, the most seasoned developers and solution architects among us—just did not cut it. You can read more about the whole ordeal in this article here.
In the first six months, our business expert Nikola spent his time fine-tuning the processes and putting together training plans, competency models for future team members, and other essential matters. Afterwards, during the summer, we had a second team member join the new partnership development department. And now, more than a year of successful operation later, we have three business developers with more to come. This decision of ours turned out to be the right step towards reaching more customers and working on the best possible projects out there.
By the end of the year, our marketing team also grew stronger with the addition of a lead generation specialist Filip, who works side-by-side with our business developers to spread the word about us in markets abroad. Thanks to that, the marketing and business teams are now closer than ever.
New clients and office space
When spring rolled around, we formed a strategic partnership with the Canadian telecommunications company Telus—or rather with its health-tech subsidiary. The goal of this cooperation was to digitize healthcare in Canada by developing a system for remote patient monitoring, implementing a virtual nurse, and integrating shared patient registries with government systems. This was the largest project we had ever worked on, which also meant that we needed to hire a lot more developers in a very short span of time. And with our very first large-scale campaign, which also included subway advertising in Prague, we managed with flying colors. However, this big of an increase in the headcount made it abundantly clear that we needed more space. And so, when the offer of more office space in the building presented itself, we pounced. And so, from November, Applifting officially occupies the seventh floor of the building complex—with a terrace, beautiful view of Vítkov, and meeting rooms that bear the names of cult classics that Applifters both suggested and voted on (much like in the case of the game-themed meeting rooms on the second floor).
Come fall, the unfavorable market conditions knocked us for a loop. We fought tooth and nail not to have to let anyone go, and after a few weeks of pandemonium, we triumphed and ended the year on a high note. When things seemed bleakest, our clients came to our rescue and gave us a helping hand with allocating our people. We are immensely grateful for that, and it fills us with joy to see that building client relationships based on trust is truly worth it.
Last year also marked a breakthrough for our marketing team. Not only have we grown to nine members, but we are also happy to have celebrated remarkable achievements. We already mentioned the hiring campaign above, but the thing that truly swept us off our feet was winning first place in the Fénix Content Marketing competition, which was awarded to us for our ebook focused on validating ideas. Moreover, our very first brand video was also a feat in itself, along with a slew of other marketing activities. Given the sheer number of the latter, we’ve decided to write a separate article on this topic. You can look forward to it very soon.
In our 2021 review article, one of the important achievements we highlighted was the creation of our first product, Fridge—the company snackbar management app. Apart from changing the name to GetSnack, we’ve turned the app into a tool that helps you set up a company snackbar in a matter of minutes. Not much has changed for your average user, but administrators will find themselves equipped with various quality-of-life improvements and features. That includes, for example, delegating admin rights, extended user management, reports, product catalog and inventory management, and many others. Would you like to see how GetSnack works? Try it out for two months for free.
We would like to thank all the current GetSnack users for their feedback and for supporting us at a time when the app was but a simple MVP with little to offer. Our hopes for this year are that we’ll manage to increase the number of users and snackbars. In addition to that, we are gearing up for releasing GetSnack abroad, implementing inventory management across multiple locations, and a bunch of other challenges.
Much like any other year, we continue to grow and develop our free culture, searching for ways to make Applifters’ lives better. In order to combat the growing inflation, we’ve raised the salaries twice across the board, each time by five percent. On top of that, we’ve begun to work on educating our leaders. In February, we kicked off a pilot of an internal program called Appleaders’ Academy, which aims to develop Applifters’ mastery of leadership, motivation, and soft skills such as personal leadership effectiveness, communication, and feedback. Having garnered great responses, we organized a second fall run with fifteen participants, and another one is planned for this spring.
Supporting those in need
Helping others is what makes Applifting what it is. Immediately after the war in Ukraine broke out, Applifters showed solidarity and compassion, assisting any which way they could. Some of them drove refugees fleeing from the country, others donated their belongings or sent money, others yet organized garage sales and collections. We are truly grateful to have such great people around us.
We’ve also carried on with good deeds as part of our Spirit of Applifting project, which compensates us for the time we spend doing good things. How much time did we spend making the world a better place last year? A whopping 744 hours! And that’s not all. At the end of the year, we donated money to three select charities that Applifters voted for, namely Člověk v tísni (People in Need), Bez mámy, and Nevypusť duši.
And what’s in store for us this year? We’d like to meet our fans on a more regular basis through our popular Crew Talks. We plan on organizing these meetups every month, always on a different topic. And since it’s important not to wander from the subject, we remain keen on continually improving our culture and spreading the awareness of how companies like ours work. We wish you a wonderful 2023.
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