While we talked about big events like MWC and C+UX in London in the last recap, this year it was all about online events, home office, and home schooling.
Digital products allow us to stay connected even in times of lockdowns and social distancing. Those who have lagged behind in digitalization have been forced to lie in the bed they made.
Communication platforms such as Zoom, Slack, and Microsoft Teams experienced a real boom, as did the online retailer Amazon. Digital processes have never been as important to us as they have been in recent months, and even if the pandemic will eventually pass, we’ll have learned to use these digital products and will most likely continue to do so.
Whether in the retail or finance sector, whether a small, medium-sized company, or a large corporation – online experiences have become a game changer and will remain so.
Business as usual but completely different
At Testbirds, we were lucky that our infrastructure was already designed for remote work.
Thanks to the close cooperation between our colleagues in Munich, Amsterdam, London, and a few other places, and the already existing possibility to work from home, meetings via Microsoft Teams were already part of our normal workflow before the pandemic.
Therefore, sending the entire workforce to home office in March was not too much of a stretch. However, we didn’t expect this situation to last so long. Even though the structures were present beforehand, we were also faced with a new situation with all employees in home office. Our company culture normally thrives on the exchange of ideas among each other or regular team events to which colleagues from other locations are also invited. How can you maintain this culture if you can’t meet in person?
For us, the time in home office showed even more clearly that the principles on which our company culture is built strengthen us, especially in difficult times. The article “Home Office: A Reflection of Company Culture” goes into more detail about this.
We’ve also put together a few things that keep us happy in the home office and help us stay connected. You can read about what those are in the post “#Stayhome and #Stayhappy”. We also continued to hold our usual get-togethers, such as the weekly breakfast or the shared after-work beer, via online meetings. We also held team events remotely.
It’s not the same, but still a way to stay connected.
And as “proof”, so to speak, that we can get things moving from home, let’s take a look at the business year 2020 together.
Events 2020 – Remote, digital, together
Since pretty much all “offline” events and trade fairs were canceled in 2020, we quickly decided to focus only on digital events. So, this year we “visited” the German Testing Day Digital and UXinsight Festival among others.
In addition, we held webinars on various topics ourselves. You can read about the exact topics and what the webinars were about in the numerous webinar recaps. Just recently, we had a very special event – our first Digital Thinkers Forum.
Not the Oktoberfest but still something special
The news that Oktoberfest 2020 would be cancelled hit the whole world.
As a Munich-based company with offices overlooking the Theresienwiese (where Oktoberfest takes place), it hit us especially hard. Traditionally, under the motto “Bugs, Beer & Pretzels”, we invite some of our customers to our office to exchange ideas and then go to the Oktoberfest together at lunchtime. Of course, this was not possible this year.
So, we thought about how we could create an online event that would get people (almost) as excited as an Oktoberfest visit.
This is how the idea for our first Digital Thinkers Forum was born. We deliberately avoided any mention of our products and services – we want to bring together leading minds from the digital industry and learn from them.
For our first edition, we were able to host Julius van de Laar, political campaign and strategy consultant, and Gerriet Danz, innovation reporter, author, and lecturer.
In two exciting keynotes, they introduced us to the worlds of storytelling and innovation. To all those who want to know more, I recommend our article “Digital Thinkers Forum: The First Edition“.
The feedback we received was extremely positive and we’re determined that there will be more to come of the Digital Thinkers Forum.
However, our year consisted of other successes besides digital events. We also reached a few milestones that we would like to share with you.
500,000 testers, employer of the year, and more
We were dreaming of this in the 2019 recap, but now the time has actually come!
Our Crowd has reached an incredible 500,000 testers.
This is a milestone we’re particularly happy about because our testers are the heart of our solution and our success. Our founders still talk about times when they had post-its with the current tester numbers hanging on their computers. 5, 10, 27…and a few years later half a million testers in the “Biggest Crowd on Earth“.
But it’s not just our testers who seem happy with us. For the third time in a row, we can call ourselves “Top Employer for Medium-Sized Companies“, according to the business magazine Focus and the employer evaluation platform kununu.
2020 held yet another award in store for us. Statista and Capital magazine included us in the list of the 47 most innovative companies in Germany. This is an honor that we’re particularly pleased about and that affirms us even more in what we do every day, together with a great team and exciting orders from great customers.
So, even though 2020 was difficult in many ways, we can look back with pride at what we achieved.
We feel well-prepared for 2021 and even though the pandemic will certainly be with us for a while, we’re looking forward to what 2021 will bring.
We would like to thank our hard-working team that has shown us that a lot can be achieved even from home office and, of course, we thank our customers who, despite the external circumstances, have relied on us and want to improve their digital products together with us, true to our motto “Building a better digital world – together.”