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I mentioned today that I feel like Balsamiq (the company) is really just starting now. The team is in place, the processes are pretty smooth, the revenue somewhat stable, the work for the next year or so clearly defined.
To kick off our company's next phase, I have invited everyone on team Balsamiq and their families over to Italy for 10 days of face-to-face, real-life time.
Valerie, Natalie and Malcolm are coming from California, Mike is already on a plane from New York, Luis will fly down from Paris and Marco will drive up from Bologna.
It all starts tomorrow.
Between staff, spouses and kids, there's going to be 21 of us.
Tomorrow, we fill this graph in
We're staying at a great big villa near lake Como (no, it's not George Clooney's) with a swimming pool, a tennis court and a great big garden. Yes, it's lavish, but I cannot think of a better way to spend some of the profits I've been putting away since day one.
We'll be working together, have fun together, dine together, get to know each other's families... I CANNOT wait!!! 🙂
I have some activities planned for us to do - like "watch each other work morning" - but like everything else we do, it will be all pretty informal. I think we'll work in the mornings and play in the afternoons. Then, being all in Central European Time, some of us might work some more in the evenings to catch up with our US customers.
If we get to it, we hope to rapid-fire blog about what we do and learn every day on the new Life at Balsamiq blog, we hope you'll want to tune in!
We might be a little slower in our email responses for the next 10 days, and we're not going to have a release next week. I hope you'll understand.
I'd better hit the sack, I have to do 3 trips to the airport tomorrow with the 9-seater minivan I rented! 🙂
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Can I work for you 😉 it sounds so fun and I think you need a User Interface designer. (I’m based in California, was born in Belgium and my family live in Abruzzo because I’m Italian) would be lovely… I have lot of work to show. Building interfaces is my passion, mostly interaction design but have been visual designer for many years too. email me and I will send you some sample of my most recent work. JOELLE
[Peldi: Hi Joelle, thanks for the kind offer but we’re “full” at the moment. Email me your links and I’ll add your email to my “maybe one day” gmail folder! ;)]
This is such a good idea and you’ll be so happy you do it. I work as part of a team of freelancers on big projects. Once a year, the entire team (plus spouses) gets together for a trip somewhere tropical for 7 days of sun, surf, eating, and the occasional business meeting. We talk about plans for the future, how to grow ourselves both personally and as a business, and what the next steps are. I always come out of our team retreats having learned so much.
This could very well be the most important thing you do as a company and I applaud you for doing it.
Great!!! Now thats what I call a major event!!!!
This is so cool!!
I hope you all have fun Balsamiqs! 😉
Way to go Peldi !
Some might say its a bit lavish, but i guess what you are doing is a must
to build a strong team, given the fact that you guys are all over the map.
That sounds great!
When are the “Californians” coming back? I’d love to meet them before I head back to Germany on the 23rd.
I love this! We do the same thing, at least once a year, at Wildbit. It’s extremely important to have everyone in the same room every once in a while when you work virtually. Our next retreat is coming up in August, going to Greece.
Sounds like a blast!
Congrats! If you ever have customers over to Italy, don’t forget my invite! 😉