Since the only constant thing in the (Internet) world is change, we believe that launching a product is merely the beginning of a process where the product is adapted to users ever-changing needs and behavior. We’re heavily inspired by the Lean Startup philosophy of prototyping a minimum viable product to test and iterate on, though we generally don’t believe in rigid philosophies or methods and pick the elements that work for us.
We try really hard to keep a high iteration speed, and push new features out to our users as soon as they’re ready. Our CEO Svein is a devout fan of the YAGNI principle, which is an abbreviation to help you remember these words every time you think your customers need a full and complete feature handling all possible corner cases: You Aren’t Gonna Need It! The consequence of this is that we usually release a new feature with just the bare minimum of functionality and design. We also prioritize based on impact; which feature will mean the most to the most amount of users? And we do actually listen to all the feedback that we get on Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and email.
This year, we have even started an ambassador program, to involve our target users even more closely in the product development!
(We took the liberty of testing out the photo booth at the ambassador summer party for a team photo.)
We have found that design is best done in iterations, starting out with discussing the high-level idea and getting all complications on the table, before exploring different directions. Then we prototype something and test it on real users, which usually leads to a revised concept and hopefully a simplification of the feature/process. Then we start prototyping it in code, to understand how it will actually look and feel and what kind of animations/transitions/interactions we need. When we’ve found something that works, we’ll polish it and make it pretty. This may well happen after the feature has been deployed in production, as we’re not afraid of changing things even after they’ve been released.
We think the best way to market our product is to make something that users love and give them reasons to tell their friends about it. This blog post give some insight into how we have been able to generate attention around appear.in so far.
Since we spend around half of our time awake at work, we think it’s important to work with awesome people you love to be around and have fun while working. In addition to doing silly things in the office while taking screenshots for blog posts and newsletters and stuff, we also try to get out of the office regularly by doing stuff like climbing the highest mountain in Norway (Galdhøpiggen 2469 meters above sea level) to test the 3G coverage, getting a curling lesson from the olympic gold medal winners or going to a high school for a day to get students to come up with new ideas for appear.in.
What we look for
Passion, baby! – We believe that life is better when you work with something that you’re really passionate about. So we look for that spark in someone’s eye that tells us that they will almost cry when our server goes down or when someone tweets a picture of their very cute kids in ninja costume talking to their grandmother over appear.in.
Quality of user experience – We care about quality, we don’t care about perfectionism. appear.in has become what it is today because we have released features when we were still embarrased about how ugly they looked. Still, we are in this for the long run, and we don’t want to get stuck with crappy code so we try to take the time to go back and fix up things.
Curiosity – Since we work with cutting-edge web technologies, there are always new tools, frameworks and libraries to check out and learn. So ideally you have an experimental mindset and are interested in following the latest trends in the development/design community.
Vision – Since there already exists thousands of video communication services in the world, we are not interested in copying stuff that already exists (though we’re not averse to getting inspired by stuff that works well). We want people who are able to look at the future, see the potential for how things COULD BE and come up with ideas for things that haven’t been done before.
Living in Norway
Since our speed of development is so high, and our whole team is involved in making product decisions, we are all gathered in one location. Should you wish to join our team, this would mean you would get an excellent opportunity to move to Oslo and experience living in Scandinavia! Norway has consistenly been rated as one of the best countries in the world to live in, probably due to the combination of amazing nature, egalitarianism and a high rate of technology adoption.
Some reasons why living in Oslo is great:
- You can take the subway to go skiing after work
- Norway has very family friendly policies
- 12 months combined maternity and paternity leave
- Subsidized daycare from 12 months old
- Vibrant cultural community
- High standard of nationalized healthcare
- High-quality housing for reasonable prices
- Frequent and affordable flights to international destinations
- Strong, international tech and entrepreneurial community
This blog gives a great peek into what it's like living in Norway as a foreigner: afroginthefjord.com. If you're a nature buff, you might also want to have a look at this 4K timelapse video of Norwegian nature.
Want to work with us?
The positions we are currently accepting applications for are listed below. We are also open for discussing internships or master thesis work. Write us an e-mail and tell us a bit about yourself and why you are interested in working with us: email@example.com