Last night I was having difficulty sleeping. I was reflecting on my last three and a half years at Bottle Rocket Studios. Goodbyes are hard. Change is hard. I started browsing Reddit and I stumbled across this thread, what’s your favorite quote? This one struck a chord with me.
If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea. — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
This pretty much sums up Bottle Rocket. Every employee here cares so much about making great products for our clients. Each release or major feature update we put out has a lot of heart and soul put into it. If something doesn’t seem right, we start by having conversations with our peers, our clients, and our users until we figure out what works best. Chris Murman, a former co-worker put it best when he called Bottle Rocket a “conversation company”.
We had to continue to challenge ourselves, ask tough questions, and work publicly as we polish the underside of the table.
When you can’t have conversations you can’t make strides in the work you do. We rolled out an unlimited vacation policy at Bottle Rocket based on some feedback from employees. All it took was one email, a conversation, and then we thought “what the hell, let’s just try it.” That’s how great companies operate. There’s no politics, no back and forth and catering to special interests, just a genuine willingess to find a way to do your best work. In the end, we strive to keep the most important thing the most important thing, and that’s our clients and our craft. If you need some time off after a release, you should take it. You’ve earned it.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with some brilliant engineers here. It’s a rare priviledge to be surrounded by over thirty iOS engineers that are all extremely passionate about their craft. Not only that, but they’re all so humble. You can ask any technical question and know you’ll not only get an answer, but you’ll learn something too. I’ll miss all of them a lot. In the back of the office we have a “garage”. It’s a makers space for engineers to tinker with ideas and build cool stuff. It’s free to use whenever you would like. One engineer built a Tesla coil. I built a Deadmau5 head out of a hamster ball. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
If you’re looking for a great mobile development company to work for, definitely consider taking a look at Bottle Rocket Studios. When you interview, show your passion for building great applications. Show something cool you’ve built recently. I’ve loved my time at Bottle Rocket and I’m a better man for it.
So where am I going? I’ll be sticking around in Dallas for the foreseeable future and working remotely. Those that know me know that I’m a big proponent of remote work, and yet I’ve never tried it. Next week, the great experiment begins. It won’t be easy. I’m an extrovert. I’ll be setting up a Slack channel for ex-rocketeers to keep in touch. If you’re an ex-rocketeer and want to join please let me know via Twitter.
Thank you for an awesome three and a half years. 🚀