2016 In Review

The year isn’t over before you’ve reviewed it. So, here we go.

Travelling to Growth City

We’ve grown our team from 17 to 38. We’re now 24 in Oslo, 7 in Bonn, 6 in Amsterdam and 1 in Berlin. We hired a bunch of really great people; designers, developers and product managers, as well as a commercial lead, a portfolio manager and a business analyst.

As a result, our messaging volume on Slack increased by 2.5x. We can put quite a bit of blame on our iOS developer Igor, as he reached the 11th position in all-time Slack messages in his first year at Bakken & Bæck. Congratulations, Igor!

But, more importantly…

  • We’ve appointed 21 different HR managers. It’s hard to explain.
  • We made friends with 120.000 bees and in turn they gave us 50 kg of honey. In the process we lost one queen bee, meaning we had to help 10,000 bees move home to a hive with a queen. Finally Gunvor gassed the beehive with Oxalic Acid to kill potential varroa mites before they killed our bees.
  • We received over 800 messages in our guestbook and only one of them was truly disgusting. Leave us a message (but keep it nice!)
  • We used Harvest to track more than 16 hours as Make terrible jokes on Slack. Time tracking is important.
  • We redesigned and rebuilt Styleboost, Johan’s legacy. Then we decided to kill it with fire before pushing it out.
  • During the summer party in Voss we ate a whole herd of sheep’s heads, 
    a typical Norwegian dish most of us will never eat again.
  • We spent 27 hours in Berlin for an unforgettable Christmas party.
  • We created the world’s biggest Rubber Chicken Slingshot.
  • We turned 1728 glass bottles into an LED-wall for An Interesting Day, because a 4-meter slingshot didn’t cut it.
  • We reached 500.000.000 likes and followers on Facebook.
  • We delivered a bunch of piñatas by drone during SXSW in Austin, Texas.
  • Our iOS team visited Swift Alps and Anne and Nina attended SLUSH. 10/10, would recommend.
  • And, we witnessed Kristian’s coming of age this year. He turned 13! Happy birthday Kristian!

A pretty good year, but there’s more!

Events

We’ve hosted a series of events which turned out way better than we could have imagined. A shoutout to everyone who showed up at:

  • Our Stroh Rum office-warming party in Bonn. Tobias has never left a party earlier.
  • The second edition of An Interesting Day, our one-day conference on a tiny island in the Oslofjord with speakers like Andy Moon and Jessica Walsh. We’ll definitely be hosting the conference again in 2017.
  • Three Open Houses: the Flying Piñata, Artificial Intelligence and Design Special! editions. We’ll be hosting more of these this year, so keep an eye on our internet accounts.
  • AIAIAI, Oslo’s first big event around Artificial Intelligence, hosted at Mesh.

Work

People often ask us if we even do actual work. Well, yes!

  • We launched a new website and Jimmy Simpson will be providing us with animated illustrations to reflect what we’re working on.
  • We got a foot in the door in the USA and worked with Openvote to make politics great again! We helped Exponent design their web platform, iOS and Android app and teamed up with Coinbase to work on a top-secret product. We’re currently building a new marketing website for Wake.
  • Kahoot! asked us to help them create an iOS app. It has been downloaded more times than the number of people living in Norway and reached #1 in the Education category in the UK and US App Stores.
  • For Jottacloud we created a photo storage service on top of their backup-platform. We designed and built a web app and apps for both Android and iOS. We’ve also redesigned their brand identity to better serve their ambitions.
  • With Kolonial we put the first Norwegian supermarket in the App Store. We also helped them prototype a drone so they can deliver hot dogs to people that forgot to bring some while skiing in the Norwegian wilderness.
  • Speaking of drones: we created the first drone-based delivery service, beating Amazon and Google. We delivered piñatas in Oslo and in Austin, Texas.
  • We redesigned, rebuilt and then relaunched the Orbit website. We are very happy Orbit was one of the 124 news projects Google funded across Europe. Together with NTB, we used Orbit to create Norway’s first Robot Journalist.
  • We worked on our first healthcare-related project and designed an identity, app and website for Emily. Ilse Weisfelt created the illustrations. We trained a computer to understand your medical situation, so that getting in touch with your doctor and booking an appointment will soon be an easier experience.
  • We received 4 million NOK from the Norwegian government to invest in Norwegian pre-seed tech startups of which we invested 1 million in Otovo, a Norway-based distributed energy company that sells and plans rooftop solar installations.
  • We’re working with Mesh to create a digital communication platform for co-working spaces, as they’re expanding in 2017. It’s a mouthful, but it’s going to be great.
  • We shipped Daylight, an app that tells you how much longer the days are getting during winter. We got it from Sketch to the App Stores within two weeks!

It was a really, really fun year. We hope 2017 will be as good, or even better.

See you around! 👋