From development sprints to assembling IKEA furniture — looking back to our first year as a team

Exactly twelve months ago Bebob Builder was a classic one man’s quest: Teppo Kallio was developing websites for his clients with a visual content management system that he had built for himself.

Right now I’m writing this blog post in our office. Neither I nor this office was a part of Bebob a year ago. Needless to say, it was a year of milestones for us.

I’m going to start with the most obvious one: how we got together in the first place.

1. April-May 2017 — Making of the team

What makes a good team? In our case, I would say it’s friendship and complementary skills.

When our founder Teppo was starting to gather a new team he was looking for talent and expertise that would complement his own. Teppo shared his vision with his former colleague Antti and instead of one new team member, Teppo got four. Math sometimes works in your favor.

There is a lot of talk on how to choose your co-founders. From early on, we had one major advantage on our side. Besides being professionals with over 10 years of experience in the industry, we had worked together before. This translates into knowing each other’s working styles, habits, and strengths even before we had done a day’s worth of work for Bebob Builder.

We all believe in the tremendous potential of visual coding. We also want to change how professional developers and designers work in the future. But more than everything we want to work together and see how far we can take Bebob Builder with this team.

2. September-October 2017 — Developing Bebob Sites

Let’s take a look at a technical milestone next. While our content management system was designed to manage and develop database-driven websites, it wasn’t ideal for smaller projects like personal websites, portfolios or landing pages.

It became evident we should develop a separate website builder for static websites. It would be also the first step in our quest to change the tenets of web development and make our visual website builder available for other developers.

We started an intensive product development sprint in September 2017. Our development team got an extra boost from Kärt Ehastu, a freelance web developer, who wanted to build her next project with our visual website builder.

What she needed was an efficient website builder that allowed building a visually challenging layout without compromising the quality or details of the design. For a portfolio website, content management features were also a must.That is a Bebob Sites in a nutshell — it combines a visual designer and with a set of powerful content management features from content models to custom code.

Verna’s portfolio website was a great first project for our Sites product, and definitely a milestone in our way to launch Bebob Sites to a larger user group.

3. October 2017 — Getting under the same roof

Distance work has its advantages, but eventually, you just need to have the whole team under the same roof.

In September 2017, we learned that our team of five could move in with a marketing agency WDS and a customer experience agency The new office was located in Pasila, Helsinki. We were hoping to get a couple of tables and chairs in a basement to get started with. What we got was a new and spacious office with awesome colleagues.

In some ways, our work as a team began to feel more real as if the walls around us were building a solid foundation for everything else we were doing. (It also took a very concrete form as we were collectively assembling our new electric IKEA tables.)

Putting your own coffee cup in the kitchen cupboard was definitely a big deal — and that is why the new office in the industrial jungle of Pasila deserves its place on this list.

4. November 2017 — Revamping our visual identity before SLUSH

With a new product and SLUSH being just behind the corner we decided to embark on the mission that was nearly impossible: creating a new visual identity for our company. It was all good and nice, we just didn’t have a time for it.

But believe it or not, we managed to pull it through in five days. How? I leave it to your imagination. Let’s just say we hope we don’t have to repeat the experience anytime soon.

Just ask our designer Antti who had to pull it all together.

5. December 2017 — Making it official

Making our plans into reality took longer than we expected — from those first meetings and get-togethers in early April to that busy Tuesday in December when we signed our papers to finalize the more official part of founding a new company.

With that, we also changed our name from Bebob Builder to Framian. Bebob Builder will be the name of our product, and we continue to develop it together as owners of the company.

We are moving at full speed with our plans to introduce Bebob Builder as the next way to build web.

Even though it takes more than changing the name to build a new business, it’s still a number one milestone for us.

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Follow our journey as a startup and a software company

Kaisa-Maria Suomalainen

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Follow our journey as a startup and a software company