Innovation Week: How I got started at Geckoboard

Ina Vaduvescu joined Geckoboard three months ago. Her first working week was like no other she had experienced before. It was unexpected, thrilling and incredibly fun, pretty fantastical at times. Here’s her story.

I started during Innovation Week. Geckoboard’s first. For five days, the whole team stopped working on their regular projects to explore new ideas. It was designed as an exercise to encourage cross-team collaboration and innovation.

Thirty-six ideas were pitched and submitted to the vote. Following an energetic hustings — at least this is what I imagine — seven ideas were chosen for production. With all the preparations concluded, it was show time!

On Monday — my first day — I was assigned to team “Which Metrics.” I was going to work with Simon (Growth Hacker), Hanna (Real Hacker), Jack (Design Ninja), Thaisa (People Fairy), and Javier (Customer Success Wizard). A real powerhouse!

We set out to create and deliver a fully functioning metrics generator in five days. Ambitious, surreal and exciting! Every day started with a status meeting to set priorities, assess potential blockers and come up with solutions. Many more metrics later, icons drafted, tags sorted and lines of code written, we were working hard to complete the SaaS Metrics Generator — a tool meant to help users choose the right SaaS key metrics for their dashboards.

Before I knew it, it was Friday and time for Friday Wins — another fun thing Geckoboard does where we get together to celebrate small and big wins from the past week.

Each team had to present their projects in exactly 5 minutes. Next, we voted and crowned the champions. How do you choose between a webRTC screens remote, a modernized warehouse load protocol, a data-driven play-doh stop motion video, an impossibly cool metrics generator, a responsive dashboard facelift, a bespoke Gecko CRM system and a mind-blowing countdown timer? That was a tough decision to make! The crowd voted and the screens remote team won with a crushing majority. They captivated us with their sorcerous skills and won the first Innovation Week trophy and lucky dip prizes.

As for me, I couldn’t have imagined a better start at Geckoboard. Not only was my first week a great introduction to all things Gecko, but it’s also made me rethink the way I measure impossibility.

Joining during Innovation Week was serendipitous and it worked well for me on so many levels. Firstly, it gave me a great sense of belonging and responsibility. Suddenly, from day one I had clear priorities and was working towards a greater objective. I later discovered that this way of working is intrinsic to the Geckoboard culture.

Secondly, it was a less intimidating ice-breaker. Being the new kid on the block was no longer a big deal. What was a big deal, however, was putting together a solid tool before we ran out of time, but that felt like a manageable task when you have a super team.

Lastly, the SaaS Metrics Generator is now live — a fully functioning tool meant to help users in the wild choose the best metrics for their business. Not too bad an outcome for my first week!

And that’s how it all began.

p.s. we’re hiring!