GreetBot Blog
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GreetBot Blog

Looking Back, Moving Forward

The year 2020 has brought both progress and setbacks to our mission.

Slack’s office space in Tokyo. Photograph: Slack

What a year this has been. A roller-coaster ride does not even begin to describe it. The outbreak of a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, followed by months of political unrest and the most heated U.S. presidential campaign in a generation. Needless to say, these events affected the lives of every single one of us. They have also left their mark on GreetBot and our mission to help teams build great working relationships online.

Even prior to the first round of lockdowns last spring, we started seeing a steady uptick in new GreetBot sign-ups. One by one, companies in Silicon Valley, and then all around the world, started asking their employees to work from home. All of a sudden Slack, the primary platform for our services, wasn’t just an app people used to collaborate when they got to the office, it was the office. It was a prescient sign of things to come.

The political unrest in the U.S. followed by intense campaigning in the presidential elections brought in another wave of new sign-ups. Practically every presidential campaign began utilizing GreetBot to onboard tens of thousands of volunteers every single week. Given how much was at stake, we worked around the clock to ensure everyone got the information they needed.

All this growth however, meant that we had to shift our focus away from developing new features and dedicate most of our time to performance optimization. Over the course of the year we shipped countless bug fixes and improvements to our infrastructure to deliver a consistent and smooth experience at every touch point, for every GreetBot user.

That is not to say we haven’t been able to add new functionality at all. Despite this whirlwind of activity we have managed to ship several smaller, yet meaningful features. Most notably, we’ve added Theme Packs with animated GIFs and a brand new account dashboard. And with all the technical improvements out of the way, developing new features should now be markedly simpler too.

So yes, it’s been quite a year. From the sudden shift to working from home driven by the pandemic, the flood of new sign-ups related to the intense political activity in the U.S., to all the technical challenges we’ve faced, this has been a roller-coaster ride like no other. If anything, though, this year has left us battle-hardened and more energized than ever. We have never been better prepared to tackle the challenges that lie ahead.

I dare to say: 2021, bring it on.

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Stories about GreetBot, onboarding and teamwork. Learn more on https://greet.bot

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Piotr Bakker

Piotr Bakker

Product designer and occasional writer 🇪🇺🇺🇸

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