Meeting the Flip-Flop guy from Sweden

I remember meeting a Swedish guy wearing flip flops in March. It was 2005 in front of our University in Vienna, the iPhone was still a secret project within Apple and passing the first Math classes at University was more important than thinking about our future jobs. I liked this guy from the beginning. We worked our asses off, spent hours coding and solving equations together and always enjoyed what we did. Sometimes, cooking was more important than Math and other times, when Fredrik wanted to do everything perfectly, he pushed me to my limits.

Soon, Fredrik became less of a regular visitor at the University and instead kept kicking off all kinds of projects around Vienna. I remember one that he started in 2007. He was so excited about it. It was all about making life with type 1 diabetes easier. Back then, he had things in mind that now, 10 years later, have started to become reality. And hell, he already knew back then how to make others excited about his ideas. If you don’t believe me, check the TedTalk he gave some years ago.

Fredrik and I lost touch but five years after we had our last beer together, an email from Fredrik caught my attention. “This is a startup. If you would like to work for a company like sITsolutions from 9 to 5, this is not for you. Don’t build a social network this summer. Rescue life, with code.” Fredrik was on a new thing and he was serious about it. I was not part of the start of mySugr back then, and it took two more years before another email got me in: “Back in Vienna? Coffee?”.

So I walked in at Sektor5, the co-working space mySugr worked in for the first two years. This time, it was me in flip flops expecting nothing more than a coffee with an old friend. It turned out to be something you could call a job interview with Michael. And guess what? It wasn’t me who was underdressed. The co-founder Michael was not even wearing shoes! And neither did I the day after when I became the 10th monster tamer supporting the mySugr team in testing our very first mySugr app, our Companion.

On that day, I met the mySugr monster, a pixelated thingy in our app that you simply had to like.

This monster avatar was so old fashioned but still so great to tickle. A couple of days later, Gerald came along with some sketches from our design creator Oliver and said: “Look, everyone gets their own monster now. First come first serve, which one do you like?”. I looked at the paper for a second, and there it was, my mySugr monster:

The first monster of Christian on the left got polished over the years

Ever since then, every member of our mySugr family gets his/her own monster. After 5 years, not only did my monster get a bit of polishing it also made its way into the physical world: Lukas made a 3D printed model and Clara made one out of wool. You are my heroes but will never tame me at table soccer, suckers.

Since then I was fortunate enough to meet a lot of new monsters. Their stories are unique and add up to what is the culture of mySugr. Have a look at Fatima’s story for instance.

mySugr Co-founders, Gerald Stangl, Fredrik Debong, Michael Forisch and Frank Westermann

To see more of what our mySugr monster tamers have to say about our culture have a look here. If you love technical topics, our engineers also share cool stuff from time to time.

Monster Culture

Growing the monster culture

Christian Hattinger

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Monster Culture

Growing the monster culture