Change has always been a big part of my life. I’m not like most people and I definitely feel better when things are changing, compared to when they are still. I totally get the need for comfort and safety and it’s important to me as well, but equally important is a need for adventure and discoveries. For me, there is no adventure in comfort zone. I need to step out of it once in a while. Those who know me will probably tell you, that it happens more often than is considered normal 🙂
Today I want to tell you about 2 changes that are happening to Mark My Words, as a company. The first one is simple and very pragmatic, the second is huge, bold and I don’t mind calling it an experiment. Keep reading if you can, I’m really curious about your opinion!
Mark My Words is now Genius Gecko
Yup, we are changing the name. Why? Several small reasons:
- We are working with global customers from all around the world (Europe, USA, Canada, Singapore, Australia, etc.). It’s kind of silly that we’re still holding the local domain of “.pl”, instead of “.com”. I have to admit that it’s my fault for not putting enough effort into the name when the company was created, but oh well, it’s never too late! 🙂 So, since “.com” for Mark My Words is not available, we’ve decided to change the name, rather than overpaying for the domain.
- Mark My Words doesn’t do very well in search engines. It’s just too common. There is a song by Justin Bieber with that title! Btw, it was not an inspiration for the name… just saying… It was destined to fail from the beginning, and again, it’s on me 🙂
- Even though we’ve been focusing mostly on Project Management solutions in Atlassian environment, we’ve always been doing some standard Jira/Confluence consulting and services. Now we’ll be expanding those services more boldly. Somehow our old name doesn’t really fit very well into it.
- Last but not least, “Mark My Words” is a little bit cocky. It wasn’t my intention, but rather an unforeseen consequence.
All in all, it made sense to make a change, and here we are. We hope, that you’ll like it. We’ve spent probably something like 15-20 man-hours trying to just come up with something that we’ll feel happy about, and is not already taken. Remembering all the different names we’ve tried along the way will make me smile for a very long time 🙂
Breaking the rules of industry standards
We’re now getting to the more interesting part. I’ve told you earlier that I want to build something extraordinary. So what is it? What is the secret ingredient? 🙂 Again, I’ll split this into 2 parts. I’m calling them Values (oh, how creative! :)) and Perks.
Genius Gecko’s Values
There’s no revolution here. From the very beginning, we’ve put a lot of effort into building strong and lasting relationships with our partners (which includes customers). There is a separate page holding more details on that, so I’ll just link it here, but also list the values for those of you that don’t want to read more:
- Always deliver great value
- Be honest, transparent, and open
- Make yourself happy and spread the joy
- Work with passion
- Be the best version of yourself
You’ll see that what we want to focus on is excellence, honesty, and self-development, which in my opinion will always yield great results in the end. The people I’m working with leave no doubt in my mind that this is the best approach we can imagine.
Genius Gecko’s Perks
For a while now I’ve been asking people the same question:
“Imagine that the company you’re working for is just perfect. What does it mean?”
I’ve been getting very different responses. I’ve noticed that people usually cherish different things depending on the career level they are on, which of course makes total sense. I was surprised though, that in most cases I was getting responses like paid healthcare, free gym access, free meals and drinks, good atmosphere, environment to grow, and many other small things that slowly but surely are becoming the industry standards. Almost no one was thinking bigger.
Here are our main perks, starting with the smallest.
- Remote work – no monitoring, no leash, we trust each other, so there’s no need for that.
- Working with people that are passionate and want something more from life – it’s hard to quantify this, but it’s the most important thing we are looking for while hiring. There are no compromises here.
- Working on side-projects that are focused on making the world a better place – this can be education, building new tools, finding solutions for specific problems or charity activities. Everyone can get a chance to step out of their standard tasks and enjoy something else.
- 4-day work week – during those 4 days we’re focusing on our core business. The last day belongs to the employee. It can be used for whatever, seriously. Do you want to learn something new? Go! Do you want to brainstorm and work on something exciting? Perfect! Do you want to chill, read a book, visit your family, or go hiking? No problem at all. We want everyone to be in their top shape always, and also to have time for side-project/activities. Embrace the change and adventure!
- Creativity compensation – I’ve always been sad about how the companies compensate top-tier ideas. I’ve seen that many times – a person comes up with something brilliant, makes it happen, and in the end gets a diploma and a bonus, maybe a handshake from the CEO, while the company reaps all the rewards. I want to change this and actually share the profits with the father of the success. Creativity is very valuable and it should be adequately rewarded. When you come up with an idea that is a fundamental change or addition to what we’re doing, we will sit down, discuss it, think hard on pros and cons and possibly put it into motion. When that happens, you’re the driving force of the change and you also participate significantly in the new cash flow. ¿Te gusta? 🙂
- Donate 10% of profits to charity – I’ve always liked sharing my good fortune with others. Atlassian has this beautiful move of “Pledge 1%”. I’ve always felt though, that 1% is too small. Maybe for Atlassian it’s not, since their profits are just enormous… Anyway, since we’re talking about profits, I think that it’s more sensible to make it 10%, rather than 1%. We’ll also do our best to be as involved in these donations as possible, meaning that just sending money to some random foundation is not our priority. We want to touch other people’s lives in a more personal way.
And that’s it. I know that this is not something unheard of, and I’m sure that there are other companies already doing similar things. If you know of any, please let me know. I also know that this business model is risky and not possible everywhere. I still feel that I want to take that risk. If I won’t, then I’ll be regretting it to the end of my life, that I’m absolutely sure of! 🙂