If you had to choose a moment to start a new business, doing so in the middle of 2021 would definitely be the least favorable time. Yet, we went for it anyway. Although the realization happened this year, the idea behind ProductDock lived much longer, for more than 2 years. Stefan Siprell CEO, and Fritz Gerhard, CCO at ProductDock had this desire to switch to a product approach, replacing the conventional ways of software development that were a part of our journey while we were a part of codecentric.
Our offices in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina became ProductDock and went from being code-centric to product-centric. We changed our business model, but we also wanted to change our client approach.
Now we want to offer our expertise to a wider area – the entire world, to be exact. Our goal is to also be there for our clients every step of the way, from ideation, through creation, all the way to the actual utilization of our product. Building long-term relationships with trust as a foundation is what we are striving for with this business model.
In May 2021 ProductDock website went live, as well as the company’s social media channels. Starting the new online brand from scratch isn’t easy, yet there was a lot of joy in it. Within the first six months, we have managed to make ourselves visible to the IT community.
Still aiming primarily at countries in which our development centers are located, we have made a significant effort to become more visible as a brand, as an employer, and as a reliable IT partner for businesses.
The reward for our efforts came through 800+ followers on LinkedIn, 1.6k+ followers on Facebook, 400+ followers on Instagram, and 170+ followers on Twitter.
PD Talks: Value-driven from day one
ProductDock is a software company that consists of exceptional individuals with strong technical backgrounds, product development knowledge, and skills. Sharing the knowledge and exchanging the experience with the community is something that we have thoughtfully nurtured within the organization. In the second half of 2021, we organized 3 PD Talks that gathered more than 190 event attendees, product managers, software developers, and user experience designers.
In collaboration with the Serbian Product Community, we organized our first online event, PD Talk with a well-known US author Teresa Torres. 80+ attendees had a chance to learn more about the importance of product discovery habits and the most proactive participants were awarded the latest edition of Teresa’s book.
PD talks continued in a slightly different format. This time we decided to have on-site events that took place in Banja Luka. You could easily tell that the community missed events in person since the events were fully booked 10 days in advance. Boris Janjanin, Aleksandar Malešević, Jovana Romčević Šukalo, and Anja Šolak held impressive talks and shared their perspectives on topics they covered.
Recordings are available on our YouTube channel.
ProductDock Internal Conference
We’re finishing the year off with a bang, an all-day PD Conference where we get to share what inspired us this year and what we managed to learn. We also discussed some interesting topics from the coding world, as well as shared some food for thought in the form of topics that enhance our career development.
The conference took place on Friday, December 24th, so it was like an extended Friday Talk, with 11 speakers and 75 registered attendees! We’re hoping next year we’ll be able to have it in person and stir up the conversation on site.
Some of the topics we discussed are product ownership, product discovery, estimation and prioritization techniques, Mongo DB, Kubernetes.
We are entering 2022 with 15 customers and 15+ active projects we are currently working on.
We are especially happy that collaboration with more than 75% of our new customers started via recommendations from our existing clients, which ensures us that we are building long-term relationships based on trust. ProductDock development teams have been engaged mostly on customer projects in certain industries such as eCommerce, automotive, fintech and logistics.
People of ProductDock
While our energy went into hard work to pick this new business off the ground, we made sure to balance it all out with events, initiatives, fun gatherings, mental health days, gift packages and so much more.
We went bowling, had a lovely pizza night, a barbecue at the beach, and the most recent one was a cozy tree decorating event, where we decked the halls and toasted to the New Year with some mulled wine and gingerbread cookies. To keep in the festive spirit, we also organized a Secret Santa event, and it was really important for us to include everyone, even the colleagues who are working remotely. We wanted to mail their gifts out, but they decided to come into the office! We got to see some of our colleagues that we don’t spend time with as much, which made it all that more special.
Speaking of smiles, it was very important for us to give back to the community, so we organized a charity steps challenge. The 5 colleagues that made the most steps within a period of 7 days received a total of 2700€ to do a good deed. With the prize money, the winners can choose to buy and deliver food, clothes, or other necessities that’ll help those in need (organization of the winner’s choosing) to have a more cheerful holiday season.
Keeping the conversation going was extremely important to us, so we had a Kick-off event where we planned all of our activities for the past six months, as well as a Rookie RoundUp, where our new colleagues had a chance to get to know the company and each other much better. Our colleagues also had opportunities to expand their coding knowledge through 1 on 1 coaching sessions within the team, different workshops and training sessions.
And while all of this was going on, we didn’t want to lose sight of the most important thing, which is our overall well being. For the lovers of the written word, we organized a book club, where we read and discussed books that can help us get organized, develop our career further or understand our behavior better. We organized consultations with a nutritionist, who gave us lots of information on how to keep our body healthy while working and how to incorporate exercise into our daily routine. Consultations with a psychologist were also available for anyone interested, which helped us prioritize mental health and to keep a healthy work-life balance.
Our Community in Figures:
Website users: 9.1K
When the teams work together as one, it is not only the company that profits, it is also the people that make the company successful. We wanted every person that contributed to feel appreciated and valued for their efforts.
That is why in the first half of 2021, 200.000 € has already been paid out in profit sharing to our colleagues, and we have managed to surpass that number in the second half. The loyalty and dedication of our colleagues means the world to us, so we will strive for this number to only be bigger in the years to come.
A big thank you is in order for everyone who helped bring ProductDock to where it is right now. We hope we will be joined by many more amazing individuals in the future on our road to growth.