Bambam! 16th of September was Beetroot’s first year birthday, counted as our day of arrival to Kiev one year ago and symbolized by our long Lada trip between St Petersburg and Kiev. It was celebrated with a small and genuine champagne ceremony at the beach in Odessa. It’s time for a summary and a general status update on how things are developing by the black sea.
Let’s start with filling you in on the past three summer months. The Rootbeet blog has been sleeping while the Beetroot and we have been doing quite the opposite. Odessa is obviously a wonderful place in the summer and so thought many of our friends and acquaintances who decided to visit us and the “pearl by the sea”. We would have done really well as a hostel here with constant batches of friends, families, clients and others passing by for some days to enjoy sunny and cosy Odessa. We counted at least 8 nationalities hosted in our flat at some point. This really made the summer for us with plenty of memorable and happy moments. It also helped us to take some mini-vacations here and there and helped us not to spend all our awake time working, which otherwise would have been a very likely scenario. 🙂
When it comes to Beetroot, we’re growing up. We’ve been just a baby before, but this summer, we took some major steps towards a more mature childhood. Together with a number of key clients we have been focusing the summer on recruiting new Beetroots to the team and we feel both lucky and privileged that we already have such a dynamic and great team of people in Odessa. Each developer is in direct communication with their client, current clients working in a range between website building for web studios, exciting start-ups and educational platforms for some of the largest companies in Swedish.
The office in Chernomorets football stadium which, when we moved there in May, felt like a place where we could grow for a while is now almost full. We are 13 people at today’s date and a few more to be integrated in the team before we move out in the end of October. We expect to sign a new “Beetroot garden” (office) in the nearest future, but we’ll spare you the details until they are fixed.
Parallel to taking care of our Odessa “headgarden”, we are also deepening the cooperation with our Moldovan project partners where now around 15 developers are working with Beetroot client projects. We often enter these projects when they are in a very early stage, meaning that an important part of what we do is working out definitions of the scope and development plans together with clients, needless to say, a very stimulating process.
Over the past year, we now and then got the question if we deal with design services. For a long time the answer was no, mainly because we hadn’t found designers who were good enough and at the same time with the possibility to smoothly integrate into our model. But for last couple of months, we are comfortable in answering yes to design requests. We have set up a small Beetroot Creative Studio in Chisinau together with one of Moldova’s most skilled and progressive designers. The first delivery will be our own new Beetroot website which will be launched in the next couple of weeks! And the Creative Director himself, Dima, is in Stockholm as we speak, designing the new website of a prominent consultancy company. A site which will be constructed in Moldova during the autumn. Since July we are also testing out working with a skilled team of designers in Kiev. While design and development often goes hand in hand, specifics of the work processes differ quite bit. That’s why we are in a stage of experimentation when it comes to the design services, much like the stage we were at for development services during last autumn.
Something else in the category of important, interesting and exciting news is our cooperation with a team in Kharkov highly skilled in iOS development. We are now engaging a couple of developers in building apps for people with disabilities for a Swedish client as well as building an app for an American start-up. Together with this team we can offer very premium iOS development and we are looking to work closer and closer with our friends in Kharkov during the autumn and winter.
Having summarized the Beetroot news, I would also like to mention a milestone in my own life. In the end of May I graduated from Chalmers School of Entrepreneurship (CSE) which mean I am officially a Master of engineering with a focus on technology based entrepreneurship. CSE has been an invaluable base of support during the past year and creating my master thesis forced me into thinking about some things concerning Beetroot in a wider way. For anyone interested in a detailed summary on how we came to a location decision for Beetroot, how we worked out our different models etc., just contact me and I’ll send over a copy of my paper “Assessment of IT outsourcing locations within CIS, a field study in Ukraine and Moldova”.
That’s all for now, stay tuned and we’ll try to keep you more regularly posted on our progress and experiences during the coming autumn. For now, we are just concluding that the first year for Beetroot has been way over expectations, and we consequently have high expectations for the upcoming year, which we will be trying to overachieve as well. 🙂