2017 was perhaps the most significant year yet at the Skcript HQ. We turned 4 last December, we pushed more boundaries than we’d signed up for and we’ve strode past all the roadblocks that hit us.
Now, let’s take a little trip down the memory lane to see where we were, where we are and where we’re headed.
- Our team expanded to a total of nine members - possibly the largest and strongest team that we’d had so far. Skcript at it’s core is helmed by Karthik, Swaathi and Varun while Dikson, Praveen, Hareessh and Naveen formed the rest of the team.
- This team was further strengthened by Pankaj and Sankriti joining in. This also marked Skcript’s foray into marketing for the digital space and led to adoption of a streamlined method for project management internally.
- We also started work on Project Veronica - which was supposed to be a secret project since only a small part of the team was working on it, but then everyone got to know about it anyway. And just like Veronica Lodge from Archie’s comics, this project too was bright, shiny, lively and rich - you’ll soon find out how and why 😉
- The Skcript horizon expanded when we headed out to the land down under, this basically is subtext for we deployed our first AI model for a company based in Australia.
- March was the month of methods. This is when we got into comprehensive project management, where Pankaj devised daily schedules and regular follow-ups for each team working on the various projects that we took into our fold.
- We specially focused on UnderstandBetter - there were a ton of these cat emails that were sent out to potential customers inviting them to sign up for UB.
- Also, the most memorable event of this month was definitely when our CEO and CTO got engaged!
- A new design-centered wing, Marslit was born.
- The AI practice flourished as we jumped into making bots. The first bots we made were Rexsys (for Movie Recommendation), Mylo (which was the result of Heart42) and a conversational bot.
- We began the summer by travelling to Bangalore where UnderstandBetter was incubated at SAP Startup Studio.
- UnderstandBetter also featured in Startup Social, an event that saw many startups from across India come together - Team Skcript flew to Bangalore to participate in this event and guess what, we have a new space at Bangalore as well!
- Post our tryst in Bangalore, intern season had begun back at the HQ. Our first Intern for the summer of ’17 was Narayan, a 2nd year student from IIT-M. He was our AI Intern and worked closely with the AI team - during his term, he built a system that could detect and recognize sounds.
- We also got around to doing one-on-one meetings with every individual on the team, where they have a closed room discussion with the CEO where they can be themselves and voice their concerns - having these one-on-ones from time to time happen to be an inherent part of our culture from the time we started out. These discussions serve as a platform to learn from each other and do great work.
- Also adding to our milestones, we had four proud iPhone 7 users by the end of April.
- We began this month by bidding farewell to Varun who traveled all the way across the globe to attend Google’s annual developer conference I/O ’17 - he was one of the 17 developers from India who was invited to attend this conference.
- We started work with a company based out of South Africa on an app for market intelligence.
- We had more interns joining us for the summer - Nikhil and Ram, who were both from VIT, Vellore and worked on AI and Android app development respectively.
- We had Caroline, a design student from NID, Bangalore who interned with the design team and went on to propose a new design for our platform UnderstandBetter, that too from scratch!
- We also had Srihari, a 3rd year student from NIT-T who interned with the marketing team to create contagious content.
- And we have to say this, the summer of ’17 interns were the best batch of interns that we’ve ever had!
- The biggest event of the year happened this month. Our CEO and CTO got married!!!!
- The team made a day trip to Pondicherry - they visited quaint French inspired cafes, walked on the beach and soaked up some sun. And the drive back was the fun part, just ask Hareessh what Tiger’s Cave is in Tamil and you’ll be laughing for longer than you can count 😂
- We revived the Nerd Series, where we interview our follow team members and give out a few secrets 😉
- We worked on this interesting project - a diet app that will recommend how many calories you should consume with a list of restaurants to choose getting your meal from.
- July marked our association with a UK-based firm (running operations in Coimbatore), and also involved a lot of shuttling between Chennai and Coimbatore for the same, so we’re talking product discovery workshops, meetings and deals.
- And our team’s long standing obsession with cryptocurrency started here - thanks to Nikhil, since July we’ve been fawning over almost every cryptocurrency there is.
- Also, our team became a full house of ten members with Swetha joining in 🙂
- August turned out to be eventful, for we held our first design event ‘Design for Everyone’ at the HQ.
- Over the weekend, we drove to Mahabalipuram to do some trekking and soaking up, when we actually ended up eating yummy food (as always, food comes first!)
- We launched the intern series, ‘i, Intern’ where our summer of ’17 interns had written about their experience working at the HQ. This too was something we tried out and is deeply rooted to the culture and values that form Skcript.
- We debuted a new team page featuring funny descriptions for each one of the Skcripters.
- We launched the Skcript Original (OG) Series, an interview series featuring bootstrapped entrepreneurs who give an insight into their work and talk about the challenges they faced while starting up.
- Over the past few months, we’d been consuming a lot of coffee and tea during our snack breaks - so much so that the we often lost count of who ordered what and how many! To make the whole process easier we made a little web app called TiCoMi (Tea, Coffee & Me) where each of us pick a morning/evening beverage of our choice, place an order and convey it to the delivery person - this way, we don’t lose count and we also know how much each person is consuming, so if someone is drinking too much coffee, we know instantly (and try to make efforts to reduce how much coffee we consume daily - the web app’s a hit, but our efforts to reduce how much we drink hasn’t improved 😅 )
- We pulled off a major re-brand effort titled ‘Project Charm’ - this rebrand came at a juncture where we thought that it was time to shake things up and give Skcript a whole new look.
- Through the rebrand we improved our site, amped up our blog and introduced a new brand mark, called the charm.
- During Project Charm, we wrote our Playbook or the Standard Operating Procedure at Skcript - the playbook consists of contributions from every Skcripter and this serves as a channel through which we communicate our work to our customers.
- Our in-house product Allt too got a total revamp - right from a new look to a fresh UI, the improved Allt went live.
- We published the first stamp of the Skcript OG Series. Stamp #1 featured Mr. Sameer Narkar, a good friend to the Skcript family and a big source of inspiration for all of us. He is also the Founder-Director of Konnect Insights, a social listening and analytics tool that is widely used by many top brands from various sectors such as Telecom, BFSI, Entertainment, IT, Pharma etc.
- Post project Charm, we’ve adopted a comprehensive and flexible work schedule. Each team has established a work flow that they follow from start to finish when they’re working on a project - this workflow helps teams work efficiently both within themselves and collaboratively with other teams as well.
- We also have a streamlined weekly blog schedule - each day of the week is assigned to a team and this team collectively contributes to our blog SvR. This way, teams can prioritize their work and dedicate some time of their day towards writing a blog. The workflows and the blog schedules that we’ve adapted have worked wonders ever since we took them up.
- Over the months and with project Charm underway, we significantly improved our code quality as well. So much so that whenever one of the developers come out of their den after writing a really good block of code, they call in for a celebration!
- We’ve almost always used Slack for internal communication, simply because Slack serves the purpose. But over time we found that we couldn’t retrieve earlier messages and that’s when we made the move to Discord. Discord is a chat application that was primarily made for gamers but it’s really fun to use Discord for internal communication as well.
- This is when the world was raving about Blockchain and that’s when we joined the Blockchain bandwagon too!
- We ventured into Blockchain back in early November - we now have a wing that works exclusively on Blockchain, and this year we’ll be reaching new ground with this tech.
- This month was all about Dubai for our team took off on a workcation to the city. Home to the tallest building in the world, Dubai is light years ahead of its time - they walked, talked and lived the Dubai life and came back with a ton of memories!
- The mobile app development team plunged into work on Allt for Mobile. The idea behind Allt for Mobile was provided by team - it was hassle for us to come into work and then log onto Allt on the web, it’d be way easier to just access it from our phones. That’s how Allt for Mobile was born. It’s now in the App Store for you to use 😉
- We debuted The Empty Newsletter (T.E.N), a weekly newsletter that goes out every Thursday from the desk of Skcript. With the latest news on tech and features on our weekly roundups and blogs, T.E.N feeds every mind.
- December was the most packed month that we’ve ever had.
- The first stamp of She is Awesome (SiA), an initiative by Skcript to celebrate the women of substance went live - it featured Ms. Thirupurasundari Sevvel, an Architect par excellence.
- Our football fan headed out to Abu Dhabi to watch Real Madrid live - that’s some real commitment to football!
- By December, the team consisted of 80% iPhone users, leaving alone only a very small part of the team and we’re on a mission to make the team 100% iPhone users by 2018 😉
- After extensively reading and researching Blockchain and where it can be implemented, we started taking baby steps when we started work on a few projects involving Blockchain.
- It’s time for Winternship - our winter internship went on in full swing and we welcomed Robin to the Skcript family.
- Skcript turned 4 this December 🎉 and we celebrated that with good food of course!
- The story of our rebrand featured in TechStory, an online gazette that talks about business, startups, tech and many more.
- To mark the year end, our team took a vacation - most of the team travelled to Kodaikkanal leaving alone Sankriti who traveled to Andaman and Swetha had a quiet year end back home with her baby Arya (our Chief Cutey Pie).