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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

On My Desk: Starduck Studios

Starduck Studios is a Finnish startup developing Intoloop Kids, a service that enables parents to share their children’s memories easily and securely. The three founding members, Henri Liljeroos, Pekka Mattila and Petri Hiissa love Macs, believe in paleotholitc diet and swear by pomodoro method.

Beating the clock. We’re not completely meeting-free, but we try to use our time efficiently. Every morning begins with a standing ten minute meeting. Timeboxing, giving tasks a very strict time-limit, is something we do a lot. Last fall we all tried this method called Pomodoro, where you work in chunks of 25 minutes and have 5 minute breaks.

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Mac-driven, in the clouds. We rely on Skype, Google Docs, Dropbox and Evernote. Each internal team has its own Skype channel, Evernote is especially handy for personal drafts and the product development is handled in Pivotal Tracker. All our hardware is Apple.

Product development is a process. Monday mornings are devoted to retrospectives, where the team goes through the good, the bad and the ugly of the previous week. We use a modified Kanban, which helps us decide what to concentrate on. This means splitting work into small tasks, constraining the amount of tasks done at once and keeping at least two people always aware of the fixes. Visualizing the workflow is important.

Paper prototyping. We use tons of post-its and there is always a stack of Moleskines in the storage room. We also have a physical Kanban board that we update daily.

Slamming social. People work so intensely with their headphones on and clock ticking, that it’s important to have leisure time together. Kalakukkokeskiviikkos (Fishcockwednesdays) is our own concept and takes place every Wednesday morning. It’s a collective breakfast where we do something fun together. Lately it’s been playing Bomberman or Bang. Going beyond our own comfort zone can turn out into concepts such as iPhone band, 100 Burpees project, Paleo brekkies and Turtle Neck Fridays. Our aim is to be the fittest startup in Finland.

Space matters. We have this small room called Intola. It’s a closet that has a Fatboy beanbag, a footstool and a dim table lamp. It can be used for taking powernaps, meditating or some other means of increasing creativity and productivity.

In the On my Desk -series, Linda Liukas interviews Nordic and Baltic entrepreneurs about their favourite DIY-hacks to manage their work. From controlling e-mail to excluding meetings, from coffee shops to going GTD, the series looks into how the mismatch between start up chaos and streamlined work is handled.

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