The independent teams with customer-oriented focus create the in-house startup mentality of Reaktor.
Ok, mobile developers, here’s the calculus that ends up with you taking a job with Reaktor.
First, if you’re reading ArcticStartup you’re into the fast-paced results-oriented startup mentality.
And second, (if you’re not building your own startup) you want to get a good job that builds meaningful products for real users.
This is the Reaktor operating mentality, and sitting down with Timo Puronen at their chic penthouse suite in Helsinki we got a taste of working there. Puronen is a developer on Reaktor’s Finnair’s app project, available on iOS, Android, and now the Apple Watch. It’s a beautiful app; you can grab boarding passes, check your flight schedules, and it gives you information right when you need it.
Working for a big corporation might be the lifestyle you’re trying to avoid, but Reaktor’s clients don’t come to them to farm out a checklist of coding. They come to Reaktor to pick up some of that in-house startup mentality by Finland’s best developers.
The thing Puronen seems to like most about his work was that there was a good hustle to build it, and its a product he uses in the real world.
“I think I made my first trip with the application in February when I had worked with the application for eight or nine months. It was really cool because I knew exactly what its going to say in certain situations,” says Puronen.
“I think thats a really nice thing about the project. I’m making software thats being used not only by myself, but also my friends and my parents.”
In-house startups with backup
Working on the Finnair app is a small team like you would see in an early-stage startup, but with the backing and the resources of Reaktor. The team of five behind the app include a graphic designer, a UX designer, and three people doing coding work or implementation.
According to Puronen the startup mentality at Reaktor comes from the teams:
“There isn’t just one Reaktor way of doing things – The teams work like a startups. You’re constantly thinking ‘what are the most important things to do with this customer right now’, instead of some central managed decision making.”
But on top of your small team is a lot of muscle power to shoot forward your projects, like a major marketing budget. For instance, whenever Finnair promotes the app with their newsletter or TV advertisement, you can big jumps of users and usage within the app, which gives you a large set of actual users to test and tweak your product.
This muscle power is coming from Reaktor as well. With an office in New York, Reaktor’s Helsinki office was probably one of the first in Finland to get the Apple watch to try out, which has ended up with an Apple Watch app for this Finnair project.