Hello and welcome to the brand new Knoxon Blog! The decision to start a blog is actually just a small part of a bigger change that’s happening at Knoxon. That’s actually the subject of this article - change, why it’s needed and what it means for the future.
While working hard, making fast decisions, and developing features on the go for Gumzzz, we’ve learned a lot. Not only do we know more now about building and growing a product from scratch, but we also realized a few things about ourselves as a team. This is the kind of work that makes us get out of bed in the morning, the kind of challenge that we want to keep facing.
That realization has opened a whole new avenue of thinking. We’ve been doing some soul searching, asking ourselves big questions, and charting our path forward. The conclusion - it’s time for a change.
Why do we exist?
It’s a pretty ambitious question, seeing as we’re not Socrates, but it’s something all companies should ask themselves regularly. What is our purpose?
Like many other development companies, we didn’t start with a clearly defined purpose. We saw the need for our services, we were excited to work on cool projects and so we did. In a non-specific way, we always wanted to develop products that make real differences, either on request or even on our own. But that was more of a distant goal than a conscious, trackable objective.
The problem with distant objectives is that it’s all too easy to just say “well that’s for the future, we’ll focus on something else for now”. That line of thought rarely leads to the desired results.
We’ve thought long and hard about what we want to do and now we can proudly say - we exist to turn ambitious ideas into tangible products for bold startups.
So, what’s changing?
Depending on your point of view, it’s either close to nothing, or just about everything. Maybe a more apt term is that we’re evolving. So, how is Knoxon 2.0 better than Knoxon 1.0?
Better product development services
If you’re familiar with our old website, you’ve probably noticed that we used to focus on blockchain technology. While new tech will never fail to get our attention, we want to focus on a more well-rounded approach going forward. Blockchain can present uncertainties and the end-user is rarely familiar with it. We haven’t lost our blockchain edge, but we want to focus more on building accessible and adaptable products.
But our service suite isn’t receding, on the contrary - we want to make sure that our clients lack for nothing while they’re under our care. We’ve reorganized our services into four main categories:
- Business - structuring groups of passionate people into successful teams
- Development - creating the design and the engines behind disruptive products
- Marketing - bridging the gap between company and community
- Growth - scaling and expanding the product to its full potential
The objective is simple - help our clients turn their ideas into reality. Often that only means development, what we’ve already been doing. But just as often, the companies we work with could use help with their market position, or raising funds or a plethora of other challenges.
From now on, the focus isn’t on just delivering a product, but on delivering a future.
So that’s it for the services, but what about the people behind them? Well, our team is going through a growth spurt, so we’ve set some ground rules to keep us focused.
Better team structures
We were an agile team on account of being so few that fast communication and task delegation was a given. Now we’re a bigger group and we stay agile through smart decisions.
Every project gets its dedicated team, composed of the necessary specialists. The team can act independently and each member is accountable for their part. There are plenty of names for this kind of agile structure, but we just call them team. It’s simpler, you know?
Besides the team-based structure, we hold regular company-wide meetings to set our goals and to discuss the results (or lack thereof). People are encouraged to talk about the challenges they’re facing or tricks they’ve found to work. If a team isn’t doing too hot, the whole company is there to help out.
That’s how it works on paper, at least. In practice, things are a lot more fluid. People are free to switch places on projects if they feel they’re better suited for different tasks or if they’d simply have more fun doing something else. If the team is motivated and the KPIs are met, it’s all good.
You don’t need us to tell you about how strong bonds among coworkers improve teamwork, productivity, morale, and the employee retention rate. If you’d like to know more on the subject, check out this in-depth article from PositivePsychology.
Besides all those corporate reasons, there is a more personal, much simpler one - we’re all human. We all want to have a strong, positive bond with the people we spend a third of our time.
The cornerstone of Knoxon is that people have the freedom to try new things, to ask questions, and to say what’s really on their minds. That’s the kind of environment where the entrepreneurial spirit thrives.
So that’s us. We ask a lot of questions, we try unconventional approaches and we revel in the creative chaos of an idea-to-business company.
Oh and we’ve made a plan for our off-hour team building activities. Every Friday we get together after work and just hang out over a few beers or glasses of wine. At the end of every month, we look for something more interesting to do, like karting, laser tag, escape rooms etcetera. Then, every year we aim for at least one team-building retreat, which is a fancy way of saying we spend the weekend closer to nature, partying for two days. It’s a magical time.
After this shift in focus and structure, we realized that the old website design didn’t represent us well enough anymore.
Our design team started working on a new visual identity and we realized pretty fast that there’s no one color that represents all of us. We’re a disparate group, different skill sets, passions, tastes in music…you get the idea. From there, the solution didn’t take long - use all the colors!
The brand colors (black & white with a splash of rainbow) are a symbol of both minimalism and diversity. We express our love for clarity with simple, black-on-white typography, but we also included all the colors of our visible spectrum to denote the mixture of different skills we possess.
The inspiration came from an unlikely source. Maybe you’ve heard of one Sir Isaac Newton. In the 1660s, he experimented with prisms and demonstrated that clear white light is composed of 7 visible colors, phenomena visible thanks to dispersion. Those experiments gave us insight into how light works (and that famous Pink Floyd album cover).
To us, the prism presents a charming metaphor - just like a single ray of sunlight gave rise to all these different colors, so did we as an entity bring together a diverse team with a variety of skills.
Here’s a little assignment for you - keep an eye out for chromatic dispersion around you. You might be surprised how often it happens by chance.
Building a brighter future
Now we should stop talking about ourselves and focus on our work - developing bold ideas into beautiful products.
We’re dedicated to developing the Knoxon Blog into a veritable knowledge base for entrepreneurs, so stay tuned for our upcoming articles.
Also, if you’ve got a question (or a business proposition 😏) for us, leave us a message and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.