Free Friday: Investing in People and Ideas
Like most software start-ups, Urban Airship hires a lot of smart people. These people are full of ambition, ideas and vision that can go unseen and unheard because of day-to-day obligations. The point of Free Friday is to get all of these roadblocks out of the way and enable these smart people to use that time to build something they are passionate about, or to scratch an itch that they otherwise have to ignore.
Free Friday became an early tradition at Urban Airship. The company was a few months old, the mobile space was experiencing rapid growth, and we were tired from months of long weeks and little sleep. We all had great ideas we wanted to explore but “wasting” a whole day working on something that wasn’t mission-critical seemed a bit crazy. That said, we all desperately needed a break and some time to breath. I saw a YouTube video a few weeks before that mentioned Atlassian doing something similar that they called “Fedex Friday”. The entire video resonated with what we know to be true about engineers and creative people so we gave it a shot. And what we’ve found is that what comes out of these sessions is never short of amazing.
Over the last couple of years we’ve seen all kinds of projects surface. Some have turned into amazing products, monitoring tools and dashboards. Others were a great source of entertainment. All of them were time well spent, and we’ve seen many other companies experience similar success.
The video you are viewing right now is the result of my last Free Friday project. I wanted to share with everyone this great tradition from inside Urban Airship. Company culture is something we invest a lot of effort in here and Free Friday is just another way we are doing that. If Free Friday scratches your itch and Urban Airship sounds like fun place to work, we are hiring.