After two years of close encounters with the violent part of our reality, we did not used to the cases of domestic violence. But, from this perspective, I would say that it left it to “lay overnight” and that at least what was written, finally, should flow, strip-naked.
The signing of the contract with the Council of Europe was preceded by an application on an open call, with the concept that we changed a few times, following the need of a campaign aimed to raise awareness about Free Legal Aid for women who are victims of gender-based violence.
Biljo, Majo, thanks!
There are several partners with whom we have realized this project.
Besides the Council of the EU and the European Union, which funded the project, the story included the SOS hotline Podgorica, the Women’s Rights Center, the Supreme Court, the Association of Judges of Montenegro and the former Ministry of Justice for Human and Minority Rights. However, we owe the greatest gratitude to Biljana Zeković and Maja Raičević, who mostly turned our meetings into useful webinars (lockdown, like many, forced us to communicate online), and which often ended with a lump in the throat.
The Fish on a dry land
The topic, although seemingly familiar to us, in reality, was completely uncharted territory. The lack of professional preparation for direct work with victims of violence has led us to work with women who are on the first lines of defense when violence occurs, which was the reason for this campaign.
The Seventh Circle of Hell preview
Dante says – the first Ring of the Seventh circle of hell is full of violent ones. And researches say – women are most often killed in their homes by the hands of current or former partners.
For better understanding, we joined available online support groups for victims of the violence. The patterns of behavior that we came up with when we were creating the persona, quickly began to emerge.
A lot of research on violence, manuals on free legal aid, and consultations with partners from the Judiciary to demystify the institute of free legal aid and the process that women go through when applying for FLA.
We have consulting women’s organizations until the last piece of the puzzle is fitted and until we have realized what are all the barriers in the minds and lives of women who do not report and those who report violence, to be in a position to be able to make a narrative with which to identify.
To identify – who?
Women. Those women who suffer or have suffered gender-based violence and who are in need of free legal aid. And the Public, because the goal was, in one way, or another, to draw attention to the problem. First of all, to open a conversation on a given topic.
“The results of the campaign are measured by the number of active cases only”
The statement of the Client on the day of signing the contract
Minor challenge: it is common, at least in our yard, that working with so many partners draws one crystal clear blocker – “political correctness”. It is unlikely that any agency is unfamiliar with the part of the brief that says: “we must be careful”. In contact with this, the brain of creatives automatically writes the footnote * invisible. It could be something with us. However, thanks to Aleksandar Trifunović for bringing me back to this exact moment in which we found ourselves during the making of the campaign.
Bild’s view on the world, as it always would be – we can hardly achieve results if we immerse ourselves in the usual and facade communications. In the way of that, they allowed us to, so to speak, play.
Despite the long list of partners, and appreciating the old saying 1200 heads – 100 minds”, we must say that we had great cooperation with the client, especially with the main team of the EU Council Office, Ivona, Marija and Evgenija. It is a team of women who have gathered partners like Maja and Bilja, with a decade-long background of commitment to this topic.
Working with people who care is the difference that counts.
We made several phases of the campaign to cover all the target groups we had in mind.
Focus groups and the research gave us an even closer insight into the amount of work that needs to be done on this topic and how much education is needed, especially for the young ones, who, unfortunately, were not the target group of this particular project. Clearly, that would require a new project and possibly a different approach.
The Strikers as the essence
If you have come to this point, it can be interesting to know that the whole campaign was lying ready in the drawer for over four months. Reason? Strike of the Lawyers. Which did not spare even the Free Legal Aid. It simply did not make sense to launch a campaign on a legal institute of which the defenders are an essential part. Among other things, one of the key reasons for not reporting violence is their material status – the victim’s economic dependence on the intimidator – which prevents them from hiring lawyers.
Literally, during the strike, women in need of FLA were left on their own. We have been told a few times in meetings with women’s organizations that a woman, alone in court has very little chance against the intimidators.
Bottom line – Free Legal Aid is intended as a form of support for victims of violence, regardless of the content of their wallets.
One of the first things presented to us by women’s organizations is that women actually report violence.
The figures show that the Montenegrin authorities in charge annually receive 2000 applications of this type. The problem is insufficient information about the existence of the FLA that the system offers to them.
The institutions themselves, through which victim goes for help, do not inform them that they can use that right.
Hence the slogan #tellthewholestory (#ispričajpričudokraja)
The slogan is equally aimed to institutions, as a reminder to tell their part and inform victims about the free legal aid service as much as to women who suffer and do not report violence. The rest of the narrative is aimed, of course, to all women who find themselves in such a situation.
What we enjoyed
After we caught the attention with the teaser and reached the initial base of followers, we moved, for us, on the most meaningful part. Throwing the bait, as the old Montenegrins say.
We designed a special bread bag. Two, in fact. With unique slogans. And we were waiting. One came up in the light, and, in the end, stole the region’s attention too.
And then the thing that we were most busy with.
Informative and educational posts, which, to our great joy, have met with reactions that we really did not expect. To be clear, #ispricajpričudokraja is not a campaign that has a budget at the level of commercial brands, it is not a campaign that jumps out of the bag of chips, so it needed extra attention.
The million reach on Instagram was fine feedback for us, but not half as important as the fact that we had a great number of saved posts. We are talking about posts that deal with the busting of the myths grounded in society, that start a conversation on the topic of what violence is, what free legal aid is, what it is for, how to get it and etc. This gave us both the good taste and the information that the campaign is useful to the people.
On the day of the campaign launch, femicide happened
The beginning of the campaign could hardly have been worse – femicide happened on the same day. The end of that day was wrapped up by sharing the post of women’s organizations, which called for the protest. A painful question arose – to whom should they tell it? However, the Council of Europe was strict – we should all tell the whole story. The turning of the head was not an option.
Lump in the throat
The end of the campaign was marked by femicide. The new one.
Besides the Basic courts in Montenegro, which recorded almost double the number of requests for the FLA compared to the same period last year, NGOs that were the main partners in the project and to which we often referred victims recorded a serious increase in requests for free legal aid.
The campaign echoed regionally, and in Montenegro – the generated value of advertising of the campaign is over € 60,000, which exceeds the budget available to us for the whole campaign.
CIM Forum Kotor brought good news to us
Thanks to the devoted work and the sharp eye of the jury, we were awarded the following prizes in Kotor:
- The agency of the year
- Best planning & creative usage of media
A big thanks to the CIM forum team.
The team that signs the creation of the campaign is basically small and made of only a few members, but the team that presented the campaign makes a long list of great people. Because, Bild is all like that – when there is something that benefits the community, a large number of people are mobilized, both from the organization and outside, and everyone says we are the cult, can you blame them, really?
Finally, huge love for the women who supported the initial teaser campaign that was created for opening the conversation on the topic. Thus, they showed that there is someone to tell the story.
The campaign Ispričaj Priču Do Kraja goes on.
If you really came that far, we have nothing to say, five stars for you. And tell the whole story till the end. Always.
We are more than excited to announce that after a multiple-step verification we are officially joining forces with Pangea.
If you are not familiar with the Pangea universe, it means that we have joined an elite community of the top 7% of software engineering vendors. Shameless to brag about it, right?
Why did we decide to go through the Pangea verification?
In the ocean of various marketplaces for software design and development, this one stands out because the remarks are given by a company’s clients, and by the company’s employees which we appreciate the most.
The truth is, we are turning 12 in a few days, and these are the years when big transitions begin. In the first years of existence, we were more interested in exploring rather than sharpening our focus, but as we are getting more mature, we focus on quality.
We aim to be recognized as a software design and development company that is agile to its core.
Growth is our natural path from the beginning, but it is not hard for us to let go of our “baby” and accept that our child is growing up. In the last quarter of 2021, we found ourselves reorganizing our company, and we are still in the process. When we got acquainted with Pangea’s onboarding process, it sounded like a reality check, so, we went for it.
Speaking of growth, seeing our partners grow drives us forward. Or, like our CEO Aleksandra says, “solving business problems is the adrenaline rush we are looking for”.
Well… How was it?
Pangea’s DNA is all about verification and due diligence, and it helped us analyze the organizational aspects from a new angle. So we jumped in the game. We’ve been carefully guided throughout the whole process which is, by the way, organized so it keeps your dopamine levels high.
Since the well-being and development of our people are one of our high priorities we have created a culture where most of our employees are friends in their free time.
We always have an urge to highlight the fact that we’re constantly evaluating our own work, discussing solutions, and implementing improvements. And even though our employees are surveyed 3 times a year we were impatient to see their feedback gathered by Pangea.
Drum_roll: The unlocked team health score is 9.1.
Ok, it reflects that we are on the right track, but it also says that we have a looot of room for improvement, since our team members’ satisfaction is 8.9. (thumbs down)
The score we are proud of is the one achieved for personal growth which is 9.4. Bild Studio’s culture was built on the premise “we are more about sharing than owning”, especially when it comes to knowledge, so we were glad to see that even new people who went through the Pangea platform interviews perceive it this way too.
The team stats we are not happy with is gender balance. 1:3 women to man ratio we would really like to see changed in the near future. Currently, we have women in the top and middle management, but we are lacking them in development and design.
And what about client’s satisfaction?
9.5/10 (Ok, we threaten them :)).
Jokes aside, this reflects our dedication to our partners. We truly are glad to see that the culture we cultivate is perceived by them. But not everything is in numbers, let us hear some real comments:
”We selected Bild Studio after speaking to several vendors and the key thing that Bild does better than others in the space is: Asking the right questions. You can tell they approach projects thoughtfully because of the quality of the questions. ”Corey Henderson, CTO @Funzi, Finland
This is the project we fell in love with at the beginning since Funzi represents the world’s most accessible learning environment. They disrupt traditional learning systems, and they exist to ensure that learning is accessible to everyone. Feels so good to be part of their story.
On a similar note, we got feedback from Ognjen Ikovic, CoFounder and CEO of Vladam, VizLore Digital Asset Management
”The UX&UI team will go the extra mile and will ask difficult questions. It is the team of thinkers, we consult them for every decision regarding the product development. The team never hid anything from us, and we found that to be extremely valuable.”
And about long term relationships:
We have indeed good cooperation and they are always able to provide us with high quality product development and later support.Stefan Jelušić, Product Owner @ UNIQA Montenegro
In the end, Our final Pangea score is 9.3. Not great, not terrible. And that is the thing with us – we never settle for safe. It motivates us to work further on reinventing our quality system.
The core value of the Pangea universe is transparency, and we hope to attract those who appreciate it the way we do. If your ride ends here, that means there is chemistry, so, you may take a better look at our profile.
We have been working for 15 years to improve businesses throughout Montenegro and the world. We have a team of developers and designers at our disposal, who turn ordinary websites into machines for selling products and services. We’ve got plenty of successfully implemented projects with our name on ’em.
And what is the right composition for your site?
Every business can use a website to increase sales, strengthen communication, provide better service
Digital ID card – the link between the services you offer and the user.
If you are aware of the benefits that a well-optimized and “tidy” site offers, you may be wondering how to get one…
Hiring the right “contractor” is a crucial step.
Experience shows that the most common mistakes are: choosing cheap solutions from unverified agencies, engaging acquaintances, relatives, company employees, baby sister….
At this step, the old saying: “You get what you pay for” – is as true as it gets.
Be careful with agency choices. You don’t want counterproductive solutions
A website that is meaningless, full of discrepansies, poorly designed, non-functional, non-optimized for mobile phones can be the “killer” of your efforts to increase sales or promote your business.
Choose the right key and enjoy the harmony
- Bild web team has over 10 years of experience and over 400 realized projects in the field of web design
- Standardized work process: planning, concept development, UX and UI design, development, testing and production
- Agile methodology – for more efficient work and communication
- A complete team of experts is engaged in each project:
Project Manager, UX & UI Designer, Copywriter, Developer, Tester
With a well-designed organization of work, established channels of communication and a clearly defined framework for completing tasks, your website can be a song for all ears.
Behold the projects our team completed in 2021.
Hotel & resort Stara Čaršija – The intoxicating spirit of Stari Bar
One of the most beautiful estates in Bar was looking for a new aesthetic layout, which will properly evoke the offer of hotels and resorts.
We started from the beginning: by setting up a logical structure, so that visitors and administrators could easily navigate the site. Then we dedicated ourselves to improving the functionality, so that the website would be easy to use.
And, all the while we were doing “rough work,” our designers were working on solving a part of the aesthetics. That is why this site is currently far ahead of the competition – a fact supported by the fact of increasing traffic from month to month.
ICT Cortex – United under one banner
Things that are done from the scratch deserve full commitment, and our teams love such projects, above all.
ICT Cortex started a great story, and we helped them from several fronts: web development, design, preparation, consulting…
We created a logo, we chose the colors and structure of the site and what is most important – we presented the community of Montenegrin IT companies in a way that is in line with the organizations from leading IT hubs.
Employers’ Union – Annual report done right
The favorite part of the job is when we turn boring into interesting. Because when did any report hold people’s attention?
It’s possible it’s going on now. We have created a special website for the client, where you can find all the information about the annual activities of the organization.
Most of the work was about taming the data, i.e. their volume. But in the end, they are all well packed and ready to download.
All data is now easier to access and more readable, which was the main topic of this project – solving the user experience.
Talent Alpha – Looking for tech-talents
Talent Alpha is one of the favorite sites our web team has worked on. For Polish partners, we only had 5-6 days to code a completely new site.
The mitigating circumstance was that we had design part done in advance, but the trench work was done by our girls and boys and the website for Talent Alpha was ready in time for a big event for the company – one of the leading startups in this part of Europe.
We opted for the WordPress custom theme with Gutenberg live editor capabilities, using Bootstrap with all SASS modules.
Hotel Conte – A combination of tradition and modernity
The tourism industry in Montenegro is still in its infancy, and those forward thinking are coming to the surface with pure effort and commitment.
Such is one of our clients, who wanted to have a seductive, high-quality and above all – functional presentation of his business.
Given the existing website, our teams first decided to have fun with the design and make the new website sophisticated, elegant and help it “sing”. That’s what happened.
The overall ambience of the site currently draws on the sea, smells of the sea and exudes the sea.
Hlada Mont – Hotel & distribution
If you need to centralize your business in web format, you’re in the right place.
For a big client engaged in related, and yet different, activities, we have created one hub – one station for all their visitors and clients.
Their structure so far has been “on all sides”, the websites have worked separately and were outdated. So we suggested we go with one, which will unite the whole company and evoke its spirit. To achieve this, our branding team had their hands full with work, which they eventually handled with pleasure and in accordance with the wishes of the client.
Babyshop – Online shop for little stars
The developer has synchronized the e-commerce platform, which is fully aligned with the providers.
The designers got their hands on all the engines to create a webshop that would stand out from the crowd. They drew inspiration from parenting blogs, where people talk about all the things related to the most beautiful vocation in the world.
Nothing in Bild goes without a project manager, who is essentially the oversight body and filter before the final version of the product we offer.
Vinery Taste and Tradition – Order top wines online
Another website, which we brought to the world with great pleasure, is dedicated to traditional values and the sale of wine and juices.
There was no doubt that we would choose the WordPress theme, to make it easier to navigate visitors. So far, we are well-versed in connecting payment systems, so we solved that part quickly.
Considering that we were also in charge of branding on this project, the story is completed with a unique design, which is minimalist in nature and reminds us of the client’s homeland – the Skadar Lake region.
Verde Village – Where home means more
The world of real estate is booming, so the market must adapt. That is, builders are looking for the best presentation of their companies.
We liked working on a beautiful site, which is modern, harmoniously packaged, and which clearly gives all the information to visitors. That is, it is informative and clear.
In the end, all this brought more conversions to the client, the apartments for sale gained in attractiveness, and the sum of everything is the growing trend of customer interest.
Like what you see?Let’s talk
Knap is a design system used to create business information systems. If you are all about automating processes, this is the read hand-tailored for you.
Let us begin from the end.
This year’s Web Summit was a complete success for Bild team and our colleagues from ICT Cortex. For the first time, we went to Lisbon – all guns blazing. And the spotlight was on the booth A-454 in FIL 3, ALPHA 4.
Behold the story of a wonderful inception and of that – how a baby was thrown onto the big scene and became an adult straight away.
Let’s now take a step back and talk you through the basics of Montenegrin language.
What does Knap mean?
In Montenegrin “Knap” is considered to be the right measure, the right fit. You know the feeling when you’ve had just enough to drink before you passed out? That’s the exact moment when you’d use the expression: “I was Knap drunk”. Even though drinking genealogy isn’t the right one for this piece… You have to understand. We still have some port in our veins.
So, Knap represents the right fit and in our case, Knap is considered to be our new, awesome, ass-kicking, adorable startup. It’s a design system, created for big business systems that are in need of cutting costs, saving time and those that want to be on top of the game, all the time.
That’s what booth A-454 in FIL 3, ALPHA 4 was all about: Knap design system and talking people through it.
The idea came years ago, but only now did we have the time, the right experience and resources to bring it to the world. The story begins with two masterminds behind it all. Danilo and Danko are long-term friends and colleagues and it’s safe to say that they are kinda backbone of Bild Studio’s operations for years now. Their love for design and technology and vision for the future is the main catalyst behind the whole Knap project.
What does Knap do?
What exactly is the Knap Design System? Let’s hand it over to Danko:
“Knap is a design system used to create business information systems. It is based on Google’s Material Design language and expands upon it with additional guidelines, rules and components, all of which are going to be open-sourced (according to the current plan). Gradually, these will be complemented, on the commercial side, by Figma UI kit, pattern library, boilerplate code, low-code production tool and, on the long run, no-code production tool.”
2021. was all about setting the structure and it’s a gargantuan process. So far the team’s been working on:
- UI regions and variants
- Navigation layers and forest
- Suite Navigation Drawer component
- App Navigation Panel component
- Low-code production tool for App Navigation Panel (as a proof of concept)
Prior to Web Summit, Milica had the pleasure to present Knap to the masses. And boy, did she do it. Knap got the funding for the team to go to Lisbon, in the first place. That’s where things get interesting. A medium company from the small country of Montenegro presenting its brand new startup got loads of heat. Investors from all around the world came asking questions and taking interest in what’s to come. With that said, it seems that Knap is already getting some traction. But, there is one more thought that crossed our minds. Danilo says:
“It was in Lisbon that we were reassured about the potential Knap actually possesses. Basically, there’s no similar systems around, if there are any. This speaks to our decision as a company to invest in this kind of project. Now, we can proudly say – we made the right choice.”
From this point on, Danko and the team continue to develop Knap and hopefully MVP will be fully operational until 2022’s end.
Lest we forget, there is one more piece of this puzzle worth mentioning. It’s an old metalhead who “baptised” Knap. Milivoje’s ingenious proposal for the design system’s name was adopted with no further negotiations. That’s all the more reason to believe that this project was spot-on from the start.
Project manager or Scrum Master? Should Yesenin live today and should he be in my old All Stars, maybe he’d say: Who am I, what am I, I am just a dreamer… of project management?
But since he’s not and since we don’t want to dream and think more than we should, I’m gonna tell you a story of the Certified Agile Scrum Masters course. CEO and Co-Founder of Agile Humans, Jasmina Nikolic, taught us some new stuff and it’s safe to say that she resolved some doubts that we probably had.
Let’s start from the beginning – What is Scrum?
By definition, Scrum is a framework which helps people, teams and organizations to generate added value through adapting to complex problems.
To put it simply – Scrum is an agile way of thinking, a system of principles and values, which are suited for fast paced changes and the environment a modern enterprise does business in. It comes down to the responsibility of an individual, really, but since it’s a tool for teams, all of them combined count for a compact team, with all the synergy involved.
Foundation of the methodology is based on 12 principles of Scrum. You can find and analyze them here, but if you want to dissect it, the Scrum manifesto could be read through four points.
- Individuals and interactions are beyond processes and tools
- Working software is beyond comprehensive, thorough documentation
- Buyers’ cooperation is beyond contract negotiations
- An answer to instant changes is beyond any plan
What does it all mean? If you ask someone who is in this business for a long time and maybe old-fashioned, they will tell you that these four points are a “mission impossible” and they can never be true.
Main issue with “traditional” management teachings is that they never got to the bottom of the importance of changes, especially those that happen out of the blue, during the process itself. And that is the core belief of Scrum methodology.
Let’s talk about Scrum values
At this point you understand that the sole individual, his characteristics and roles and what he/she contributes to the team is of most importance.That’s because all of those values are then transferred to the team.
Scrum makes an individual special, but as a member of the team. To put that into perspective, we have to talk about key values of every part of small Scrum team:
- Openness – all of the team members and other parties must be open regarding work processes and all the challenges during the project
- Respect – all of the team members respect independent thinking and abilities of the people working they work with
- Commitment – everybody must be committed to the to the goals of the Scrum team
- Focus – everybody must be committed to the processes of the Scrum team
- Courage – this might be the most important trait for all the people involved who are brave enough to deal with tough situations
When Jasmina asked, which of these five values would be most challenging for us, as someone who is just beginning to scratch knowledge of agile methodologies I said: What i’m most afraid of is courage.
We laughed for a couple of minutes to my clumsy formulated sentence, and I don’t like to brag (I do), but she said that she hasn’t had a better answer in some time.
But it wasn’t the wrong answer and it doesn’t contradict Scrum itself. Because, you see, courage doesn’t mean lack of fear. On the contrary. It means having fear and overcoming it, by following all of the rules of Scrum methodology.
Main link in Scrum team – Scrum Master. What does he/she do?
- Promotes and supports Scrum by helping others to understand Scrum theory, practice, rules and values
- Makes sure that the team is fully functional and productive
- Smashes obstacles, builds transparency and widens adaptive culture
- Mediates between all the parties involved
- Makes a schedule and invites for ceremonials (well-known team meetings), facilitates all of them
- Protects the team from outside influences
Different Scrum Masters – different types of Scrum Masters
- Facilitator – the aim of facilitation is to ease the process and to guide the team (the one who supports, encourages, gives counsel)
- Mentor – this one is simple – he teaches others
- Teacher – passes the Scrum knowledge
- Coach – asks questions and seeks no answers, but helps team members to figure them out on their own (so-called co-active role)
Let’s take a step back – to theory and definitions of Srcum roles. Scrum team should be 10 members tops, and there are only three roles:
- Scrum Master – a person who completely owns Scrum methodology and passes it onto other team members, by following all the principles
- Product owner – a person who can be portrayed as a decision maker. It’s mostly someone on the client side, in charge of communicating about everything the product needs and how he/she sees the final version of the product. Also, he/she handles all the stakeholders
- Developers / team members – developers, designers, system architects… whoever is building the product and working towards main Scrum goals
So, if the Scrum team has only three roles, we come to the question – what the hell is, conventionally called – Project manager?
By the Scrum definition, Project Manager covers two positions actually – Product Owner and Scrum Master. That means that he/she is responsible for communicating with clients and team and all of the decisions, ergo – the consequences of those decisions, too.
So, is this an outdated method of project management? Sure. Because it’s hard for Project Manager to know all of stakeholders’ concerns as Product Owner should. On the other hand, he/she can’t be committed to the team as much as the Scrum Master. Agile ways of doing things and slow or non-existent adjustments are not compatible. And, it seems that an agile way of thinking is at the core of every successful project.
So, where’s Bild in this Scrum story?
I know that most of the clients (all of them, really) don’t have their own Product Owner. So, I thought – we won’t be able to use Scrum methodology.
But I was wrong. Why? Because, even though Scrum thrives on well established rules, models and principles, it doesn’t exist in its original form when it comes to doing business. Luckily, there are a number of hybrid models which work. One of those is the Spotify hybrid model. It shows how you can use Scrum and disassemble it to take everything you need from it and adjust it for your organizational structure. That is, if you really want to be agile.
So, what comes next? Further agilisation and hybridisation of all the things out there and implementing everything that we’ve learned. In the end, to give you a brief answer to a question from the top: Yes, I want to trade manager for a master in me.
This story wouldn’t be half as good if I forgot to mention all of the samurai who were there with Jasmina and me:
2020. was Rock&Roll and we opted to dance in the rhythm opposite to the music.
Come March last year, we had to optimize. Bild Studio, at that moment 75 strong, was pretty clear about two things: tough times were heading our way and we were not going to let any of our people go! At that point we relied on our skills and perseverance as a team. And karma. Why karma? Well, because it paid us back big time later on.
Opening new markets
Since its inception, Bild has been oriented towards providing all kinds of services related to software development, web development and design (in general) to a broader European market. So far, we’ve been successful in the Benelux and DACH area. Today we are a recognized premium partner to many enterprises championing disruptive technologies.
Bild Studio has been recognized as a Top 30 B2B Website Design Companies in 2021 by DesignRush.
Also, 2020. gave us a platform to increase our reach and find new partners.
It all began with development of a new Funzi e-learning platform. Funzi uses robust mobile technology to make courses accessible anywhere, anytime and they are optimized for easy learning. Funzi’s unique mobile pedagogy is an innovative and scientifically-proven method designed for learning. To help learners digest information, courses include: learning in bite-sized portions, quizzes and final exams. The courses are not tied to deadlines and allow users to learn at their own pace.
- Back-End Developer: MongoDB, NodeJS
- Project Management: Atlassian Jira, Confluence, Notion, Slack
Tech-talent discovery SaaS Talent Alpha from Krakow was in need of a website redesign. Bild got the task of developing, testing and producing it. Our teams used a custom WordPress theme with Gutenberg live editor editing capabilities. Regarding CSS frameworks, we chose bootstrap with all its SASS modules. Talent Alpha was ready to shine at their big company celebration and to brag about their fully refurbished online presentation.
UNIQA Insurance Group AG is an international giant and so far Bild Studio has provided many services for their branches all around Europe. UNIQA Pure is a digital insurance platform which aims to provide a 100% online self-service to its customers. Platform currently offers online purchase and management of household and travel insurance with plans to further expand its product portoflio.
In 2021. we continue to work on new upgrades for international heavyweights, such as our long-term partner Telekom Crna Gora, among others.
Birth of our own products
Bild Studio entered 2020. with great hopes. Our projections for the upcoming year hit record levels. Clients and projects kept coming. Big and small. But, all of a sudden, nice chunk of it came to a halt. Instead of panic (and we thought about it) we decided to go all-in and use the situation to our advantage.
To build things our way it takes time, patience and lots of forward thinking people. To shorten the process we decided to create a centralized system, which will serve as a hub for the upcoming projects.
“Design system is a set of guidelines, standards, components and patterns which combined allows us to standardize and cover big portion of interface use cases. That way we can create loads of web applications that aren’t necessarily custom solutions.”Danko Keković, design system creator
Design system is meant to speed up design and development processes, to raise quality and consistency of the final products and to enhance communication and work processes among teams involved. Google Material Design System is the foundation for the whole operation. It’s probably going to be an open source tool, which ultimately means that other enterprises looking to upgrade their business operations can enjoy it no strings attached.
Bild ERP is our baby which will ignite the change in our working practices and set sail towards product-oriented markets. The idea is to enhance automatization of internal processes, standardization of knowledge and working procedures. All that through our newly set “design driven development system”, which guarantees the best UX&UI practices. The plan is to test it in 2021. Then, we intend to try it out on the market in 2022.
Also, we’ve talked about Mennoo…
Behind the curtain
All of the services on our menu are underpinned by a strong multi-split web of communication between various departments. Sales, Finances and our HR people are constantly developing new tactics to ensure that things go as smoothly as they are supposed to, that deadlines are met, that the finances are on point.
Our main goal for the 2021./2022. is to attract even more highly qualified engineers. We’ve never been more open to new colleagues and trying new things, as we expect to grow to more than a 100 people over the ongoing year. But, let us talk you through that in a separate story.
“I will have a burger to go, extra bbq sauce and lots of chillies.” How many times did you say this one? The sole purpose of fast food is to get you going through the day, on foot, so you could focus on the job and other daily tasks. Having an unhealthy meal is one thing, but how often do you think of your friends and family? When was the last time you had a greasy spicy burger with them?
Healthy lifestyle is a hostage to this modern era we live in and, unfortunately, it’s all our fault. F&F, too. Additionally, the circumstances we witness at the moment, such as COVID-19 are forcing us to adapt and overcome. We work from home, we are dependent on delivery and ultimately we don’t see many people that much anymore. Bearing all that in mind, a group of young entrepreneurs decided to change the narrative. Our partner, Marko Miročević, and one of our many teams joined forces to create a brand new app to tackle aforementioned problems.
Behold: Mennoo – Meet & Eat.
Another question: how many times you had to wait for your food and you are in a hurry and starving? Mennoo is designed to solve that particular issue. Using the Mennoo app you can schedule your meal at your favorite restaurant and the food will be steaming hot on your plate when you arrive. All you have to do is: pick the location, meal and time. The system will automatically put it in your calendar. You’ll get the notification 10 minutes prior. And, voila.
Other than an easy and flawless appointment system, Mennoo offers healthy ingredients monitoring / nutritional calculator to take care of your calories intake. If you want to stay fit, or you want to burn some extra fat – Mennoo is there for you.
Mennoo is not your everyday food app. Instead, it takes care of your social life, too. Using the Mennoo app you can call your colleagues, friends, grandmother, aunt, even parents to enjoy a lunch or a dinner with. They can choose their healthy meal, also. And if you want to brag because you have lots of money – Menoo has an option which lets you pay for everyone. So, if you want to forget about splitting bills and losing time doing that… Mennoo’s got you covered. And it saves time.
Junk food no more
All the functionalities gathered under a Mennoo banner are the result of thorough research of our focus groups. This app is for those who stare at the computer for most part of the day, for businesswomen and businessmen, CEO’s and other “C”-worthy title holders. Of course, Mennoo is the perfect match for all those who are not on the executive level, but rather do the “field work” and don’t have time to think about healthy food, or to wait for it. On average – Mennoo saves around 30 minutes per meal. Admit it. It’s sometimes a precious time which you could use for something else than waiting for your food, for sure.
On the other hand, we spoke to caterers. They told us that the food preparation is a slow and difficult process. Their chefs are overburdened and that’s one of the reasons why people wait on their meals. Using Mennoo, caterers can solve multiple issues: operational planning, better table turnover, better no-show rates. Using the app you are certain that the quality of your food is impecable, because it can’t be stale. Plus – you are saving the environment. Just think of all the packaging that’s left for junk after you’re finished with your take-out or delivery food.
Mennoo is at the prototype stage at the moment. Its creators are on the hunt for potential investors.
That’s where you come in and we could use your help. Mennoo is on the Bits&Pretzels platform and the goal is to be among 8 others who will get the chance to present their ideas and end up with funding.
If we earn some money, we promise to take you out on a fine dinner, using Mennoo app. Our treat.
It happened during some year, although I don’t remember which exactly. All I know is that it was a ‘transition’ or at least that’s how we called it. The rains were easing off, the sun was taking over and you could feel a certain unease in the air. We knew that something was going on even though there was nothing in sight. A general sense of discomfort was lingering, inviting to caution. We were listening in. Those ‘above’ were talking. Those ‘below’ were nodding along, as always. There was talk about an invisible enemy. Neighbors were talking about war. We gathered and considered the situation, organized quickly and without too many words. And then… we waited.
The first sign of crisis that year (the year itself will turn out to be long and challenging) a pact was made. Those with experience (and those without) realized that the only option and that we could only stick together in a challenging situation. Times of crisis get the most out of people – what comes out in the immediate is that which is usually repressed and pushed back in everyday life: empathy, care for your fellow woman or man and the yearning to come out victorious. Defeat is not an option. Unless it is, if only an extremely stupid one.
During that ‘transition’ we’ve quietly overcome our differences, set up the basis of our strategy and waited for the moment. We knew that the time will come and that we’d have to take radical measures. Nobody wanted a war. It’s been years since any one of us held a gun in our hands. But war came to us, not the other way around.
As with every transition, on that day the weather was changing. It was gloomy. Sun was behind the clouds but that light worked for us, or so I thought. We moved out of our base with a spring in our step, as one. But right around the corner, from a clearing behind it we heard a loud: BANG!
- _motorbreath down. _motorbreath down!
The team has lost its weakest link. Some of us privately thought that that’s probably for the better. _motorbreath was ‘green’, a newbie – a lizard. He was inaugurated to a brotherhood of experienced, wicked fighters in hopes of getting good. He didn’t hold, despite his desire to prove his worth. Death of a first comrade brought stubborness and spite to the others. A few long seconds later, Vladimir Ilych Ulyanov held the same spot that he held when he saw his comrade drop with peripheral vision. The steady hand of an old wolf didn’t take long. BANG! The first opponent got some of what _motorbreath was served only seconds prior. The odds were even again.
At that moment a tactical decision was made. A crew will take the left flank to cut off the enemy. The other crew will go throught the middle, conventionally known as ‘mid’.
They called us Terrorists at the time. We called them Counter-Terrorists, cynically. For us they were characters, avatars, that we wanted to run over. It’s necessary to mention that if that sounds brutal, they wanted even worse for us. This was a fight to death, literally a math battle with a lot of audio components. Only one can come out on top, reach the ‘stars’ and get promotions, ranks etc.
The crew that went to the left circled around the bend and tried to listen to the opponents’ movements. Even though they were generally out in the open, they had a few cover positions they could use to stave off a surprise attack. And a surprise attack they got, suddenly – bullets flying everywhere. Fortunately (for us anyways) they managed to get to cover. Then the ace entered the field. The brute force of the team.
- Get in position and wait for my go. – said Ranbo;
- Maybe we wanna push now when they’re not expecting – Rendom answered.
Phacelift, in accordance with his life’s teachings, was patient and waited for the final decision to be reached. They went with the first option.
As soon as the shooting stopped from the other side of the clearing, Ranbo peaked with his AK47 and cut one of them down. Adrenaline and a subsequent rush of blood to the head fused plans A and B into one single hot mess. Everyone left their position and started spraying left, right and centre. Grenades flew everywhere. Half blind from the flashbangs, Phacelift and Rendom knocked two more guys out. Not without consequences, as the third took Rendom down with them. He retreated, though – the gamble has paid off and the left flank was now secure and cleared of enemy presence. I guess that’s what they mean when they say that ‘it’s all in the game’.
On the other side of the battlefied, much as he did in his civilian life, Vladimir Ilych Ulyanov took over the baton and rallied the troops. Neatly, as was expected. Pakito14, Savopecki, Gin&Juice and Struks grouped inside of abandoned objects and waited for directions.
The plan was to create an elaborate trap, a ruse, a triangle in which the enemy will get into and get cannoneered into oblivion. If that doesn’t go through, the backup plan was to split into teams of two men each. And if that didn’t work (as it usually happens with matters of war) the team was to revert to a desperate default: every man for himself. After a long fast that saw no enemy blood spilled, Vladimir Ilych Ulyanov ordered the troops to dig out and move. But the hated enemy was ready.
- Moving through the appartments, one window, one door. – hollered Ulyanov.
- I see one. – said Gin&Juice, decapitating one enemy with an AWP.
- Spakito, shift and we move together. – said Savopecki.
- I’m watching our backs. – relied Struks calmly.
Carnage ensued, the enemy was spraying from windows, balconies, doors… Struks got hit in his hip and through his loin but his devotion to the cause was stronger than the pain. He got up and with his last breath hit an enemy, dragging the poor bastard down with him. His last thoughts were about his comrades. Not too far ahead, Savopecki was breaking enemy lines and exchanging fire while Pakito14 was glancing over his shoulder and waiting to get his first kill.
- I’ve hit him but he won’t go down, goddammit. – Savopecki whined.
Just as it happened on the left flank, the one that Ranbo and Phacelift broke through and ran to meet the others, Pakito and Savopecki were eager to get through the line and conclude this battle ASAP. Even though they contributed by wounding opponents, an enemy sniper put an end to their little misadventure and their episode ended before the final victory could be achieved.
Weakened, but not demotivated, Ranbo, Phacelift, Ulyanov and Gin&Juice surrounded the enemy and drove them into a corner. They had the numbers, after all. They came in from two sides and had the enemy pinned down in the location known as ‘A’.
- Moving in on 3, 2, 1… – Ranbo counted off.
- Roger that. – Phacelift replied.
Overwhelming noise ripped through the air. The two scoundrels that took Savopecki and Pakito14 down were soon downed themselves. And just as they caught a glimpse of victory a click was heard. Ranbo was the only one calm enough to realize that they had to regroup and get a better position from which to oversee the action. He took cover and saw his comrade Phacelift go down under overwhelming defensive fire.
The scales were tipped back to zero. We were back at the beginning, they were as numerous as us. They lost as much as we had. They must have felt the same resolve, the same rage and the same boneheaded resolve to outlast the enemy.
But then, something happened that nobody could have foreseen and nobody could have influenced.
At the beginning of the crisis, our crew had more men – some were written off at the start and some participated occasionally. And now, when we needed it most, we got reinforcements. I wouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth, would you?
Hamster Rhino arrived at the last minute, realizing that he cared about his comrades more than selling stuff to foreigners (which is what he did before the crisis and the crisis itself only intensified his immaculate salesmanship). With his trusty Negev that he affectionately called ‘Piglet’ he appeared inside of the base. He used some sort of compass to figure out his team’s location and started strutting towards them, weighed down by his rifle.
While the three of our finest played a prolonged, painful chess game with high stakes Hamster Rhino had no intention of participating in calculations and paid no mind to plans. Galvanized by a guilty conscience or a rush of blood to the head, he suddenly appeared where he was least expected! Nobody got what was going on in the first instance and nobody could have seen him coming. He bravely dealt some damage to the nemesis. Piglet’s song was heard across the battlefield as bullets stuck and bounced off of heavy wooden structures and riddled the walls… and then he fell.
One could say he sold something, again. His health and armor in return for a higher purpose.
Ranbo, Ulyanov and Gin&Juice used the confusion and attacked, this time with full force. Ulyanov stuck his neck out to draw the opponent out in the open. An enemy fell to one of the last bullets left in the chamber of his Deagle.
- Boys I’ll draw them out and you hit them with everything you’ve got. I’ve got no more health and waiting these guys out is pointless. – Those turned out to be Ulyanov’s last words.
All of our hopes fell on the shoulders of our Achilles, our William Wallace – Ranbo and his steady comrade, that long range uxtreme Gin&Juice.
Spurred on by the premature elimination of Ulyanov, the enemy changed the pace and went on the offense. Gin&Juice tried to use the terrain to his advantage and assault the enemy through a narrow gap on the main wall but milimeters worked against him. He was dealt a bad hand by that cruel mistress, Fate, and his life was taken by the very tool he used to take other people’s lives during his long career.
And just like that, it all fell apart. No more maths, no more calculations, no more chess moves and thinking five steps ahead. Ranbo alone against an elite enemy. Those that scalped all of his friends and comrades, both those with experience and those without. All of them were not up to the task. A question popped into his mind briefly – he asked himself whether he’s the one to overcome in the name of his fallen friends. He recollected the days and hours of strenuous preparation, weeks of blood sweat and tears it took to bring him to this moment. A challenge like no other. Will he become a hero everyone expected him to become? LeBron or Darko Miličić… There was no point and no time to think about it too much. The pressure was on.
- Okay, let’s go. – he whispered to himself.
He knew that rascals and deviants, which his enemies undoubtedly were, appreciate their health points more than anything. They’d never risk exposure or risk anything at all. They chose the terrain accordingly.
He first checked the terrace and scanned below it for any movement. There was noone around and things became clearer – they were in the pit! However many of them there were was unclear. It was then that he knew he had the element of surprise on his side. He glanced the enemy, worked out that he was alone in the pit (they separated!) and then quietly snuck around him as the enemy was scanning the distance for any sight or inkling as to where Ranbo is. Little did he know that Ranbo, quiet and nimble as a shadow, was already behind him. He made a few noisy steps to alert the enemy of his presence and took out a combat knife given to him by Ulyanov when he was joining the squad. He plunged the knife deep between the enemy’s ribs with a slight smile on his face.
- One down, one to go. – he took a deep breath and got ready for the final duel.
During any conflict, it bears remembering one fact above every other. No matter how little we think about the people on the other side of the conflict from our side, it’s necessary to know that they went through the same training, faced the same (or worse!) challenges and got the same drill.
Ranbo was acutely aware of this and went out to seek his prey. His hunter instinct kicked in. All of what happened before was irrelevant. The unknowns particularly so. He was in his element, no outside influences, just him doing what he was trained and designed to do.
30 seconds later he heard footsteps. Danger was imminent. He snuck up to the site, which he correctly identified as the only spot where the remaining Counter Terrorist could be. He could smell the enemy’s fear. He improvised and tossed a grenade to one side to fool the enemy. He quietly went the other way, opening the map and his shooting angles. Luckily, the enemy bit into the bait and went out to seek his inevitable demise. Ranbo was scanning from his new position on the side and caught a glimpse of his enemy. A loud BANG echoed. For a second, everything was quiet.
Ranbo was an alias, a different persona of sorts. The one that loved company even though he’d never admit it. He remembered his comrades by name, one by one: _motorbreath, Rendom, Pakito14, Savopecki, Phacelift, Hamster Rhino, Vladimir Ilič Uljanov, Gin&Juice…
Of course, there were others there that made the difference but couldn’t help at the time. The best of us went out to become a freelancer even though we never knew what that meant. The one we called ‘boss’ always hyped up his arrival but never came.
All of that went through the head of that colossus, that bastion of freedom we all believed in. Ranbo, who covered everyone’s back and helped those who needed him stood alone. His vision was blurry. Emotions flatlined. He was exhausted, no gas left in the tank. Driving down a slope, not in gear. Just cruising.
He looked up at the sky and the sun that was breaking from their cover. The same sky _motorbreath hoped will play to their advantage at the beginning of the game. He looked down upon his weapon, the AK47 he so loved. There was blood everywhere.
He was alive. The screen showed ’12 Health Remaining’ and ‘Terrorists Win’, followed by an FPS equivalent of elevator music.
He started hearing elated, joyous voices that were congratulating him. All of those that couldn’t be with him in the moment. And then he remembered…
- Discord, dude. Inferno is a pain in the ass, let’s play Assault next.
- Well done Bole. You slapped these guys as if they were a bunch of marmots. – said Ulyanov.
- YEEEEEEEEESSS – yelled Savopecki.
- Boys, next time we’ll have to do better than this. – Struks said.
- Oh my god… – Pakito14 murmurred.
- Jeez Louise – Gin&Juice breathed out with a slight hint of sarcasm in his voce.
- Anybody got a gun to throw at me? – asked Rendom.
- AFK. BRB. – Phacelift quickly said, getting up to get some water.
Hamster Rhino celebrated quietly in the temple of his mind. His wife and child were sound asleep and he wouldn’t dare wake them up. _motorbreath had no mic, but wrote:
In the warmth of our homes on March 16, 2020. we have celebrated a decade of our existence. We have reached the point where we look at the pictures from 10 years ago and realize that, after all, we did get a little bit older. But, as sworn optimists, we still believe that our time is yet to come.
“I love him who has a free spirit and a free heart: thus his head is only the guts of his heart; his heart, however, causes his going under.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra.
I would be lying if I said that this quote did not remind me of Bild in the first place. More precisely, of the first five years, while we were still learning the basic lessons from the subject Nature and Society of Business of a digital agency in a market like ours.
The founders didn’t know about fear 10 years ago, they knew about the courage and (irrevocable) desire. Fear is something that the time later brought, when they realized what they were getting into, I can sign that. But the pitcher of fear (and other exciting things) overflowed after 2015 with the conquest of the international market. That’s when we won stability. Conditionally speaking stability, we were just at the beginning, but the picture was becoming clearer about how and where we should move. Today that stability is being managed by Denis, together with Dejo, Saša and Darko.
Of course, every successful step gave us room to experiment. In fact, it would often take us five steps back. But it is something that we, stubbornly, do not give up. Exploring and playing with fire in new, unconquered fields. But, Bild evolved as an organism, whose organs took over their functions over time, and that never allowed us to rush too far. When things escalate, there is always someone to pull the brake, sometimes it’s Batrić, sometimes some other manager, but to be honest, it’s mostly women. Sashka, Milica, Dženita, my humbleness, or as Tarik would say “The mothers of Bild.” It’s a little known fact that by using this phrase he actually sensed us changing diapers.
We are proud of the people who are here, and the people who have been here. With the energy we have invested in projects. With the team of voluntary blood donors led by Darko. With clients who trusted us and from whom we learned. With the partners with whom we initiated various actions. With team buildings to remember. Oh, we are especially proud of them. :) With women who are our great driving force, I mentioned only a few but it’s fair to say that Bild without Azra would be like a plant without water. Do we have enough of them? Of course not.
If you’re wondering how we got here, we probably don’t even know ourselves. The common denominator of this struggle is toughness and, not to forget, perseverance. Is struggle too pathetic and a difficult word for a blog post that celebrates 10 years? It’s not. If you ask me, as long as we work in the domestic market, it is still a struggle. As with many other agencies, which, regardless of experience, still often play for survival. The optimism about the idea of working on domestic market has left the building long time ago. By simple mathematics, for our ambitions, the work here is not paid adequately. Not only the creative sector, but also IT, which now makes the majority of the company. Are there any clients we like to work with here? Of course there are, but they are rare, just as much as truffles.
Have we had burnouts? Yes, on several occasions and on several fronts. Are we proud of that? No, but we tend to make them lessons for us. Did I mention that there are 70 of us? And we are going to the number 100?
Will the international market solve all our problems? Of course not. Winning the next step of stability makes the challenge greater. It makes us grind teams and become more responsible to the time we have at our disposal. Do roses bloom in our work with foreigners? It just depends on us and the level of professionalism. One thing is for sure, there is less fear when there is more knowledge and experience. Because no matter the market, excellence finds its way to success.
Junior Vs senior, who will be the sultan instead of the sultan?
Many of us started our working life in Bild, some were not helped by previous experience in the field of setting records in the number of working hours. Some proudly keep these records framed in special drawers, to remind them of the time of frying and gaining knowledge. And we would all like to work with seniors. And if it’s possible, to become seniors overnight. Joke aside, we are very aware that no one has started their working life as a senior yet. And as much as we work on educating our teams (everyone knows that internship is our middle name), we put the same effort on educating clients.
We strive to constantly improve the work ways and procedures. We measure everything that is measurable. For now, it has been shown that everything that could be measured could be improved. We test the organization with different models. We don’t squint at mistakes. We often make an elephant out of a fly. But we continue to grow and learn. We have even reconciled with the fact that some things are impossible to be accomplished. Something we still haven’t managed to do for example, is to get Dacho on the phone, from the first try.
We will dare to increase software exports over the next five years and earn 100% from foreign clients. Actually no, not 100%, we will save at least 5% for our first and most loyal domestic clients. All our forces are focused on that, at least for now.
We will dare to test the four-day work week. The possibility of remote work is, in accordance with the new situation, just on the test. We will also push for the continuation of the project of providing housing for employees. In case we didn’t buzz enough about that, we made 18 apartments, don’t mind, but that’s something that should be buzzed about. From the heels we try to improve the quality of life of all individuals, to give everyone space for expression. And we are immensely grateful for what we have achieved. First of all, to the members of the team, the present ones and all those who have been with us during all these years, and who we will always call Bild members.
Happy 10 years to all of us, Cheers!
It’s nice to see your high school dreams come true. One of mine was to visit Finland – the cradle of metal music. That might suggest that the country is loud. In reality it’s completely different. My superior didn’t even want to speak to me at some point. Not because I am a bad listener or company (I hope), but because it’s so silent, that simple talking comes as a disturbance to the quiet. It felt like everything could harm that strange harmony of low frequencies made by wind and sea. To put it short – the first impression was that the Finns are not loud folks. Even the trams didn’t make that squeaky noise on the tracks. Car sirens and traffic impatience are non-existent. But there is one stereotype which came out true – Finns are mostly blond. And, why did we go there? It wasn’t our intention to measure how really blond Finnish people are, but to attend one of the leading startup events today, called – Slush.
Upon arrival, our Airbnb host greeted us wearing woolen socks, made by his grandmother. That got us talking… He gave us a few tips and after three flights that day, 1kg of grilled meat and not a chance of buying beers after 9 p.m. we gave up and fell into our first Nordic sleep. Next morning – shock! There was no shower cabin or a bathtub in the, rather small, bathroom. There was only a nozzle connected to the sink and a drain… If, by this point, you think – why in hell would someone write about taking shower in Helsinki, think again. It’s just one example of understanding the culture of Finland. And if I had to put it in one word, I would call it – simplicity.
Equally simple was to get around Helsinki and arrive to the Slush venue: down the street, then left across the bridge, through the projects on the right and that was it. We’ve checked previous years on Slush online, but nothing could prepare us for what was coming up. Being hard-working Montenegrins as we are, we came a bit early. We circled around the big venue, (my superior was terrified by the Nordic videos) and we were ready for a DJ set. But that was another shock because there wasn’t one, but two DJs on the stage. All that at 10 a.m! Jokes aside, DJs were in charge of the opening ceremony and the whole venue, dark atmosphere and neon lights made the impression that we were at some night club for real, waiting for the highlight of the night. Slush cultivates that dark, one could say – northern vibe. And there was no natural light around whatsoever. Literally.
With our pupils dilated, we listened to the opening speeches and got on with what we came to do.
Big corporations such as Microsoft, Samsung, Porsche had their own huge booths, so did the successful startups like Revolut, Voi… We were interested in scale-ups and up-comers. They all had their own space and every one of them got an exclusive chance to speak to two guys with strange English accent. Most of them are in the fintech. Different platforms designed to help people transfer their money skipping banking interests we couldn’t even count. They all had their own special functionalities which their makers think could get them more clients. Other than that, Slush brought together startups who are trying to optimize business operations. Like those before them, these too weren’t something new, but had some “catch” to them. Coming third, there were so many health-related platforms. In so many ways Finns and other Europeans are trying to use innovative solutions – software and AI, to help people solve their health issues. Asian colleagues came with robots, of course, and that’s what got us scared. Because some of them, like the ones from South Korea, were so far in the future, that their competition from western Europe or USA could only envy their ideas and solutions. Smart trackers for the goods and online music workshop for kids got our attention, among others.
Regarding feedback to two guys coming from relatively tech-marginalised Balkans, it went off very well. People mostly asked us what we do and what’s the situation with Montenegrin tech community. Some weren’t that interested in hearing what we had to say, yet some were very curious. We’ve already made some contacts which could result in business cooperation in the coming days.
One blog post is not enough to describe the experience from Slush. Volunteers make the spine of the organization, which is close to perfect. Everything ticks like a clockwork. Our event passes were waiting for us at the airport, and the girls and boys at the venue were so helpful with everything that one could ever need. But above all, audio/video experience was truly unique and out of this world. It was strange and different, but memorable. If you forget the dark and blackness, one could get all that he asked for : from motivational speakers, face-to-face meetings, over the Avatar-like “secret garden” made for rest, concluding with the Finnish sauna. There was afterwork entertainment, too, but we took care of ourselves on our own. Our recommendation: irish pub – Moly Malone’s.
When it comes to Helsinki itself… It’s special. If you wonder if it’s expensive city, let me put it this way: a pint of beer in Helsinki costs three times more than in Berlin, which means it’s 7-8 times more expensive than in the capital of Montenegro. Fridge magnet is around 7€. But, groceries and cosmetics in the supermarket are at the Montenegrin level prices. It’s safe to say that Helsinki is not that cold as you would expect. Outside temperature at the end of November is around zero, which didn’t pose a problem to the guys coming from continental Montenegro. And the most impressive thing about this city is that it gives you the feeling that you are in several cities at the same time. At one point you feel like you are in some Russian outback, next thing you know – you are in Belgrade, and then you get around the corner and you find yourself on the streets of one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. Big heads up for those who intend to visit Finland is – DON’T CALL THEM SCANDINAVIANS! Finns are simply – Nordics.
That was our adventure called Slush 2019. summed up. It was a really great experience with lots and lots of kilometers beneath our feet. But it was worth it. We got to know this new culture – both social and businesswise. We’ve met some really great people, inventors and those who could be catalysts of the new world order. With Finland in the books, we are looking forward to new countries, cities and people. Until then…