Necessity is the Mother of Invention?
At Deep Blue Sky we do like to think we’re a bit “different”. We’re not saying we’re “zany”, we don’t say “you don’t have to be mad to work here but it helps”, and we certainly wouldn’t be caught dead in a comedy tie but we do like to take a different approach to problems and their solutions.
We accept that client work is not always going to give us the opportunity to experiment, which is a shame because it’s this experimentation that allows people like us to find new and creative solutions to a client’s problem.
Kicking Back in Binary
In order to give us time to work on projects that aren’t necessarily going to bring in the bucks, but are going to make us better at our jobs we made a decision a few months ago to work a 4 day week. We’re not saying we send all our staff off to the pub for 8 hours of the working week – far from it – we just do work that makes us happy, and gives us the opportunity to try out new ideas.
Stuff What We Did
So what do we do in the time? What could we get up to in the 384 hours of free time this gives us? We work on web applications, joint ventures, or stuff that’s just plain cool (from our point of view anyway). Here are a few examples…
This is a simple web based app that tracks your web browsers ability to support the more advanced features of CSS and HTML5. It’s useful because of the way it presents its findings, making testing very easy for geeks like us.
Gate 54 is our hotel directory that provides booking services for over 75,000 hotels worldwide. We built it using our Spirit Framework development platform to prove it could handle a massive and multifaceted database with a booking engine bolted on for good measure and you know what? We were right.
Return Tags – like most great ideas on the web – is very simple. You buy a set of Return Tags which you stick to high value items like an iPod, iPhone or a Grandmother. If someone finds the items they go to Returntags.com, punch in a code and it’s matched to a set of registered contact details that allow the finder to contact the owner. Stick it, lose it, get it back!
We built the site in conjunction with a client using our Spirit Framework Development Platform with a simple user registration and database module.
Awarding Ideas is a competition we’ve started to find the next great idea for the web. We’re giving away £10,000 of free design, development and hosting to bring it to life. There are no barriers to who can enter (apart from we’re not allowed, that would be silly). The competition is an example (we think) of our commitment to innovation in everything we do.