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How we built a Rebel culture after the company acquisition. Ep. 1

How we built a Rebel culture after the company acquisition.

The sugar and the spice behind our Employee Spotlight initiative and a little bit of background into our company acquisition process.

Hi Rebel,

For the past few months, we kept receiving positive feedback and questions about our initiatives, how we got to the ideas, what went well, and what did not.

Inspired by your feedback and our firm belief that, as a community, we can achieve more, we want to start a series of articles under the #RebelsBehindTheCurtains hashtag. It’s our way of sharing the sugar and the spice behind our initiatives with you. We are committed to including the bitter as well.

First in line, Employee Spotlight.

How we got to the idea

Two years ago, our CEO acquired the Services Division of our ex-mother company and turned it into RebelDot.

Although all of us worked together before, trying to adjust and create a new culture was a roller-coaster. It was a process of adjusting the new startup setting to a mid-sized company background. Imagine that!

Like every new beginning, it took us some time to learn how to work together in the new formula. Some of the colleagues decided to pursue a new challenge in other companies, while other new talented people joined us.

So here we were in a new context, a mix of old and new employees, trying to build a company together. But how do you do this, while also going through a transition process and a continuously shifting back and forth between the old and new?

We knew a lot about our professional experience but not so much about who we are as people: our passions, our struggles, and what makes us vibe.

We were a bunch of people bonded by history, in front of a clean canvas with new colours and brushes to paint.

Once we have identified the need within the company, we took it with us in the HR and Employer Brand annual planning meeting. For a couple of hours, we sat and brainstormed ideas on how to get people to connect more actively and at a deeper level.

After some interesting discussions, we came up with the Employee Spotlight idea. Such a simple idea that turned out to be so powerful.

We feel you, Chandler! 😀

via GIPHY

The purpose

We were looking for a simple idea to make our colleagues feel (and actually be) seen, heard and understood. Something to help us get to know each other. Suitable for introverts and extroverts, for wild-hearted and introspective people at the same time.

The plan

Once we came up with the idea, we have decided to give it a try and see how it goes. We embraced the same lean mentality we apply to build digital products: build, learn, measure, build learn, measure.

The plan was simple: every Monday, at 12 A.M, we will have one colleague in the Spotlight. That person was responsible for sending a description and a few photos.

We have also created a template for the ones that had difficulties in figuring out what topics they should address.

How it went

Oh boooy! We were so nervous when we announced the initiative, in anticipation of resistance, and we asked our colleague, Ioana, to be the first Rebel in the Spotlight.

Gladly, our colleagues were curious to know more about the people they work with, so the Slack post received lots of reactions.

Spotlight_RebelDot

The post had a snowball effect. Our colleagues were feeling comfortable with sharing more and more about themselves.

What we found out

Our Rebels are super exciting and creative people, so reading their descriptions was and still is so much fun.

We will share with you some interesting facts.

via GIPHY

Rebels are afraid of:

Pigeons on the wire;

Spiders with irregular body shape;

Heights;

Public speaking;

Snakes.

Rebels are passionate about:

Cooking;

Basketball;

Volleyball;

Cycling;

Judo;

Eating jelly beans;

Eating chocolate;

Crafting;

Working around the house.

Oh, are you ready for some juicy ones?🤤

via GIPHY

  • Most of our Rebels are from Bistrita, Baia Mare and Zalau.
  • Alexandra won Miss Universe Romania.
  • Alex had a sabbatical year.
  • Bogdan won a folk festival.
  • Vali has a vertical jump capacity higher than most NBA players.
  • Luciana has a delicious cheesecake recipe published on Adi Hadean’s website.
  • Tudi went alone in Korea at 16 years old.
  • Eli is an MTB champion.
  • Sergiu is a judo champion.
  • Petruta met President Klaus Iohannis in a funny circumstance.
  • Alexandru and his team won the 1st place at a francophone theatre festival in Sardinia.

Simply put, impressive and exciting people. ❤

What we have learned on the way

Sugar, spice and everything nice?

Along the way, we realized that the engagement decreased, so we updated the way we posted the description by introducing, in the beginning, an intriguing question or affirmation about the Rebel in Spotlight. By making people curious to find the answer, they were more eager to read the description and get to know the story behind the answer.

We also put it on hold for a short period of time, when we had other initiatives ongoing, to reduce noise.

Why do we recommend implementing Employee Spotlight into your company?

  • Quick, hustle-free opportunity to help your employees get to know each other.
  • It offers the employees the opportunity to reflect on themselves
  • It helps them identify common passion with the people they work with
  • It allows you, as a company, to understand your people more and create initiatives that are suitable for their wellbeing.

That’s it, folks!

How about you? Would this practice suit your company’s culture? How would you make it more fun?

P.S: Stay tuned for the next article in the series of #RebelsBehindTheCurtains

 

RebelDot Team

🚀You already know we love building digital products, but did you know that we built our own startup? Read the story of how we build a contact tracing and visitors management system, here.

🧐 Curious to know more about how we take care of our employees during COVID-19? We wrote an article to share everything about the RebelDot internal initiatives during these tougher than usual times.

Visidot-image

Building a contact tracing and visitors management system. The story of Visidot, a product of RebelDot.

Building a contact tracing and visitors management system. The story of Visidot, a product of RebelDot.

Hi there,

We are starting this article series to share the story behind Visidot, our own startup, with you.

As you might already know, this is the first article of the series. We are going to take you through the journey of building Visidot from the very first moment we identified the need for a digital visitor log, the decision to build it and everything in between. Ready?

A look into Visidot, the visitors’ management system

If you have been following us for a while now, you might already know that we are a bunch of creative, solution-oriented Rebels. We blame it on our twelve years of experience in building various digital products, as it nurtured our entrepreneurial thinking and spirit*.

*always looking for the next problem to understand and a solution to develop kind of mindset

Just in the right moment, this spirit was the fuel needed when the opportunity to develop Visidot (back then named ‘’we have to find a solution for replacing the paper log”) arrived.

Identifying the problem

We’ve all paid a visit to another company or business centre. Most probably, we’ve all been asked to write our name, purpose of the visit, and signature to a notebook or some random A4 format pages left out there in the plain display.

Of course, this wasn’t considered to be something extremely sensitive until the GDPR kicked in. That was the moment when displaying our data on means that were available for all the other visitors and everybody from the company, we were paying visits to became prohibited.

Everybody could see that you were coming to an interview, at exactly 12 a.m when you were supposed to be on your lunch break. *Busted*

As 99% of the companies in Romania, we at RebelDot had the same pen & paper log that was not compliant with the new regulations. So, we had to come up with an idea to make it both digital and compliant.

“We started with a clear vision in mind: to transform our visitor’s experience in a smooth, hustle-free and GDPR compliant one.’’

The challenges

Building a startup, and especially a new product comes up with multiple challenges. No matter how much experience you have, bumps in the road will always come to teach you some valuable lessons.

  1. What should go into the MVP — One of our challenges was prioritizing what set of functionalities will go into the MVP — trying to balance the features so we can create enough value and get the feedback we needed from the market.

In order to make the decision, we conducted user interviews, with the aim to understand their needs and behaviour better. The data was translated into several prototypes that helped us decide the set of functionalities that will deliver the main value for the targeted pain-point. When building the MVP, we also had to take two different perspectives into consideration: one of the building administrator and one of the visitors.

2. Designing for business centres — We initially designed Visidot for our internal use. Once we started to dig deeper into the need on the market, we had an epiphany — business centres.

Business centres have thousands and thousands of daily visitors, and keeping track is essential for safety reasons. Once we realized the opportunity, we started to think about how we can adjust the app’s flow to satisfy the business centre’s needs.

The solution

Our solution is pretty simple and straightforward: A digital visitor log to help you track, measure, and improve your visitor’s experience — all in a 100% compliant environment.

Apart from the visitor’s flow, we also developed an administrative interface where users can customize the application, gather statistics, and manage multiple locations.

The process of building Visidot

As you might already know, at RebelDot we have a well-defined software development process in place, and our product was no exception to the rule.

01. Creating the user personas

First things first, we had to understand our users and what are their main problems to solve. After having a couple of users interviews, we managed to come up with three types of users:

  • The receptionist, responsible for welcoming visitors and smoothing the registration process;
  • The delivery guy that is recurrently coming to the company;
  • The admin supervising everything that is happening;
  • The visitor.

02. User Flows

After we understood more about our user personas: their needs, behaviours associated with the actions, and how they envision the app, we started to sketch the user flows.

We’ve covered different scenarios: check-in, check-out, recurrent visitors, group check-in and check-out.

03. Wireframes

User personas — checked.

User flows — checked.

What’s next? Wireframes. Right.

Wireframes Visidot
Early-stage wireframing sessions of Visidot.

Our team took the sketches and translated them into black and white wireframes.

We must admit that we love colours. However, at RebelDot, we have a different approach. We first bring black and white wireframes to the table so you can ‘’judge’’ the prototype by the functionality and not by the shade of the blue on the bottom left corner. This is the common approach for teams that have UX methodology in place.

04. User interface

Once we agreed on the user flows and wireframes, the next step was to select the colours, iconography, and typography.

Following our vision, we decided to keep it simple and as minimal as possible.

– light shades of colours on the corners of the screens;

– clear icons for the admin interface;

– intuitive input fields.

Visidot - tablet
Visidot Tablet 2

05. Prototype

Once we had the elements in place we built a functional prototype and run some tests to gather feedback and adjust the functionalities and flows.

06. Coding

Once we have completed the UI/UX phase, and we agreed on the plan moving forward, we’ve started coding.

Using the Agile methodology, we gathered daily to discuss the progress and the bottlenecks that came on our way.

07. Usability tests

Once we released our first version, we showed it to the world. Making sure we gather insights and observing the user’s behaviour when using it.

08. Launching Visidot

The truth is that, as Buffer wrote in one of their articles until you get that one customer you are blind. You don’t know exactly if what you’ve built reached the problem-solution fit stage.

So we leapt faith and launched Visidot.

Our first client is Cluj Business Campus. One of the most well-known business centres in Romania with an excellent appetite for digitalization.

Visidot - Announcement
Announcing the launch of Visidot on social media.

We were so excited when we saw their first visitor using the app and getting fantastic feedback for the user experience.

We must admit that we got butterflies.

Visidot’s first day at Club Business Centre.

09. Improvements

Following the Lean Methodology, after we launched the first version and we gathered feedback from the users we’ve made improvements by adjusting some of the functionalities and wording within the app.

What’s next?

Immediately after launching Visidot, COVID-19 kicked in. Since our product is a solution designed for visitors and the restrictions applied meant ‘’no visitors allowed,’’ it shook us a little bit. We had so many plans, and we were talking with lots of potential clients for our solution.

However, like Rebels, we are adaptable and look every time for solutions. Plus, we built Visidot as an easy to pivot solution so we took advantage of the lockdowns to continually work on making the app better and think about other functionalities that would help companies adjust to the new normality.

As we speak, countries around the world are ‘’back in business’’ and implementing all sorts of solutions to prevent the spread of the new, COVID-19 virus.

Visidot is here for them and for you. We help you with contact tracing in COVID-19 times, making sure you have access to real-time information, across all your offices- all in a 100% compliant environment.

Looking for more information on Visidot? You can visit the Visidot website and get back to us if you have any other questions.

Visidot - extract

Raluca-Anton

How to deal with the unknown, with Dr. Psychologist Raluca Anton

How to manage the unknown, with Dr. Psychologist Raluca Anton

Advice on how to manage negative emotions during a global crisis.

Since last week we celebrated Easter and this time around is challenging our wellbeing a little bit more than usual, we thought that this year would be the right time to offer the Rebels a different kind of gift. After a few discussions with our team, we came up with the idea of organizing a webinar with a psychologist, to address some of our most frequent questions in regard to how our mind cooperates with a global crisis, and how to achieve peace of mind during turbulent times.

We already knew Raluca, as she is one of the most renowned psychologists in Romania and a public person, so the decision of inviting her to the webinar came pretty naturally.

When we announced the webinar, we promised we’d get back with some of our learnings and most important takeaways, so here we are. We hope this helps you as much as it helped us.

Processing takes time

We are experiencing an atypical time in history, and our brain is still learning how to process and cooperate with the situation. Give it time and treat yourself with gentleness and patience. Make room for your thoughts and take the time to process.

Whatever you are feeling, it is normal. Embrace it

We often hear that we should not panic and that we should stay positive no matter what. Truth is that being calm in the current context is almost impossible, and we should all acknowledge that. Having more intense feelings and navigating from joy to sadness during this time is normal (*of course, if this persists, maybe you should consider talking to a professional).

We are all different

We all have different coping mechanisms. Some of us eat more or clean all day long, while others binge-watch their favourite series on Netflix. These mechanisms help us adapt to the uncertainty of the current reality. Be open and understanding with other people’s own coping mechanism.

Our brain is just trying to keep us safe

Our brain is trying to keep us safe and reduce the intensity of our emotions through our behaviours. The human brain is built in such a way that it becomes more reactive when it doesn’t have control over the situation and when it is dealing with a lot of uncertainty. This might justify why you’re feeling more nervous than usual and why you start to lack patience.

It’s about joy, fear, sadness, disgust and anger

It’s important to note that emotions are on a continuum, so when thinking about how we feel we should also consider the intensity of that feeling and the way it affects our day to day functioning. In other words, in a certain situation, you might feel sad (as a normal response to an unpleasant situation) or you might feel depressed (which is more intense and could interfere with your daily functioning). To understand more about them, we and Raluca totally recommend watching the Inside Out movie.

Experiencing the five stages of grief

During social crises our brain is going through stages of grief: (1) numbness, (2) intense emotions like anger, denial and fear, (3) awareness regarding the new reality, (4) acceptance and (5), the final stage, finding meaning in the situation. What is very important to know is that there is no linear process. You don’t simply jump from one stage to another, it’s more like a transition (you might go back to the stages that you consider you’ve already passed).

Why is this situation different and why is it affecting us so much?

Apart from the obvious changes in the economy, the health problems and the high level of uncertainty, this pandemic is different because it is affecting all of us at the same time. It is a global issue.

Our brain is used to knowing that if we are not ok, there will always be someone there ready to pick us up. This is not the case anymore these days since we all experience the same thing and we are all trying to figure out how to deal with the new normality.

RebelDot- Raluca Anton

What can I do during these times?

First of all, it is important to acknowledge that you and everyone around you are going through something unexpected. Secondly, don’t try to minimize (oh, I shouldn’t be feeling this, it is not a big deal) or maximize (this is the end of the world!) your thoughts.

Some of the techniques you can use are:

Grounding exercises — getting your mind always to the present moment (e.g: look around the room and say: this is a chair, this is a book, etc or I’m cooking now, I’m adding salt to the dish)

RAIN method — it’s an acronym from mindfulness that helps you acknowledge what’s happening with you.

R = Recognize the emotions or thoughts that are troubling you.

A= Acknowledge, Accept, Allow. The next step is to acknowledge your distress and accept it as your present reality.

I = Investigate. At this stage of the process, you can use your natural curiosity to delve more deeply into your distress.

N= Non-identification. Your painful thoughts, feelings, and sensations are not you.

Yoga exercise — if you haven’t tried it already, we recommend you to follow Yoga with Adriene Youtube channel for lots of yoga challenges and programs.

Meditation — it’s important to give your mind a break during the day so we recommend taking 10–15 min. to practice meditation. You can use Calm, Headspace or if you are not that into this type of meditation you can try journaling or simply listening (but really listening, without distraction) to a song that makes you happy.

Truth be told, this pandemic period is super challenging for all of us and we are all in this together. We are confident that humanity will come back stronger and why not, more empathetic.

The time spent with Raluca brought us so much clarity and peace of mind. We hope the info we shared will help you too.

What are the main lessons you have during this period? Share them with us.

🏡New to working from home? We talked to Alex, our Operations Manager and asked him to share a few tips on WFH and managing teams that work from home. You can read the entire guide, here.

🧐Curious to know more about how we take care of our employees during COVID-19? Petruta, our Employer Brand Specialist wrote an article and shared everything about the RebelDot internal initiatives during these times.

The_RebelDot_team

How we take care of our employees during COVID-19

How we take care of our employees during COVID-19

Does anybody else out there want to reset 2020?

Count the Rebels in.

Until we manage to invent a switch button or the time-travel machine, the current situation is testing our adaptability to the fullest.

No matter how hard we’d all want to change what’s happening around us, the truth is that there are some things that we simply can’t control. However, what we can do is control the way we are reacting to what is happening to us.

Having this in mind, we’ve decided to make the best out of the situation and reflect on the learnings.

We invite you to go together through our journey from Rebels to working-at-home-Rebels

How it all started?

Once the President of our country announced that the Government will activate the urgency procedure regarding COVID-19 we immediately knew that we must shift to Work from home.

Since we are super social, and we loooove coming to the office, this wasn’t an easy task to do.

But we did what Rebels do best: adapt and care for the people around them.

We took our laptops, monitors, keyboards and even chairs to make sure we have the full setup needed to continue delivering the same quality and productivity to our clients.

See below a few photos of our WFH set up:

Work_From_Home _RebelDot
Rebels in their new habitat

To make sure everybody is on the same page, our CEO, Tudor Ciuleanu, sent us an official email explaining the RebelDot’s position in COVID-19 times.

We all promised to:

Keep our Rebel Spirit alive

Be available for meetings and calls using Slack

Deliver the same quality

Help each other and share tips and tricks for keeping our mental health

Keep having meetings as video calls

How we take care of our Rebels

Our people are our best asset. Our culture is our main differentiator.

The minute we saw that things are getting pretty serious and dangerous, our main concern was the mental health of our people. So we started working on a plan to make sure we cover all of their needs and that they feel the support of the company even in a 100% online setup.

Survey

The first thing that we did was an online survey to help us identify their needs, worries and the information they need.

The questions we asked were the following:

  1. What are the main concerns that you currently have?

2. What do you most enjoy about WFH?

3. What is difficult for you at WFH?

4. Do you have a daily routine?

5. Do you feel that your productivity increased or decreased?

6. How can RebelDot support you during these times?

Plan

Once we had the data gathered our HR and Employer Brand team started working on a plan where the main words were: care, support, and mental health.

Initiatives

The first initiative that was successful and we wanted to replicate was the Wellbeing Program.

We planned 5 weeks of challenges that are meant to target our physical and mental health.

Rebel_wellbeing_program
Rebel Wellbeing Program

Online Dates

“There is something so unbelievably refreshing about meeting individuals who are on the same life frequency as you. Everything feels effortless and natural. You just vibe, it’s beautiful.”

Although we are all working from home and keep the social distance, we all need connection. We already miss our talks in the kitchen early in the morning or our lunch jokes and roads to the cafeteria (how we miss our Farmec or CBC lunches!).

We didn’t want to lose the bond between us so we decided to twist our Blind Dates and turn them into Online Dates.

Each Rebel drinks a cup of coffee with another Rebel while solving the challenge they receive via email.

This round’s challenge was to answer the following question: What would you want to never change?

Coffee_dates

WFH daily tips and tricks

At RebelDot, we have a flexible work policy. So working from home wasn’t something new for the majority of us. However, very few of us have experience working from home for a long period of time.

Since the current situation is atypical, we started an internal campaign of daily sharing tips and tricks to help us accommodate to the new reality. Apart from the tips and tricks, we have also included a Daily reading material from sources that are verified.

Work_from_home
WFH tips and tricks

Resources tracker

With all the information boom around Social Media regarding COVID-19, it was quite difficult to keep track of all the useful information and activities that we can do while WFH.

We didn’t want to miss useful information and we have decided to create an online tracker with all the nice resources and opportunities we could find.

Short of Rebel aggregator.

We filled it up with the following categories:

  1. COVID-19 trustworthy resources
  2. How can we help? (tab dedicated with causes that need support)
  3. Reading materials
  4. Mental Health
  5. For parents (a section dedicated to activities/articles and webinars for parents and kids)
  6. Movies/Documentaries
  7. Online Board Games
  8. Leisure time
  9. Food
  10. e-Health

We are very proud of it and we would like to share it with all of you. You can access our tracker here.

Resources_tracker
Resources tracker

Keeping our habits

Probably one of the best decisions that one can take in times of uncertainty is continuing with the usual habits.

One of our habits is to have our weekly company meeting, every Friday at 11:30 A.M.

Back to office times, we used to get together, sit on our puffs and listen and joke with our colleagues.

At the moment, things are different but we have decided that now, more than ever, keeping our traditions is one of the most crucial things that we can do.

Every Friday, at 11:30, we open our cameras and we start our company meeting. The laughs, the smiley faces, and the conversations take us, at least for 30 min, back to our cozy office.

Rebels_company_meeting
Rebels during company meetings

We will keep you posted with more and more initiatives that we have planned.

Until next time, please take care of yourself and stay safe!

XOXO,

The Rebels

Best_Engineering_team_in_Romania

Yet another 2019 in review!
Only this time it’s a Rebel (Dot) one.

2019 was busy, hustling and in a complete manner, uneven. It had its bright highs and lows, and as sudden as it all was, we had our spoonful of learning opportunities we are more than grateful for. Here’s what we are most proud of, and we want to thank you for it!

We turned one!

This years’ July the 2nd marked one year since we acquired the services division of Imprezzio Global and became one Rebel, web and mobile development company

If you are not familiar with our story, this is the very short version of it:

RebelDot`s history

We celebrate this moment as it gave us the opportunity to bring more innovation within our digital creative spaces. Questioning everything we have done so far and most importantly, the way we have done it, we were able to adapt to new processes, perfecting our way of building digital products.

RebelDot Anniversary 1
RebelDot Anniversary 4
RebelDot Anniversary 3
RebelDot Anniversary 2

Teambuilding Fain.

Before getting into the details of this one we’ll make sure you understand the meaning of the word fain (pronounced exactly like the English “fine”). It is a word often used in Cluj, Transylvania, describing something that is nice or cool.

This summer we had our team building in the mountains. It was the optimal opportunity to reconnect with nature, relax ad rewind. We honestly think that a few photos would best describe the amazing time we spent there, so here are just a few:

Teambuilding - RebelDot
Teambuilding - RebelDot 2
TeamBuilding with the Rebels
Team Building RebelDot - 3

Redefining what it means to be a Rebel (Dot).

2019 made us question what we believed to be true about ourselves. It placed us in a zero zone from where we were free to march towards discovering our genuine self. We called on help and boarded on a trip to discovering our Rebel values. We found out that we believe in the power of togetherness, and when we say together, we count you in the mix. Care, growth, fulfillment and fun are the other building blocks of what we do at RebelDot.

RebelDot`s Values
Our values chart. Which one of them do you most resonate with?

Oh, wait! Did we double in size?

Growing in experience meant growing in size as well. Since we love a good tech riddle, we couldn’t help it but grasp the opportunity of getting more tech experience, through building digital products from a wide array of industries. In doing so, we needed more exceptional people to join us. We doubled in size, adopting 19 new rebels. We could not have done it without the skilled hands and brilliant minds of the people in our team. This is our #kudos to them!

Engineering team -RebelDot - Software developers

More work? This just meant more amazing web and mobile apps to build!

Looking back, 2019 was a year in which we diversified our portfolio, strengthened our relationships with our partners and perfected our approach to building digital products. We doubled in size, reaching a number of 60 amazingly creative people and managed to cover software development for startups, medium-sized businesses and Fortune 500 companies all around the world.

Today, we handle more projects, from even more industries and we are challenging our creativity and innovative thinking more than ever before.

We love our craft, love the people we work with and treasure every challenge that gets us closer to a new technology breakthrough

UNL Global is just one of our many favourite projects that happened this year. Having started from a paper sketch, they trusted us with our expertise and our UX-first approach to building web and mobile apps. Thus, the amazing result, proving once again that alignment in values and understanding is essential when starting a collaboration with a client.

navigationapp_unl_rebeldot

Curious to know more about what we have built in the past year? You can always check the reviews of our clients, on Clutch.

Opening a new office, this time in Copenhagen, Denmark

You already know we love traveling, and even more, we love our Rebel people overseas. We wanted to be closer to our clients and the tech community in Copenhagen, so we opened a new office right there, in the heart of the Scandinavian way of living we are fond of. Do we have other expansion plans for 2020? Oh, yes!

rebeldot_in_copenhagen

We launched Visidot App, our internal digital product.

It all started with wanting to create a digital product that would help us log our dear office visitors faster and in a completely digital manner. Today, Visidot helps office building administrators keep evidence of their visitors.

Curious to know more about our internal product? Find out more, here.Here’s a short sneak peek on how VisidotApp works.

VisidotApp - Created by RebelDot

Did you spot the Rebels? London, Singapore, LA & Miami were our hottest travelling locations this year!

Did someone say travel? This year we made sure to meet all of our partners across the borders and check the pulse of the global tech community. If we were to get through all the locations we have visited this year, it would take you a few cups of coffee to read through all of them, so here is our shortlist.

RebelDot in Sinagpore
RebelDot - TechXLR8
RebelDot- MWCLA2019
RebelDot- LA

Ending the year with the most epic Jungle (Re) Bell Christmas Party.

We love a good party! And even more, we love a themed party! Thanks to our great employer branding team, this year we managed to break any rule of Christmas party themes that might be out there. It wasn’t a retro party, it wasn’t an ugly sweater Christmas party, not even a Grinch party but a Jungle (Re) bell Christmas party!

RebelDot - Christmas Party
RebelDot - Christmas Party 2
RebelDot - Christmas Party 3
RebelDot - Christmas Party 4

We treasure our little Rebels, so we had to make sure Santa passes by our office to give them some really special presents. Here’s a snapshot from our kids Christmas party

RebelDot - Santa is here
RebelDot Junior

Now that’s a wrap! 2019 was a full year, and in 2020 we are up to some great stuff as well! Make sure you know about it before we write our next year in review. Spot the rebels on FacebookInstagramLinkedin and Twitter.

🚀Did we convince you that doubling in size did not make us less fun? Reach out and let’s talk about building your awesome digital product. Make sure you getintouch@rebeldot.com, and we will get back to you in no time.

🤔Reading this made you want to be part of the RebelDot team? We’ve got great news! We are in search of creative engineers that can help us ship digital products. Check our openings, here.

Trending Apps and technology 2020

Building a mobile app in 2020? Here’s what to look at.

Looking back at the past year from a technology perspective, all we can say is that 2020 should be at least as ground-breaking as 2019. But with a lot of technology trends & buzz words being promoted around, which one will you actually trust to lead the strategic direction of your next mobile app?

If you ask us, you shouldn’t trust any of them. At least not until you are 100% sure that whatever the new concept or technology you are trying to adopt in your new mobile application, it is what your users really need. We know Blockchain, AI, Machine Learning and VR all sound cool and cutting edge, but don’t just use them to attract more eyes to whatever it is that you are building. It won’t last.

For the past decade, at RebelDot, we have built and worked with over 40 startups and companies around the world, and if there is one valuable learning we could share, is that the real success of your digital product is hidden in the PROBLEM you are solving for your users, or, in other words, the idea behind your web/mobile application. It has to be relevant to the market you wish to penetrate. Now, of course, we are not talking about the fantastic user interface you are imagining for your mobile app or that one unique feature you are planning to revolutionise the industry with. It’s more about the weight of the value you wish to place on the market by launching your new web or mobile app.

Do you have what it takes?

Before you start building your next mobile application, here’s what we recommend you ask yourself:

What is the problem I am solving with this web or mobile application?

Whom am I solving this problem for & who are my users?

Checking these two important questions will provide the right framework for starting to build a digital product that has great potential for healthy scaling. Now, of course, it is a good idea to make sure you check to pulse of the technology ecosystem from time to time. You want to make sure that if there is a new technology that might decrease the cost of your application, ease the experience of your users of simply help you get the most out of your new built, you know of it.

Now might be the best time to start building a mobile application. Here's why:

In Q3 of 2019, iOS lead consumer purchases growing 95% over Google Play.

Beginning of 2019, TechCrunch reported that the global app revenue continues to climb, thanks to the growth of the gaming industry and of the subscription economy. (TechCrunch)

In 2019, App Store users spent $14.2 billion, up 22.3% from the $11.6 billion they spent in Q3 2018. Google Play generated $7.7 billion in revenue, up 24% from the $6.2 billion spent in the year-ago quarter. (TechCrunch)

Worldwide gross app revenue

When it comes to app downloads, according to App Annie, Google Play and iOS downloads grew over 10% in Q3 of 2019.

While iOS downloads remained stable in 2019, Google Play grew its downloads by 10% to nearly 23 billion. Google Play leads iOS in downloads by 175%, with non-gaming apps accounted for over 60% of downloads across both stores.

In 2020, Global mobile application revenues are projected to generate a revenue of $188.9 billion via app stores and in-app advertising. (Statista)
Mobile app revenues

Already visualizing your new application being downloaded by thousands of users? Let’s shed some light over the 2020 mobile and web application trends & new technologies that might help you get there.

Blockchain Technology

Being a pragmatic yet revolutionary technology, blockchain goes beyond cryptocurrencies and bitcoin. With its capabilities of creating more transparent and secure environments while saving fair amounts of money, it has reached the performance of impacting a variety of industries and sectors by changing how contracting works.

Some of the areas in which blockchain is seen to bring the most value are secure sharing of medical data, music royalties tracking, cross-border payments, real-time IoT operating systems, personal identity security, anti-money laundering tracking system, voting mechanisms, original content creation, crypto exchange and real estate processing platforms.

Blockchain + IoT = ❤

We already know that blockchain is a standalone disruptive concept for every tech aficionado out there. But have you thought of combining it with IoT? It might bring some considerable improvements to the way transactions are made, including some decreasing of risks.

There is a smarter way to do smart contracts: Ricardian Contracts.

What is a smart contract? According to Investopediaa smart contract is a self-executing contract with the terms of the agreement between buyer and seller being directly written into lines of code. The code and the agreements contained therein exist across a distributed, decentralized blockchain network. The code controls the execution, and transactions are trackable and irreversible. (Investopedia)

In simple words, they allow trusted transactions between anonymous parties without the presence of any central authority.

Smart contracts are great and all that, with one minor issue — they are not legally binding, so it is pretty hard to build a legal case against an existing fraud. And here is where Ricardian Contracts step into the scene.

While Ricardian Contracts have first been introduced in 1995, they somehow managed to penetrate today’s blockchain scene, by having this unique trait of being digital documents that can be both understood by humans and machines. This means you and your lawyers should be able to read it and perfectly understand it.

According to 101 Blockchains, a Ricardian contract is a human-readable legal agreement that once agreed upon and signed by both parties, gets converted into a machine-readable contract to define the intentions of both parties. (101 Blockchains)

A fundamental difference between Smart and Ricardian contracts is that while one (Smart) executes an agreement without being legally valid, the other one (Ricardian) records agreements between parties, having a legally binding character that is valid in court.

Artificial Intelligence is here to stay.

While AI has been the technology hit of the 2010s, it looks like it is here to stay.

AI in entertainment and media. Have you seen Robert De Niro in the Irishman?

If you kept an eye on the result of AI in creating music or any kind of art that is out there, you will probably agree with us when we say that AI has a long way to replace humans from creating any form of art that is actually enjoyable.

If like us, you spend some of your time binge-watching on Netflix, you might have seen Rober De Niro’s extreme de-ageing in The Irishman. Like it or not, de-ageing or ageing of human faces is now possible with the assistance of AI, and it’s safe to say it’s a tiny bit of all the transformation AI is bringing to the entertainment scene.

Robert Deniro - AI
On the left, Robert De Niro’s original performance in The Irishman. On the right, his de-aged face as it appears in the film. Source: Wired & Netflix.

In 2020, we are already familiar with personalized recommendations powered by AI. Getting back to Netflix, they personalise the content stream you see on the go, and this is not even a secret anymore. Processors are now engineered in such way they are capable of generating real-time analytics, offering the content an technology that we consume on a daily bases an important and personal twist.

React Native and Flutter continue replacing Kotlin and Swift for Native Android & iOS development.

In one of our past articles, we covered a few important aspects of how React Native has already disrupted the mobile development scene.

Being supported by Google, Flutter, a fairly new name on the mobile development scene is seen to acquire more authority and trust from developers in eastern Europe and around the world. It promises the building of mobile apps in record time.

Relator.com, Tencent, New York Time’s Ken Ken puzzle, Square and Google Assistant are just of few of the apps that are already using Flutter.

 

Internet of Things.

Today, internet-powered things are everywhere. It’s because we grew to love things powered by the power of the internet & connectivity and this is clearly reflected in the way investments are growing year by year as technology giants are developing more IoT apps.

Hint: If you are looking to get your hands dirty with some IoT this year, take a look at the impressive market size of smart home devices. Here is something we found while browsing around. It is from Strategy Analytics.

Ownership of Smart home devices in US homes

Final words.

Today, more apps are being released in the App Store and Google Play store than ever. While this could be both good and bad for your next mobile application, it is getting more clear that in order to craft a digital product that stands out on the market, you will need more than cutting edge technology or clinging to the hottest technology trend that is out there. Standalone, these two can’t do enough in order to ensure the success of your business on the market. Take a look at a software development process and before starting to tech around, make sure you spend a great deal of time in researching the scope of your digital application.

🚀Did reading this article made you start building your mobile app with RebelDotWe’d love a tech riddle! Reach out and let’s talk about building your awesome digital product, together. Make sure you getintouch@rebeldot.com, and we will get back to you in no time.

🤔Reading this made you want to be part of the RebelDot team? We’ve got great news! We are in search of creative engineers that can help us ship digital products. Check our openings, here.

rebelDot - leading the line.

RebelDot and Upheaval announce strategic partnership

RebelDot and Upheaval LLC, innovators of patent-pending blockchain technology the Weave, announced a strategic partnership, to develop, integrate, and bring to market the Weave blockchain, with global reach and scale.

As a result of this strategic partnership, healthcare and other organizations across the world can soon get subscriptions to the Weave, and in doing, integrate their existing digital systems with a robust blockchain technology that scales, protects, cures over time, and regenerates. The Weave’s unique shared-block, multiple-blockchain technology creates a holistic online environment that allows any organization with an Internet connection get a subscription. Access for individuals, including a secure mobile app to track personal health records, is free. The Weave brings the power of network effects, and in-place blockchain integrations to healthcare participants such as insurers, providers, pharmacies, drug makers, and devices.

“We believe the Weave can deliver on the promise of blockchain for healthcare, with a solution that’s secure yet accessible, immensely scalable, and high performing,” said David Iseminger, Upheaval’s CEO. “With RebelDot’s development experience, blockchain expertise and systems integration knowledge, this partnership amplifies the offerings of each of our companies. It’s a win for our future customers.”

“The Weave has unique technical structure, especially as an enterprise blockchain,” said Tudor Ciuleanu, CEO of RebelDot. “In healthcare, the Weave will bring new life and advanced capabilities to dated systems.” About growth potential, Tudor added, “Our customers are from many industries. The Weave can create significant value beyond healthcare – real estate, manufacturing, IoT, finance, government, and others. We see the Weave quickly gaining market traction upon release, and we see RebelDot growing at scale alongside it.”

With the partnership, healthcare and other industries will finally have a blockchain solution that integrates with their existing systems, streamlines their processes, and delivers big data analytics. Subscribers will realize a better healthcare experience, for their organization and for their patients.

About Upheaval

Upheaval creates innovative software solutions, including the patent-pending Weave blockchain environment, that elevate and transform industries. With the Weave, organizations connect real-time, real-world interactions and create network effects that empower every participant.

To learn more about Upheaval and the Weave, visit: http://theweave.io

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RebelDot becomes the first software development company to accept crypto payment in Romania

Cluj-Napoca, 7 DECEMBER 2018- Starting January 2019, RebelDot clients will be able to pay their invoices in cryptocurrency – making the company the first in the nation to officially accept crypto payments.

‘’We always strive to come up with new ideas and be the ones starting regional trends, thus the decision to accept cryptocurrency starting January is simply solidifying our beliefs. As such, this new payment method will helps us be even more flexible for our clients. The internal process to put this plan in motion was heavily analyzed and we’ve looked at both market trends and the legal context of Romania. Accepting crypto payments is a natural next step for us, as in 2018 we integrated blockchain technology (which is at the core of cryptocurrencies) into the strategic direction of RebelDot.“ says Tudor Ciuleanu, RebelDot CEO.

According to Forbes from April 11th , the market cap for all cryptocurrencies grew to $565.1 billion in 2017 and was expected to reach over $1 trillion by 2018.

“Although the crypto market has decreased steadily this year, the potential of crypto is still there, it’s only a matter of timing. As a result, I believe it’s a good moment to consider the crypto market and blockchain technology as a strategic move for every company.’’ mentions Tudor Ciuleanu, RebelDot CEO.

 

At a local level, according to a study ran by  Norstat, 1 out of 10 Romanians say they have already bought cryptocurrencies and 1 out of 3 are planning to buy some soon. In terms of the specific cryptocurrencies, 72% of the people surveyed mentioned that they own Bitcoin, 29% own Ethereum and only 14% own Ripple.

‘’We were all surprised when, a few years ago, there was an article saying that Romania is in top 5 countries around the world regarding internet connection. Now, according to the study realized by Norstat we’ve managed to reach again the top but this time the subject is cryptocurrencies. We are in top 10 countries around the world when it comes to the percentage of population that own cryptocurrencies (1 out of 10 Romanians). I think this is a good sign for Romania and it shows once again that Romanians are brave people, willing to embrace challenges. ‘’ added Tudor Ciuleanu, CEO of RebelDot.

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RebelDot CEO, Tudor Ciuleanu, is the only Romanian investor present at Crypto Invest Summit in Los Angeles

Cluj-Napoca, 17 0ctober 2018- After acquiring Imprezzio Global’s Services Division, now known as RebelDot, at the beginning of the year, CEO Tudor Ciuleanu makes a new step on the investors’ market with his participation at Crypto Invest Summit in L.A., as the only Romanian investor present at the event.

“I’m very excited that I was invited to be part of Crypto Summit together with investors and leaders across the world. As far as I know, I’m the only Romanian investor present there so it’s also a good opportunity to showcase the potential of Romanian software companies in this vertical. Looking forward to meeting as many brilliant minds as possible.’’, said Tudor Ciuleanu.

Crypto Invest Summit is the ‘’West Coast’s Largest Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Event’’ that will take place during October 22nd – 24th. The summit brings together under one roof investors from all around the Globe, as Josef Holm, co-founder of Crypto Invest Summit and CEO of Krowdster explains: “We all want to invest, but we don’t know where to begin. We’re bringing the best investors, successful entrepreneurs, smartest lawyers and accountants under one roof to show us how it’s done.”

Speakers like Steve Wozniak will be taking the stage at the event as well, to showcase the potential of the industry and talk about what to expect from blockchain in the future.

Tudor Ciuleanu is planning to invest in startups that will bring innovative ideas and scaling capabilities to the table: ‘’Cryptocurrency and blockchain are emerging trends that are gaining more and more attention from the investors. I’m looking for a startup that can surprise me with their innovative idea, scaling capabilities and passion for what they do. Passion, although not quantifiable is a key ingredient weighing in my decision process.”’  

 

Apart from his presence at the Crypto Summit, Tudor Ciuleanu will also be joining another blockchain event in Malta at the beginning of November.

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rebelDot - leading the line.

Tudor Ciuleanu acquires services division of Imprezzio Global

Cluj-Napoca, 3 July 2018 – Imprezzio Global announced today that its Services Division has been acquired by co-founder Tudor Ciuleanu and will now operate under a new name, RebelDot (www.rebeldot.com), as an independent business.

Under the agreement, Imprezzio Global will remain part of the Imprezzio Group and will continue to focus on the group’s core business. As a result, Imprezzio Global is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Imprezzio INC.

Imprezzio Global was founded in 2008 by Dave Talarico, Kelly Birr and Tudor Ciuleanu, as the offshore development arm of Imprezzio Inc. Soon after, the company created the Services department that began offering custom software development and consultancy to external clients. As Imprezzio’s focus is Marketing Automation for the Insurance and Financial verticals, this split comes after a refocus decision was taken by the board of Imprezzio Group.

 “We’ve now got two new businesses that we can grow at an accelerated rate,” Tudor Ciuleanu, RebelDot CEO, said. “My 10th anniversary in Imprezzio Global, which is today, comes with a new chapter, a chapter called RebelDot. We believe that being technical partners and not simple service providers for our customers is key to reshaping the software industry in Cluj. As such, we will continue to lead the line and build true value through innovation. Our reinvention and expansion wouldn’t be possible without our great team. With this in mind and our wish to continuously improve our way of doing business, we are also announcing one of the first nonstandard benefits introduced by RebelDot: Unlimited PTO plan, for all RebelDot employees, as a first on the Cluj IT market.”

“For nearly 10 years, the Services Team, now RebelDot, has provided both our internal companies and our clients with exceptional quality and speed to market.  We’re excited to see Tudor and his team start this new chapter of growth and excellence.” said Kelly Birr – Chief Innovation Officer, Imprezzio Group

With exciting partnerships and new locations already set in motion, RebelDot is looking to expand worldwide as a leader in software development, helping to turn technology into an asset for every business.

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