Oct 04 2012

Operation D-Day at Blue Acorn

Operation D-Day

This past week, Blue Acorn did something different – something a little crazy. In the interest of innovation, and for the benefit of our own imaginations, Blue Acorn took 24 hours to work on projects that had nothing to do with current needs.

Every employee was given the opportunity to pitch ideas that benefited Blue Acorn, but not in any immediate way. The entire company then voted on which projects were the best, gathered into teams, and then took 24 hours to make them a reality. The event was called Operation Delivery Day, or D-Day for short.

So what did we come up with?

The “What’s for Lunch?” App

What's for Lunch App

Figuring out where they were going to eat everyday and who was going to drive them there was getting to be too much of a time waste for a few Blue Acorn employees, so they decided to build an app that streamlined the process. The result is a social application complete with restaurant reviews, maps, sign-up forms, and achievement points that reward users.

The Smoker

Every dog has its day, every squirrel has his acorn, and every office needs a smoker for bi-monthly barbeques. During the voting process, it wasn’t a tough sell for the smoker team. “What? Food? Okay!” was the general response from the Blue Acorn constituency. The judges weren’t disappointed.

Blue Acorn PFM Performance Module

No one likes a slow site, especially the folks at Blue Acorn. That’s why a few Blue Acorn developers and members of the strategic team decided to get together to develop a module that would benchmark load times and time to first bytes. How would they do it? “PFM,” said idea sponsor, Amanda Graham. “Pure Freaking Magic.” Even Severus Snape would be proud of what they accomplished.

Blue Acorn Wall Photography

For all the personality between Blue Acorn’s walls, there was a complete lack of character on the walls themselves. We carefully considered the options – commissioning a mural of our CEO wrestling a bull by the horns (literally), hanging up fraudulent gold records for Blue Acorn’s many hit jazz albums, and hanging taxidermied squirrel heads. Unfortunately, those ideas were either too expensive, too strange, too immoral, or just plain creepy. The result is a beautiful framed collection of photographs featuring squirrels all around the city of Charleston like the one above.

The Blue Acorn Library

There’s nothing quite like enjoying the written word in a comfortable place. The Blue Acorn library offers natural light, comfy couches, and a collection of over three books and counting. Okay, so we’ve got a lot of books to collect, but we’re a technology company. What do you expect?

Blue Acorn Botanical Garden

Our company colors may be blue and brown, but the way we feel about this planet couldn’t be more green. No, this botanical garden might not challenge the greenscapes in New York or Boston. However, ours doesn’t need guided tours, educational displays, or art exhibitions. It just needs a garden gnome to protect our plants from stray cats.

The Blue Acorn Arcade

“How does this not benefit Blue Acorn?” shouted Brys Sepulveda, lead architect and sponsor of the self-acclaimed “best idea ever.” The arcade holds over 1000 games from Galaga to Donkey Kong. Admittedly, it turned out pretty cool. Employees can stick around after work and get their arcade on – no quarters necessary.

The Recruitment Video

The winner of the Operation D-Day grand prize, the recruitment video, entertains and let’s folks know just exactly what they’re getting into when they apply to join the team at Blue Acorn. The video features two job candidates who are subjected to an extreme competition to win the job at Blue Acorn. While development knowledge is helpful, nothing says Blue Acorn worthy like the ability to eat a bowl of marshmallows in fifteen seconds.

The project was such a success that Blue Acorn has decided to make D-Days at the end of every quarter, so stay tuned for more of the best ideas ever. In the meantime, we’d like to invite you to see MORE OF THESE AMAZING PHOTOS on our company Facebook page.

Matthew Rickerby

Head of Marketing

Matt began his career in ecommerce at Blue Acorn over five years ago. His areas of expertise include persona development, account-based marketing, and content marketing. He has co-written speaking sessions for Bronto Summit, DIG South, GIANT, and Revolve, and received multiple awards for videography, blogging, and copywriting.

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