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Mobile Officing Extreme

Written by Mark Forrester on March 4, 2010 News.

Woo on the slopes

Late last year I was sitting at the barber shop, getting a haircut. The barber felt obliged to ask me what I do for a living. I tried to explain to him, in a non-technical way, how I “designed websites”, and managed the business with my 2 business partners in Norway and Cape Town… who I’d only met face-to-face a handful of times.

Of course the conversation went dead then as he was obviously a little confused by this internet thing I did. I quietly kept thinking about our rather unique business, and how completely mobile we actually are. Why don’t we really take advantage of the perks of mobile officing?

It was cold and wet outside, typical London weather. I thought where would I ideally be right there and then? Surprisingly I thought I’d like to be somewhere even colder… The Alps. Skiing.

I went back home and wrote a quick email to Magnus and Adii saying something along the lines of “let’s take advantage of our internet-based business and take it somewhere completely different for a week or two. Let’s try and take the core team with us and have a good team build, brainstorm over our plans for the rest of the year, and watch each other wipe out on icy slopes. All the while documenting the journey for our users, and site visitors, to find out about the other side of our team.”

Naturally they didn’t take much persuading.

4 and a bit months later, after much research, we’ve booked a trip for the 6 of us to the Saalbach resort in the Austrian Alps. We leave tomorrow night.

Yup, it’s short notice. But we are internet based business. We’ll still be contactable over all the channels we usually are. We’ll be answering email, designing themes, supporting themes and working on marketing strategies. All the while having some fun.

We’ve built a site dedicated to the adventure, and it’s built on our latest micro-blogging Tumblog themes. Meaning you can expect lots of bite-sized posts, photos and videos, plus some exciting new Tumblog functionality that we’ll be announced during the week away.

Time to pack.

Follow the adventure: Between 6 and 13 March 2010 on our Woo on the Slopes blog.

23 Responses

  1. JohnONolan
    March 4, 2010 at 5:33 pm #

    Such a cool idea guys, really looking forward to reading the updates as you go!

  2. Paul
    March 4, 2010 at 5:36 pm #

    Massive jealousy brewing in the online world, guys… Good for you and well done! Have a fantastic time.

  3. Gilbert
    March 4, 2010 at 5:42 pm #

    Nice guys. Hope you have a great trip. Looking forward to seeing the pics.

  4. Dave
    March 4, 2010 at 5:50 pm #

    Just back some snowboarding 🙁

    I was in Austria last year, great spot, Cheap and Great food!! Maybe you should use your Postcard theme and travel around the globe while working also 😉

    • Mark Forrester
      March 4, 2010 at 5:53 pm #

      We thought about that, but seeing we in one location for the week the Google Maps integration would be a bit repetitive.

      We sure will if we plan more trips later down the line.

      • Dave
        March 4, 2010 at 6:45 pm #

        Remember to have plenty of jagermeister before hitting the slope! Cushions the fall and relaxes your stance 😉

        • Mark Forrester
          March 4, 2010 at 6:50 pm #

          Thanks for the tip Dave. We’ve taken note 🙂

        • Magnus
          March 4, 2010 at 7:13 pm #

          They don’t call me Magmeister for nothing 😉

  5. Jeffro
    March 4, 2010 at 5:50 pm #

    Sounds familiar to the retreats that Automattic takes. Nothing beats face to face work and communication to get things done. Have fun guys.

  6. Enk.
    March 4, 2010 at 5:53 pm #

    Wow, cool.
    I’ve just returned home from a snowy week too. I was at approx 8000ft and it was an awesome adventure. Hope you have an awesome mobile business adventure too ! 😉

  7. James Deer
    March 4, 2010 at 6:03 pm #

    I was in Saalbach a couple of years ago. Lovely place to go skiing/boarding. Enjoy yourselves.

  8. velflex
    March 4, 2010 at 9:36 pm #

    really trying to dislocate that shoulder again hey Mr Forrie, take it easy! We should consider a joint venture with the co. I work for ‘AtPlay’ as it’s aptly named for your ‘work experience’, maybe next time. Good luck bud, chat soon…

    • Mark Forrester
      March 5, 2010 at 1:07 am #

      Yeah expect some photo posts from the medic centre.

  9. Chuck Miller
    March 5, 2010 at 3:04 am #

    Sounds like a lot of fun. Have a great time. Oh, and by the way, any chance your tweaked version of Cinch will make it into an update of the theme? I’m really interested in the centered design with sidebar on the right.

    • Mark
      March 5, 2010 at 10:35 am #

      We’ll definitely contemplate releasing something similar after the trip. 🙂

      • Chuck Miller
        March 5, 2010 at 4:29 pm #

        That would be excellent! I look forward to checking it out for my personal blog when available. Enjoy the slopes!

      • Chuck Miller
        March 18, 2010 at 7:12 pm #

        Hey, Mark!

        Now that you guys are back from the ski trip, have you given any further thought to releasing a modified version of Cinch along the lines of the centered version with right sidebar you used on the Woo Slopes site? Maybe as a chid theme? Thanks!

  10. Japh
    March 5, 2010 at 4:42 am #

    This is a brilliant idea, Mark. One of the things I like about remote working, is that it really doesn’t matter where you are or what you’re doing for the rest of the time, business can carry on as usual!

    Looking forward to following the adventures 😀

  11. Thomas Acosta
    March 5, 2010 at 11:55 am #

    have fun and come back in one piece… 🙂

  12. Wendy
    March 5, 2010 at 12:55 pm #

    AND its a tax perk!!! Not stoopid you guys… Enjoy!
    How do I become part of your core team? Yeah I was also wondering about your popped shoulder.

    Have fun!!

  13. Alex Navas
    March 5, 2010 at 8:24 pm #

    Gotta love that life.

    Do what you gotta do where you gotta do it.

  14. mechanical engineer
    March 6, 2010 at 9:52 pm #

    it is great man

  15. Ed
    March 7, 2010 at 3:00 am #

    enjoy Saalbach guys – it’s a great spot! I worked from there for a week last year too – ahh the benefits of running a footloose and fancy internet business 🙂