The best innovation culture in the world: The dark side of NZ’s No.8 wire mentality

At last month’s Innovation Awards (where we totally won a trophy) it was clear that the everyday inventiveness that Kiwis take for granted as just part of being a “good bastard” is alive and well. There’s some seriously cool stuff going on in this little nation of rebels and tinkerers.

Building this kind of embedded “culture of innovation” is one of the most common goals for businesses these days. So considering how successfully NZ has done this as a nation, why aren’t we producing more world-leading, innovative businesses? Sure, we perform well in small pockets – Rocketlabs, Xero, Fonterra are impressing on a global stage. Anyone who has spent anytime anywhere in the world knows our banking system is comparatively speaking, a total dreamboat. But given how many truly clever, world-leading solutions we create here, only a relatively small number of those make the global impact they deserve.

The burning question is, why?


The dark side of the No.8

In 2012, Hayden and I spent a week building a village in Sri Lanka. We were sorted into teams of ten, a mix of kiwis and other internationals, assigned to construct one house. We were building to an exact specification under the guidance of experts but otherwise left to our own devices. We were essentially very inefficient labourers, a bunch of soft office workers mixing cement with spades on the ground, hauling loads of spilt coconut palms and digging holes in the sweaty, sweaty heat.

Innovating cement mixing - just jks. This is old skool as.

Observing so many cultures working together, I got to see the opportunistic “No 8 wire” thinking in living Technicolor. The kiwis were always looking for better ways of doing things.

While the other volunteers slowly got dizzy from the wood treatments, we worked out that we could mount the poles high across saw horses and paint lying on the ground, our paintbrush swishing away blind. The Americans busily moved one or two bricks in each hand, while we’d load up our tee-shirts, or lay them all up our arms, staggering away with six. Nearly every one of us had our drink bottle stashed in the massive ice cooler that supplied chilled water for our headbands. Of course it didn’t work out that well all the time. Our painting was sloppy and the brick scratches up our arms were infection dangers (although the icy water was totally worth the dirty looks from our fellow builders).

A week or so ago, I caught the tail of an interview with ex Saatchi&Saatchi Boss, Mike Hutcheson. He’d just finished a masters on NZ creativity, having come to the depressing conclusion that we’re, statistically, not world leaders in creating innovative businesses – despite that ‘no 8. Wire’ mentality that drives us to actively look for new, better ways of doing things. The issue, he’d identified, was that our innovativeness nearly always comes with a little too much independence.


You’re not the boss of me

What does too much independence look like? It’s the go-it-alone mentality our European forbears brought with them from the old world, if pop-psychology is to be believed. That spirit may have helped us break the shackles of an oppressive class system and it could be the same reason we have so many kiwi small businesses.

Weirdly - Are NZ'ers the innovation sorry people?

Essentially, no one tells us what to do. And as anyone running a business knows, that’s a dangerous attitude. Hutcheson reckons it’s the reason why so kiwi many companies stall at the medium-sized mark. They start with a great idea, and then spend all of their energy defending their independence. The same pigheaded confidence that gives us the gumption to go out on our own also means we often avoid collaboration, taking advice or seeking criticism. This is the dark side of our No. 8 wire culture.


So how do we strike a balance?

How should we go about structuring our companies and our teams in a way that both supports that ballsy innovative spirit while also getting everyone pulling in the same direction? This is something the Weirdly team are working through ourselves so we’ve got no decisive answers for you. But here are some thoughts based on what we’ve discovered so far:


Don’t employ innovative people, build innovative teams,

Innovation is about seeing new ways of doing things. That’s the key commercial benefit to a diverse team – more points of view, more ideas, more ways of doing things, more devil’s advocates. The trick is, your diverse team must also have values that align – that is they’ve got to care about and be working towards the same things. This gives them a firm foundation that means, even if there are working style or communication hurdles to cross, sharing the control of ideas and projects feels a bit safer for everyone.


Get a companywide mission

Planeteers on a mission

Having a clear mission – and a team who totally buys into it – will allow you to harness people’s do-things-better mentality. It means their changes will at least pull in the right overall direction and that inventiveness is more likely to have a laser focus. You can have the best innovation culture in the world, but unless that energy is pointed in a clear direction, you’ll have trouble marrying your innovation with snazzy business outcomes like profitability and happy shareholders.


Celebrate failure

In innovative companies, failure is totally an option because it’s an inevitable part of trying new things. Failure must be seen as early attempt at success – or no one will risk it. There are some key elements to this. First is to define what an acceptable failure is – sloppy planning or poor teamwork shouldn’t come into it. Then think of ways you can reward people who gave a project a good crack, and still failed. Lots of companies are starting to hand out rewards for daring, but unsuccessful, projects.


Feedback happens, get used to it.

Like we talked about last week, getting everyone involved in each other’s projects builds a culture of collaboration. It basically forces everyone to get used to the idea that other people’s opinions matter and gives people the opportunity to be open and honest with each other – about the positive AND the challenging stuff. Done consistently and respectfully, this kind of feedback culture builds trust between teams and creates opportunities for ideas to be refined, challenged and pushed forward.


In short, collaboration (and giving away a bit of control) isn’t the enemy of innovation – in fact, it’s the only thing that truly makes it work. The sooner we kiwis – and kiwi businesses – work that out, the sooner we’ll start taking our deserved place at the world innovator’s table.

If you want to try out one of NZ’s coolest little innovators, give Weirdly a go. We’re making recruitment and hiring more fun and streamlined for you AND your candidates. 

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We won a blimmin’ Innovation Award


At Weirdly we’re all about culture and finding the right job and the right environment for the right people, so we were blown away to be nominated for the Innovation Awards and had a great night meeting cool folks who are doing cool things.

And then we went and won an award and nearly fell out of our chairs!

Emerging New Zealand Innovator no less.

We’re totally chuffed to be a part of this great innovative sector and to be honoured as an emerging player is just the icing on the cake.

We’d like to thank the sponsors, Tangible Media, for their support and kind words, and our clients for being brave enough to put something as important as finding and nurturing new talent in the hands of a bunch of lunatics like us.

New Zealand is a great place to build a business and if the Innovation Awards are anything to go by, the sector is alive and kicking and full of terrific people doing tremendous work.

We’re just happy to play our part.

Developing a culture of feedback (and avoiding those weird grumpy meetings)

Like most start ups, the Weirdly team are a bunch of strong personalities. We care about what we do, and are in an environment where we have to make fast decisions, and be confident in them.

Sound familiar?

Working too fast and too hard, it’s too easy to lose touch with the rest of the team. This can make it really hard when it comes time to pop your head up and give (or receive) feedback.


Weirdly: Popping up for feedback


Silos make giving and receiving feedback impossible

When you’ve been head down, bum up working on a project, getting feedback in the 11th hour – however necessary and constructive – can feel like a personal attack. And that’s not useful to anyone.

You definitely intend to hear any critique with an open mind but it’s still pretty rough.  Inevitably your hackles come up and you spend all your energy defending the work, rather than using the feedback to make it better.

It sucks for everyone – we’ve all been there.

The thing is, a lot of the conflict is avoidable if you build a culture where giving feedback is a daily occurrence. In that culture, you don’t just get feedback in the 11th hour, you get it in the 1st, the 2nd, and the 3rd.

The point here is that giving and receiving feedback is as hard as it is necessary. And from our experience, the key to making it feel less difficult is to do it more – to make it part of your everyday.

That means forcing yourself out of your silos and getting your sticky beaks into other people’s business. Sounds exhausting? It really doesn’t have to be. This isn’t about adding process or bureaucracy. It can be a casual check-in around the coffee machine, or walking back from the toilet where you sharing the approach you’re thinking of taking, or the work you’ve done so far. For the sake of a few minutes here and there, you’ll be getting and giving iterative feedback. And that means fewer do-overs, fewer fights and a finished project that’s fit for everyone’s purpose – not just yours.


Creating a culture of feedback              

Here are our tried and tested tips for making useful feedback a way of life.


1. Tell people mostly good stuff.

Remember that “feedback” can and should be positive too. Creating a self-sustaining culture of feedback means giving more positive feedback than negative. This is just basic human psychology. If it’s all negative, a “feedback sessions” can be seen as “beat up time” – hackles rise, and defenses are drawn. Jim Whitehurst the CEO of Red Hat suggests a ratio of 9:1 positive to negative, even though research suggests a 3:1 ratio. It builds trust – your team believe they’re on the same side – so the sporadic negative notes are taken as constructive, not an attack.

2. Open up, man

Silos. They’re death to culture. They fire up people’s tribal instincts and stop that important feedback loop in its tracks. Breaking down silos is a big, big job and it starts from the top. Megan Rozo and Brent Gleeson suggest that is all comes down to having a unified goal – again this turns departments into partners working towards the same outcomes.

3. Hang out heaps.

Creating opportunities for your teams to hang out makes it far more likely they’ll start that natural checking-in process. A regular team lunch day, or a policy that bans eating at desk is a good start. The, consider your office: do you have a common staff room, or does each department keep to themselves? Do people work shut away in offices, or are they working in open environments. Much-mocked team-building exercises are generally so ineffective because they’re just one day out from a culture that is otherwise not facilitating collaboration and de-siloing. The key is to build this stuff into your everyday work.


This is one of the biggest lessons we’ve learned in startup land. There are only seven of us here at Weirdly, yet even we’ve descended into a good bout of feedback fisticuffs. When we follow our own steps, things get much easier, we like each other more, and what we’re producing markedly improves.

Feedback can be the lifeblood or the death of your business – and your culture is what makes the difference.

If you want to recruit more people who are better at giving and taking feedback, use a Weirdly quiz as part of your hiring process – it’ll take 30secs to set up. 

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Join us at the Culture Bootcamp

Weirdly Culture Bootcamp

We’d love you to join us. Check click the image or here for tickets..

Feel free to share this invite with others but numbers are really limited and there aren’t many spots left so get in quick.

And if you’d like to check out Weirdly before coming along, you can sign up for a free, no-strings-attached trial by clicking the button below.

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The Weirdly Admin Panel: You have the bridge, Spock.

Hey did you know you have an admin section in your Weirdly account? This is where you can view and edit all sorts of cool stuff. You can access this from anywhere within Weirdly by just clicking on the little cog icon in the black navigation bar running along the top of your page. It looks like this:

Weirdly user admin access

In this post, we’ll break down a few of the most handy things you can do in your admin section:


View and edit your subscription

Forgotten what plan you’re on? What to upgrade or downgrade? It’s easy to do – just follow these simple steps:

Step 1. Click into your admin panel (see the opening paragraph of this post)

Step 2. Click the “Plans & Billing” tab on this list

Plans and Billing admin tab

Step 3. Upgrade or downgrade your account by clicking the green button below the package you’d like. If you’re upgrading from free to any of our paid plans, just follow the prompts to put in your credit card details.

Upgrade Button


Voila! You’ve been upsized (or downsized).

Pro Tip: If you scroll down on this tab, you can see your complete Weirdly transaction history – handy for when the CFO’s asking you to check off every credit card line item. 



This is where you control how often you receive summary emails. These are simple notification emails that give you a quick view of how many applicants you’ve received in a given period. You control how often you get these (or whether you want them at all), and, like your subscription, you can dial these up or down whenever you need to.

Step 1. On your admin panel, click into the “Notifications” tab

Step 2. Select the frequency you’d like by clicking the green button.

Notification tab


Add or Remove Multi Admin Team Members

If you’re on one of our medium or large plans, you’ll have the ability to add multiple admins to your account. This is awesome for collaborating on recruitment campaigns – you can each add notes to candidates and share responsibility for reviewing applications and shortlists. To manage these team members, follow these steps:

Step 1. On your admin panel, select the “Users” tab

Step 2. You can remove existing admins by clicking on the “X” to the right of their listing.

Step 3. You can add new admins by dropping their details into the fields and clicking the green “Invite” button. This’ll send them an invitation email and so they can log-in and collaborate on your Weirdly account.

Weirdly multi admin


Amending Your Organisation Details (or deleting your account)

This section is where you can change you go to change your address – handy for when you move into that fancy new office and your address changes. It’s also where you can change the URL that your account uses. This is the URL that sits as the first portion of all your quiz links (see the example in the image below). Also, if for some reason you need to delete your account, you can do that here too. Be warned though, this deletes all the data you’ve captured too so make sure you’re sure. We always recommend people downgrade to a free account, rather than delete.

To change your organisation details:

Step 1. In your admin panel, click on the “Organisation” tab

Step 2. Click into the fields you want to change and just start typing – same rule applies if you want to change your vanity URL. This forms part of the link address candidates see so it’s helpful if it contains all or part of your business name.



Organisation Details



To delete your account:

Step 1. On the same “Organisation” tab (in your admin panel), scroll down until you see the header “delete my organisation”

Step 2. Make sure you’re very, very sure you want to delete rather than downgrade to a free plan. Remember, deleting will lose all the candidate data you have collected.

Step 3. Push the big orangey-red button.

Delete button


So that’s it for our admin panel so far. We’re trying to make Weirdly as self-serve as possible, so it’s easy for you r customise and manage exactly in the way and shape you need it to work. If you’ve got any suggestions of things you’d like to see added to the admin panel, let us know here.


Scaling startup culture: How to grow without losing your soul

This is a guest post by Kirsti Grant – formerly VP of talent at Vend. Kirsti’s pretty awesome (we invited her to be on the Weirdly advisory board for a reason), but more than that, she’s got first hand experience of scaling startup culture in a crazy high-growth, highly competitive market. She’s a pro.

Prior to working in a role where my responsibility was to scale the company culture at Vend all I really wanted was to find a role in a company with an organisational culture that fit me. I didn’t realise it at the time but now it’s really easy to look back at what it was that was motivating me to join the company and how closely those motivations ended up being linked to the values of the company.

  • I wanted to be the best, therefore I wanted to be surrounded by the best
  • I wanted a place where my work would have a positive impact on my life. Where work and life would complement one another
  • I wanted to be really proud of the work I was doing and the impact it was making on customers

As a company, one of the biggest challenges you’ll find is being able to articulate your culture. The number of people who have launched into pitches on how awesome their culture is because they have foosball and beer is amazing. And by amazing I mean terrifying.

That’s not your culture, that’s not why people turn up to work every day. Having cool stuff around is just cool stuff. It’s more important that you provide people with what they need to do awesome work and a purpose that will get them excited about going above and beyond for you.

That’s where you really need to get to know your people, understand their motivations and have some company values & behaviours that your people can actually buy into.

Team bonding - for when your team share values and make sure you looking tight at all times.

Joining Vend as VP of Talent I was given a perfect culture to scale. It had all of those above points I wanted plus a whole lot more which made the pressure that much greater. The message from all the people was very much “don’t fuck the culture!”.

Thinking about how we managed to grow the Vend team so rapidly over the past couple of years, without doing that is tricky. There’s no particularly easy answer. It comes down to every little thing every single person in your company says and does – and let’s not forget that every company is different. This is one of the advantages you have as a startup, it’s a blank canvas and a huge opportunity.

For me, one of the things that made my role at Vend easy is how linked to the company values I was – it was easy for me to live and breathe “delighting customers, doing the impossible, taking care of the Vend family” and all the sub values & behaviours that are linked to those core values. It all came naturally because I  (fortunately) was the right fit.

Scaling the culture starts at the beginning of the recruitment process. It begins at the careers page and lives within the application form, communications, interviews and into how you make offers and onboard new employees. Your mission as a recruiter is to give the most accurate portrayal of what life at your company is like. You can’t be surprising people when they start with behaviour that is the opposite of what you promised. It’s never words and always actions.

If you have a hardcore, boring, form-filling process how do you think candidates will take that?

Filling out recruitment forms makes us go noooooo


If you build a good process your candidates don’t even realise they’re going through a process, the communication is natural & personalised, even if you do have a template it should be so good that the candidate doesn’t even realise.

If you’re really getting to know candidates and it’s authentic, the guards come down, they open up and hey, if you slip an x onto the end of an email you’ll probably get one in return.

Remember, your job is to make sure that every single person that walks through your doors as a new employee is aligned to your values and wants to be a part of your story, for all the right reasons.

You can’t always get this right but know that you need to do something about those situations where you got it wrong as quickly & humanely as possible. If you weren’t to address these situations what would your employee’s think about your ability to be up to the task of scaling your culture?

While you’re busy hiring for culture don’t think for a second that your business isn’t evolving, that components of the culture aren’t changing and that people themselves aren’t evolving. Taking people on the journey of change is hard when it comes to culture, you’re always going to have people that refer to the good old days. Knowing what parts of the culture should and shouldn’t evolve, knowing how to communicate, what to compromise. It’s all a juggle but one you can’t avoid.

Just remember, the 2nd worst thing you can do is not change. The very worst thing you could do is fail to hire people that fit & enhance your company culture.


Want to give hiring for culture a go? Weirdly is great for that! Jump in for a free trial today.

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How to triple revenue in 6 weeks: Lessons we learned from the Weirdly #growthsprint

In tech startup land, massive growth is normal. People work insane hours – and like to think that if they’re overworked, they’re more hardcore (read: better than everyone else).

The Weirdly team get that, and lots of times, we work mental hours to increase startup sales too. But the very reason we exist is to champion and facilitate amazing work place culture, so we’ve always approached this zealousness carefully. We want our people to feel good about work. We believe maintaining relationships with their spouses, kids and friends is good for business. Heck, we even think they should be able to cook themselves dinner every so often instead of hooning the lactation cookies we seem to always have in the office.

That healthy approach to work had to go on that back burner during our six-week #growthsprint. If you weren’t reading around the middle of July, this was in all-intensity-all-the-time focus on sales and growth. You can read more about it here. Oh any by the way, Dale turned 40 and Seb turned 18, we co-hosted an HR event, I worked through an impacted wisdom tooth because I didn’t have time to go to the dentist, everyone had the flu, we negotiate our most complicated contract to date, we rebuilt our entire quiz-building process, half of our people were on holiday and we exhausted our supply of confetti canons. So yeah. It was a busy time.

The first of September meant the end of #growthsprint. And, looking back at the results we can confidently claim that it worked. We tripled revenue over two months – it was a great way for us to achieve a huge amount of growth in a short period.

Our team were absolute champions and we had our best two months of sales ever. Best of all, there are now a pile more companies who are committed to using Weirdly and putting organisational culture fit at the front of their hiring process – including one of our major banks, one of NZ’s biggest retailers and loads of small and medium businesses from all around the world.

But man, talk about exhausting.

Now, almost two weeks later, we’ve recovered enough to view the experience with some perspective. In the spirit of honestly sharing this whole techy startup adventure with the world, here are a few things we learned – and that we’d do differently next time. If you’re a tech startup looking to do something similar, read this first:

Weirdly guide to fast startup growth


1.   Six weeks is too long

To be honest, six weeks was a bit of an arbitrary number and in retrospect, it was too long. We were working double shifts – we’d meet up in the morning to plan our day’s work, then have another catch up at 6pm to plan the work we’d do from home that night. We were up at 4am and in bed after 11pm with all the hours in between spent heads down, bums up – no friendly chit chat, no checking in on the world, no lunch away from our computers. That’s what the whole thing was for. We were ready for it. But, we realise now that you simply cannot maintain that kind of intensity for that long. By week five our productivity was shot, and creative energy was nil. It’s the law of diminishing returns – a shorter period would probably have gotten us similar results, with much less fall out.


  1. Goals matter

Our initial goal was one new paid sign up every day of the sprint. The night before we kicked off, I got the nagging feeling that we were being light on ourselves. So, in a fit of bravado, I waved my arms in the air and yelled “double it!”

I was right about the first goal being too easy – we blitzed past that no problem. But the doubled figure? It was out of our grasp, and we probably knew that from the start. It took a lot of pep talking to keep the momentum up and then, when killing ourselves did nothing to stop the numbers falling behind everyday, it was disheartening. I think about what the mood would have been like on the last day if we’d set ourselves a more realistic goal. Even if the numbers were the same, it might’ve made the whole thing feel like a real win. Maybe we would have come out the other side feeling energised and enthusiastic, instead of exhausted and a tiny bit disappointed.


  1. Pressure is good

On the whole, the idea that creating a pressure cooker would give sales a jolt and get us over that tricky pre-funding hurdle was a good one. The tight time frame combined with heavy targets meant we didn’t have time to agonise over decisions. We were operating on gut; ideas were dreamed up, executed and tested within a few hours and those that didn’t result in immediate runs on the board were discarded. We were laser focused on activity that made the needle move – that means we didn’t spend time finessing designs, carefully crafting marketing messages or working long-term (read: larger contract) sales opportunities. This was about hustle, pure and simple, and the pressure generated results.


  1. Pressure is bad

The pressure generated immediate sales results, but that “just get it shipped” mentality didn’t allow for much care to be taken with the marketing and product development we were churning out. We sent a tonne of new features out the door during the 6-week sprint. Not allowing time to carefully consider design meant the user experience of some of them wasn’t up to our usual standard. We’re a team who are fiercely proud of creating a beautiful product – some of the UI decisions we had to make weren’t easy. And it was the same story with marketing – necessary, but difficult compromises were made in the name of immediate traction.


  1. Don’t go on holiday

This might seem a bit obvious, but it’s heaps easier doing these intense growth projects when you’ve got all hands to the pump. In our case, two of our four founders were away for a fair chunk of the sprint and we also had one of our two-man dev team on holiday for a week. At the time, that amounted to half our team so we knew adding a high-pressure sprint into the mix was going to put more weight on the people left behind. The timing wasn’t perfect, but re-fueling breaks are important and these were trips that were booked well before #growthsprint. It’s just something that we’d try very, very hard not to do again.

The great thing was when they got back, they were fresh faced, bushytailed and ready to pick up the slack from the rest of the wild eyed, unshowered team. So while it wasn’t ideal, half the crew being away had a secret benefit – it meant we had (accidentally) held something in reserve.


  1. Get your mum to sell you

And your best friend, and your siblings. They’re already your biggest fans, and even though they may be a bit biased, there’s still power in that advocacy. Lose the cringe, and ask your mum to tell the world how cool she thinks you are. You never know who she talks to at the Citizens’ Advice Bureau, or who she’s friends with on Facebook.


  1. Keep an eye on your long-game brand

Selling was exhausting for us, and it was exhausting for our networks too. People have a lot of good will for Weirdly, and we needed to be a bit protective of that. While we made long-term brand compromises in the name of short-term sales, we still tried to come up with ways of pushing ourselves that were also interesting and relevant. Marketing 101 stuff, sure, but it’s surprisingly easy to just turn into spam monsters when you’ve got targets breathing down your neck.


  1. Sign up your spouses

During the sprint, I had my spouse on board for the six weeks as my support crew. She was waiting by the ring’s edge to tape my split lip together, rinse the blood out of my eyes and give me a rousing speech. Dale’s partner was away. She had no one picking up the slack at home. No dinners delivered, no grocery shopping or laundry, and most crucially, no one to off-load to at the end of the day. The difference that made to each of our emotional and physical well-being was enormous. So get your partners on board and remember it really sucks playing maid to an absent spouse, so agree on how long you’ll be under the pump and thank them heaps. You need them. Trust me.


  1. When all else fails: ask for help

You’ll be surprised what people are keen to do once you swallow your pride and ask. The best tactic we took was asking friends and networks to sign up for a free account to give us some feedback on the system – even if they were people who would never become paying clients themselves. We then followed up to ask if they could think of anyone who might see some value in using Weirdly and explicitly asked them to share the link amongst their own networks. Setting aside a couple of hours each day to make these personal requests to people we know really paid off and stretched us well beyond our own friend and family network.


  1. Take care of your team

We were releasing a significant new feature every week – that’s a pretty insane thing to do, so our product team were under some crazy pressure during #growthsprint – and that’s a wee danger zone to watch out for. The founders were motoring too, but we’ve all run businesses before and have experience in these pressure-cooker scenarios. We know how to manage stress successfully and when to ease up before we burn out. Our product team are young – they wouldn’t necessarily spot the signs of an immanent physical or emotional break down and hadn’t developed the tools to cope with high stress. Helping them stay aware and manage this was really important, for us and them.


  1. Celebrate loudly

Celebration is a big part of our culture, and thank god, because during #growthsprint, we really needed it. Overlaying all that pressure and stress and hard work with mini celebrations meant we kept our successes – and failures – in perspective. When you externalise your goals and make a big deal out of them – even if it’s crossing another $99 package off the window and stopping for a team fist bump, it can make everything suddenly feel like it’s all worth the effort.


Even though it took a pretty heavy toll, creating an intense, growth-focussed, company-wide sprint was a really effective way for us to increase startup sales. It propelled us up into another level and we finally achieved that elusive hockey-stick graph we’ve been chasing for the past year and a half. Our advice to past ourselves though (and you if you want it) is to use this kind of high intensity tactic carefully – remember it should feel like a sprint, not a lifestyle.

If you didn’t sign up while we were doing #growthsprint, you can still do it now! Click to set up your own free trial (it takes about 30secs) and take Weirdly for a hoon.

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Borsalinos to snapbacks: What organizational culture can learn from New York City

If you’ve been following our twitter, you’ll have seen that Weirdly’s visiting the Big Apple. Riding subways and eating hot sandwiches – we’re learning about what makes business tick in this town. In between bites of bagel, a realisation hit me like a yellow cab: there’s a lot we could learn from the people in New York City about organizational culture.

It doesn’t take much time here to see that this isn’t a city at all. Rather than a big ol’ humanity stew, this is actually a collection of villages, filled with fiercely loyal residents, who both define and are defined by the places they live and work.

These neighbourhoods might have been split along racial and socio-economic lines traditionally, but that’s changing. The city is arranging itself by cultural value. Now you see well-heeled people choosing to live out in Brooklyn, even when they could afford swankier inner-city neighbourhoods, because it feels more like them. There are students cramming into shoe boxes or loitering around diners in the upper east side, because the vibe reflects who they are. Taylor Swift even shunned the traditional park-views for a loft in creative TriBeCa – she’s so edgy.

Taylor Swift being Weirdly edgy

It’s part of what makes NYC such a remarkable place – walk a couple of blocks in either direction and you’ll meet another set of local loyalists, eager and proud to show off the features of their local patch. This is the sweet side of tribalism. You see it in the way people dress – it’s not just tourists who wear NYC tee-shirts or Brooklyn caps.

Fundamentally, this magical arrangement is because each neighbourhood stands for something, and that something attracts people who stand for that too. People find places where they belong – and those places in turn, belong to them. These people care about the neighbourhoods they choose to join. They mourn the removal (or addition) of graffiti, they create community-led initiatives – there’s a clear sense of pride that comes along with that feeling of belonging and ownership.

There’s a lot we, as business owners, can learn from the way that humanity has arranged itself here. Think of employees choosing to wear corporate clothes, proud of the company they represent and eager to contribute to a place where they feel they belong. This isn’t some kind of Office-Space “pieces of flair” cheese fest. This is something that actually happens when companies are filled with people with shared values.

Org culture isn't just about wearing sweet sweet flair

That sense of shared values, of belonging is what makes NYC hum.

Cut off a piece of that sweet apple and feed it to your own business – we could all learn a few lessons about creating culture from this city.

New Weirdly Pricing: The full rundown

Incase you haven’t noticed, we’ve changed up our pricing a bit. Our new structure should make things a little simpler for many of you, and better reflect the way you actually use Weirdly.

Here’s how it’ll work:

Free Trial

We’re holding on to our no-set-term, Free Trial account. This means you get to try out Weirdly for yourself without any time limits. This trial account lets you set up and edit quizzes using either our 30sec quick-quiz generator, or the expert level build-your-own method. You can see and sort up to 15 candidates, as well as attach documents to individual applicant profiles and customise your own header images to fit your branding.

If you collect more than 15 applicants during your free trial period, don’t worry. Our system still records all the data so when you upgrade your account to a paid plan, you’ll see your additional candidates.

Small – $39 p/mth

This is the new kid on the block. Especially designed for those of you who want some of the features available on our paid plans, but don’t need so many live quizzes open at once.

Aside from cool features like downloadable candidate profiles, the woopty line distribution analysis and the ability to add notes to your applicants, the big difference with this plan is an increase in applicant numbers. Now that you’re on a paid account, you move from 15 applicants in total, to 20 applicants per month. You pay monthly, we give you additional candidates monthly – fair’s fair, afterall.

Medium – $99 p/mth

Our medium plan is designed to suit companies that might want a few quizzes open at any one time. For example, you might be recruiting for a new UX whizz-kid and a customer success manager, while also keeping an all-comers quiz open for those pro-active applicants (see how Vend does it here). In addition to all the standard small package features, the medium plan upgrade will get you in-depth, printable reporting for each of your quizzes, our snazzy new text analysis feature, multi-admin access, and the ability to download your whole database as a CSV file. We’ll also boost your applicant numbers up to 75 per month.

Large – $399 p/mth

Our large plan gets you all the same flash-guy features that the medium plan does, only super-sized. With up to 10 live quizzes and 250 applicants per month, you’ll be pulling in so much hot talent, you won’t know what to do with it all. In addition to the standard trouble-shooting and support offered across our other packages, this large account also comes with your very own dedicated account manager. That means we’ll offer you full phone, skype and email support to help you set-up your first quizzes and customise questions to suit your own brand and culture.

If you’re keen to upgrade your account to get some of these new features, you can do that through your own Weirdly admin panel.

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The new Weirdly natural language analysis: It turns your free text questions into insight machines

It’s the final week of #growthsprint and we’ve saved the most exciting feature release till last.

Move over, outer-space, there’s a new final frontier in town. That’s right, we’re talking about Natural Language Analysis.

Ok, ok, it may not look like your traditional “frontier”, and final might a bit of a stretch, but I think we can all agree that the ability to analyse free-form text is a game-changer. You might have heard of Watson? The super-computer hidden in the basement of the Silicon Vally IBM offices? This is the kind of thing Watson is doing – it’s about pulling clues from the way people write and the words they choose, to give you deeper, richer insights into their character.

With our new text analysis feature (AKA donuts), you’ll be able to get meaningful insights about your applicant’s personality, based on the text answers they’ve submitted. That means, we’re analysing the answers they give to any free-text questions, and the “100 words about why you’re a good fit for this role” blurb, and telling you whether that person is more or less likely to be introverted, detail oriented, or emotionally-led.

Weirdly Natural Language Analysis

It’s magic!

These little donuts take the Weirdly applicant analysis to a whole other level, and we’re pretty excited about it.

This, like our reporting feature, is another tool automatically included in Weirdly paid packages. If you’ve got free text questions in your quizzes, or if you’d like to get a deeper level of insight into your applicants, you can upgrade to a paid plan through your admin panel.

If you’ve already got a paid plan, log-in, check it out and let us know what you think!

Not a Weirdly user (WHAAAT?)? Sign up for a free trial today.

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