Educatly is a platform for young people to find their study abroad opportunity of their dreams. At this time, we wanted to make use of our engaged users to bring referrals to the platform. We were ready to incentivize this by offering monetary compensation for successful referrals. What we did not have were engineers to build an end-to-end referral system.
For the past years, I have always been very reflective after one year in a job as this would usually be the time when I would move out of a role in a new one. I would think about the previous year, all the fuck-ups I had, how I’d grown, and what I would need to improve going into the new role.
Have you ever stood in awe just how some companies, products or websites are able to time their messages just right over multiple channels, or how their customer service knew just about everything about you? Apps send you push-notifications when you quit the app with items in your shopping cart, websites send you recommendations based on what you consumed before, etc...
In my role as VP Information Technology of the German national office of AIESEC, I was leading a team of 4 software developers who were living spread around Germany. We had been working on our projects that we had planned 6 months ago and things weren’t great in how our work was going.
Being responsible for technology in AIESEC is not easy. As a global organization with overall revenue of 30 Million Euro, less than 1% is spent on technology. While for the non-profit sector this is actually a normal figure, for an organization whose product is so much reliant on tech, it’s a disaster.
If you’re familiar with Jake Knapp’s (of Google Venture fame) framework of the Design Sprint (as described in the book of The Sprint), you will know that it’s a highly effective tool to quickly produce solutions to vague problem-sets.