6 Cool Home Page Designs that #BreakTheRoutine

6 Cool “Home Page” Designs That #BreakTheRoutine

“Don’t judge a book by its cover” is applicable only to books, humans and other animate objects. In the case of websites, people tend to judge them by their home page.

All you have is a couple of seconds to make a lasting impression. That’s why, we bring you to you 6 home page designs that leave one with an impression, good or bad – you decide:

Scrapd

Scrapd is a digital scrapbook that helps one organise their creative projects.

Scrapd

Source – Scrapd

What’s different:

Clean, clear and simple design (Read minimalist). The copy highlights the main features of the app and has a direct call to action. An innovative home page design! Also, open the site to note the subtle use of animation that helps to organize the information.

BuiltByBuffalo

BuiltByBuffalo is a web design and development agency.

BuiltByBuffalo
BuiltByBuffalo

What’s different:
A beautiful responsive home page design! The shape of the elements change from a pentagon to a rectangle to a square & finally to a rectangle in the mobile view.

Salt Films

Salt Films is production house.

Salt Films
Salt Films

What’s different:
They probably considered the cursor a cliche to navigate. The website uses a giant hand for navigation.
Users have to shake the salt bottles to read a few links – How quirky and different is this home page design?

Letters-INC

Letters is a web design and development company.

Letter
Letter

What’s different:
One of the very few home pages to use monochrome, delicate line style graphics to spice up its home page design. It’s not minimalist, bright or one with a clear copy, yet it engages a user to explore more – Purpose achieved!

AirBnB

AirBnB is a platform connecting local accommodation providers with seekers.

AirBnB
AirBnB

What’s different:
It’s bright and colorful with pictures with a couple of call to actions – Search, How it Works, Become a Host
The pictures run in a slideshow – enough to engage the user and take an action.

Airnauts

Airnauts is a company that provides design, development and consulting services.

Airnauts

What’s different:
Scrolling – This website can be entirely explored just by scrolling.
The unique scroll provides the user with an incentive to explore the site even more!

Feel free to take inspiration from these quirky and innovative home pages. Leave your users with an impression :)

If you want to talk about developing a unique experience for your company to go on, call me at +91-96439-82934.

Signing off!

Sherpa Dhruv

7 quirky ways to build a great startup culture – #BreakTheRoutine

7 Startups With A Great Culture

Are you looking to build a great culture at your startup? Building a startup culture at your organization? In this post we’ve captured some really cool things companies do to develop a startup culture within their systems! Read on and comment with your thoughts, after all this is your list as much as it is ours!

1) inFeedo

A “Dare To Fail” titled pin board highlights the failures that inFeedo has ever faced. After all, each failure is a learning, right?

Code Words are used to address the team members. One can find Alpha, Ariel, Venus in the inFeedo workplace. “Roger That” instead of “Ok” and “Over & Out” instead of “Bye” gives them the feel of soldiers! inFeedo’s Soldiers!

Takeaway – Learn from your failures as a team!

Takeways on how to build a great startup culture - learn from your mistakes

2) Boundless

Values of Boundless are communicated in a clear and clever way.

Team meetings end with awards to employees who have exemplified one of the four company values
The Beast (the hardest worker), The Architect (the best strategist), Indiana Jones/Lara Croft (the dedicated adventurer looking for results), and The Most Interesting Person In the World (a well-rounded, funny, charismatic individual)

Takeaway – Quirky awards can be rewarding to your startup’s culture!

Takeways on how to build a great startup culture

3) PayPal

Mr. Thiel devised this way of building a great culture for PayPal. Reviews and appraisals would depend only on the single most valuable contribution to the company by an employee.

Takeaway – Identify each employee’s topmost contribution

Takeways on how to build a great startup culture

4) Maptia

Perhaps the best startup culture hack ever!

Once Maptia received its seed money of $100,000, Maptia didn’t opt for the usual co-work space/office on rent Instead they spun the globe found a cheap apartment on the coast of Atlantic. All the five members stay there at a cost of $10 per person per week.

Takeaway – Your team can stay and work cheap if they’re together!

Takeways on how to build a great startup culture

5) GitHub

Startups often fail to keep a flat organisational structure.

GitHub has achieved this beautifully – Instead of “Managers” they have “Primary Responsible Person”
A unique way to move beyond the cliche and conventional use of “Managers”

Takeaway – Semantics of job titles can trigger a large change.

Takeways on how to build a great startup culture

6) Warby Parker

We’ve all had crushes. Warby Parker takes this to the next level to instigate “Culture Crushes”.
It simply implies the company ensures that employees have something to look forward to, at all times!
This includes lunches, team events and even fun work deadlines

Takeaway – The team must look forward to something, at all times!

Takeways on how to build a great startup culture

7) Etsy

How important is it for your team to do things they love? Perhaps the most important thing.
Engineers love to make things. They should just do that. Etsy has invested in a 1 click deploy process. Less time waiting for scripts to run. Less time worrying if the code has made it to the server. More time to build things and love the job!

Takeaway – Ensure the team does what it loves. Period.

Takeways on how to build a great startup culture

What do you think makes your startup culture stand out? :)

If you want to talk about developing a unique experience for your company to go on, call me at +91-96439-82934.

Signing off!

Sherpa Dhruv

 

10X Employee Productivity – 7 Hacks that #BreakTheRoutine

Increase employee productivity at work! Here are 7 hacks that #BreakTheRoutine while improving productivity 10x! 

I’m a serious believer in productivity and automation.

The best part is you can do little things that make life better and faster for everyone around you.

Flipkart today employs around 40000 people while close second rival – Snapdeal – employs just about 7500. That’s roughly 5 times larger workforce for Flipkart while the revenue is just about twice.

Ceteris paribus, would you agree that Snapdeal is more productive per employee? YES!

While we don’t know what magic potion they’re brewing, I’ve got some great suggestions on improving employee productivity for you right here. My research team and I spent about a week in finding these. We called up and hunted down people for information regarding techniques to improve employee productivity and we’ve really got a good list below.

Enjoy –

1. Exercise! Hack 1 to improve employee productivity. 

Clif Bar (OTB) pays for its people to exercise 2.5 hours a week. But, even with that perk in place, it would be human nature for someone to be nervous about being viewed as the slacker who leaves the office in the middle of the day to go workout. For this reason, GPTW 2015 keynote speaker Kevin Cleary, Clif Bar’s CEO, makes sure that Clif Bar people see him at the office in his sweaty gym clothes after a midday run, and he encourages his leadership team to be equally visible in their workout gear. Walk the walk.

What can you do? India doesn’t really provide a very helpful gymming or sports atmosphere, but it’s definitely possible to break sweat over a game of TT or pool. A table starts as low as INR 10,000. Go get it!

2. Learning wallet! Hack 2 to improve employee productivity.

Everybody at InMobi gets $800 annually as a ‘learning wallet’ which they can utilise to do anything — cooking classes, scuba-diving lessons, learning a new language or simply mastering new technologies. WOAH!

What can you do? Ermm..Hello. That’s what SeekSherpa is here for. Visit us and find an experience you want to take your employees on. Write us at getmesherpa@seeksherpa.com and get yourself an account manager assigned to look into your needs specifically.

3. Say Thank You! Hack 3 to improve employee productivity.

DHL Express takes employee engagement seriously in the office, on the roads and in the air. It has an incredible culture of thanking employees, whether that’s through monetary rewards, honouring top performers at its annual Hollywood-style black-tie event or pinning notes of appreciation on the company corkboard.

Recommended - Google has the concept of a Peer bonus. It’s an incredible way of saying thank you when a colleague helps you out. E.g. Employee Divya is working on a tough project, reaches out to Employee Rajesh for help. Rajesh, out of his niceness stays back to help Divya. In a normal scenario, no one would notice. In the event of a Peer Bonus, Divya can refer Rajesh for a peer bonus. The award can be a small monetary award or a BU wide appreciation mail. TRY IT!

4. Learn your product. Hack 4 to improve employee productivity. 

At Green Mountain Coffee Roasters they sent employees to Guatemala to learn more about the coffee-making process!

Isn’t that amazing?

What can you do? In today’s day and age it means – make your sales and tech team work close by. Yes, we all need war rooms but ultimately, when people talk, true sparks fly.

5. Be transparent. Hack 5 to improve employee productivity. 

Whole Foods Market not only lets employees see each other’s salaries, but the company also sends staff on trips to meet suppliers so they learn more about where their products come from and how much they cost.

What can you do? Most Indian companies are very hush hush about compensation. That’s fair to some extent given the high degree of hierarchy indian business setups have. But why not try it? Be a routine breaker!

6. Be what you are! Hack 6 to improve employee productivity. 

Reebok: “CrossFit Box”

Reebok was looking to reinforce its new mission “to get consumers moving.” They figured the best way to do that was to first get their employees in motion. In an effort to align their people with their vision, the athletic apparel brand converted one of their warehouses into a CrossFit workout center, exclusively for Reebok employees. Participants collectively lost over 4000 pounds during 2011. Globally, 1000 Reebok employees are now CrossFitters.

Why it works: This initiative helped build engagement on many levels. Reebok didn’t just sell a lifestyle, it lived it. To deliver the full customer experience, they promoted a culture of health and wellness within their organisation, making employees stakeholders in the company’s vision and mission.

7. Let people do what they like best. Hack 7 to improve employee productivity. 

Google is a master of this. The 20% project that it allows all employees to indulge in gave birth the the world’s largest mailing service – Gmail.com :)

What can you do? Give your guys a day a fortnight off to start with to allow them to do whatever they want. The whole office needn’t be off and this can be done in rotation.

I really hope the above hacks work out for you. I feel they would. Call me at +91-96439-82934 if you want to talk more.

– Dhruv (SeekSherpa.com)

7 quirky hiring techniques that #BreakTheRoutine

Hiring? Check out these 7 Hiring Techniques that are quirky and powerful!

1) Hire People From Your Community – Hiring Techniques 101

At DuckDuckGo, an anonymous search engine based outside Philadelphia, new employees always come from the community of users and hackers already using the product. “As a small, tight-knit team, culture fit is the most important thing and that’s why we only hire full-time staff from within,” says Gabriel Weinberg, CEO of DuckDuckGo. “I call this process ‘inbound hiring.’”

Your AI – Go through your mailers “careers@yourcompany.com” and “info@yourcompany.com” and your twitter feed to locate prospects. You should also use mailers to your community every time jobs open up. These are people who LOVE your product, what better hiring technique could there be!

2) One of them. – Hiring Techniques 101

This is a really interesting story – “I had a fun interview at McKinsey & Co. We were 8 interviewees in a conference room, with pizzas in front of us. There were two interviewers in isolated rooms, who were calling us one at a time. One of the interviewers arrived an hour late, so effectively there were going to be 7 interviews before lunch, and 9 after. We interviewees did not know this — and everyone, except me, got interviewed before lunch.

No one really understood why I wasn’t interviewed yet. Long story short, we started having lunch. I assumed we should be using forks and knives to eat the pizza — this was McKinsey & Co. Apparently, it was only me who was using silverware.

We started talking, discussing old-heard stories of bizarre McKinsey interviews, and how I haven’t been called yet, wherein I made a remark — “How would you guys feel if I was an interviewer, and have been observing you for the past 3 hours?”. If I remember correctly, 2 slices of pizza landed on the floor, 3 of the interviewees immediately picked up silverware, and the other 2 almost ran out of the conference room!”

Sourced from Quora!

Your AI – Why not? Try it. In the room your candidates are sitting, plant your person, have them observe the candidates.

3) Zappos.com – Hiring for Culture fit – Hiring Techniques 101

Zappos has two sets of interviews: the skills interview and the culture interview, and candidates must pass both. The culture interview is based on Zappos’ 10 Core Values.

If an applicant doesn’t pass it, they don’t move forward in the process, regardless of how much of a technical fit they may be. Past behaviors and touchpoints that come up during the interview that are contrary to the core values are red flags. Read more.

Your AI – Establish your 360 culture report and what being a fit means. Select someone who knows your culture well. Have them conduct the culture interview.

4) Oneday@yumist – Hiring Techniques 101

The new kid on the block in food tech – Yumist – welcomes you to work at Yumist for a day as a part of the hiring process.

It’s a pre offer process where you work in the office in your specific job role or similar job role that day allowing the company to understand how good you are at your work and at interacting with fellow team mates.

Your AI – Figure out jobs you can do this for, do it.

5) Ask Full-Time Recruits To Start Part-Time – Hiring Techniques 101

According to Kik CEO Ted Livingston. “Kik has a very different approach. We still do interviews, but the most important part of our decision is our part-time process. When we have candidates we’re seriously considering, we offer them the opportunity to work with us on a part-time basis on a project related to what they would be doing if they joined the team full-time. We pay them for their time, and we set it up so that they work side by side with their potential future colleagues. They join us for the meals we bring each day, so they have a real chance to get to know the company—and we get to know them at the same time.”

Wow.

Our only doubt is how often is this feasible?

Your AI – Look at job roles where a perfect fit is most important. Devise a way in which it can work out full time. Execute.

6) Zomato Trial Week – Hiring Techniques 101

This is what the website reads – “Are you (almost) a fresh BE/BS/BTech CS grad? Take a dive into the deep end by spending a week at Zomato, working with our engineering and product teams on real, live projects that are a part of our development pipeline. Go ahead and apply, because once you’ve been picked, we take care of everything – your travel to and from our headquarters in Gurgaon, your stay here, and food (obviously).”

Isn’t that amazing? Get a chance to know your potential hires up close. Have them work on Ghost projects.

Your AI – Identify areas in your product cycle that can use this sort of support and ideation, put it in the open during trial week.

7) Breaking Bread – Hiring Techniques 101

You’re most conscious when you eat. Figure out your comrades best when you go out for a meal. Be it momos at the corner or a full blow fine dine. This is specially popular with consultants. :)

Your AI – Identify three quirky food places, go for dinner with prospects there. See if there is a change in your hiring ability. Roll out.

 

 

 

5 Job Rejection Letters That Break The Routine

Sending a job rejection letter?

It’s not easy. There’s a small bead of sweat that trickles down your temple as you begin to write that personalised job rejection letter. You’re not happy about writing this rejection letter, but then you have no other choice.

Here are 5 ways you can make the rejection letter more meaningful for the person at the other side. Write something so simple yet so powerful that it leaves a lifelong impression.

Before you do that there are three things you need to keep in mind –

1. Below you will find formats of letters you can use but you shouldn’t use them as is. Modify them as per your style or speaking or thinking. Throw in the ‘I’ instead of the we.

2. Understand the person’s state of affairs before you send a rejection letter. If a person is hell bent on your company they will never take any other company, so our suggestion would be not to suggest alternatives. Instead, coach the person on his or her skills that you felt could improve.

3. Encourage. Encourage. Discourage. – Don’t lead candidates down a blind alley. Be clear about what they will get for they are. More candidates will thank you for the reality check.

Here are 5 job rejection letter samples that you can use to break the routine –

1. The return offer + watch a cool video job rejection letter

This is what inFeedo uses for any rejections they need to send out. The brackets are additions we’ve done to explain the letter –

Subject: Abhinav’s (personalisation) Application Status at inFeedo / Startup backed by Ex Google Country Head (building credibility)

Body
Thank you for applying Abhinav, but we’re currently only looking for Frontend Web Designers and PHP Developers with 1yr+ experience who can work in NCR and visit our Gurgaon office for an interview within the next 7 days (broad reason for rejection). 
You can still help us by referring a friend and earn Rs. 10,000 if he/she gets hired. (giving you something in return for having taken the time to apply)
Would love to consider your application in the future. (hope)
Also, looking at your profile, I think you’ll find this Ted Talk interesting: https://youtu.be/nLe-8y7Tddk
(pointing you in the direction of something that might make sense for you to watch – typically this could be a video that you had watched at some time that moved you)
Cheers and all the best for your future endeavours!
(friendly close)

2. “There are other jobs available and we’re not the end of the world” – Job rejection letter 

Something what Akosha uses -
Thanks a lot for taking out the time to fill in the form – we truly appreciate the amount of effort that you put in. (no personalisation is a negative)

We quickly (should avoid using words quickly or cursory) went through your resume and the responses that you had filled in but after discussing it internally, we regret to inform you that you have not made it to the next round. Of course, we make mistakes at times, but if you were in our position, you would optimize for efficiency too. (putting you in their shoes, “what would you have done?”)Don’t worry that it didn’t work out with Akosha (we’re not the end of the world). We’ve found some other good startups who are hiring as well – in case you truly would like to start your career at a startup.
Here are some other startups you can check up:
Limetray – Restaurant SaaS business
Hirist – India’s best startup jobs site
Adattor – CA consulting firm for startups
Morpheus – have a look at their portfolio companies
Sequoia – have a look at their portfolio companies
(giving you a lot of options to work with which is awesome!)
Best of luck with your search.

3. The “We chose somebody else and we’re frank about it” – Job rejection letter 

A number of times you have to be honest about why you didn’t pick the candidate and whether you actually found someone else to fill in the shoes. We loved this letter from Marsdd.
Dear Dhruv, (personalisation)
Thank you for taking the time to speak to us about the position, CEO.We regret to inform you that Google will not be pursuing your candidacy for this position. Though your qualifications are impressive, the selection process was highly competitive (son, you tried, but you didn’t finish first) and we have decided to move forward with a candidate whose qualifications better meet our needs at this time(you’re not worse, he or she’s just better at this time). We thank you for your interest in Google and wish you all the best in your future endeavours.Regards,

Mr. Schmidt
Director

4. The “We’ve got another opening for you” – Job rejection letter.

A lot of times you’re wondering if the candidate could actually fit another role. Don’t worry about sounding pompous, suggest alternatives to your candidates.
Hi Dhruv! (personalisation and familiarisation)
Thanks so much for dropping in, really appreciate your time. (respecting the candidate)
We were discussing your resume and the interview you gave, great stuff by the way (positive tone), and we have some good news for you. We would like you to apply for a few new roles that are coming up at Google. I’ve already got your resume with me and with your approval I can go ahead and share them with the concerned department. Yes?
I’m sorry I can’t find space in my department right now, there’s just about enough resources we have going here. (do inform the candidate about the situation)
Thanks Dhruv,
Best,
Tom

5. The “Rejecting a candidate you really liked” – Job rejection letter

We really liked this letter from the folks at Susan Heathfield.
Dear Dhruv (personalisation)The Johnson Company interview team (all of us!) wants to thank you for taking the time to participate in our hiring process through the second interview stage. This letter is to let you know that we have selected another candidate. (Don’t hide the truth)You were an exceptional candidate for our job and we hope that you apply for openings at Johnson Company for which you qualify in the future. (you’re good and we don’t want to let you go) While you were not selected for the current opening, the interview team did not make this decision lightly. Your future applications will receive thorough review. (you’re not stuck in a recursive system)

Again, thank you for taking the time to come to Johnson Company to meet our interview team. We enjoyed meeting you and our discussions indicated that you have much to offer your next employer. (personalise this a little bit).

We wish you both personal and professional success in your job search and in the future. We appreciate your interest in our organization.

Regards,
Larry
CEO, Google

These job rejection letters might help #BreakTheRoutine. :)
Would appreciate your thoughts in the comments  below, and if you ever need to get on a quick call and discuss how you can break the routine at your company just buzz me (Dhruv) at +91-96439-82934.
Thanks for reading.