“Sorry, we’re late. We’re here though. Where are you?”
It was 9:01 and I was still on the train on my way into San Francisco, where I worked. Earlier that week I had promised that I’d lend a few desks of office space to these friendly German dudes I met at a conference a month prior. At the time, I was working at a small monetization startup called “Seeds” and traveling to conferences to meet prospective clients.
The Kolibri Games founders reached out and asked to borrow some office space while they were in San Francisco for the GDC (Game Developers Conference). I obliged, happy to help them maintain productivity while they were here and hoping this might lead to more business between our two companies.
When they asked what time they should arrive, I told them the standard Silicon Valley line of “around 9 AM”, which really translates to “I’ll be somewhere in the vicinity of the office around 10 AM, probably getting coffee.”
What I didn’t know is that if you tell Germans to meet at 9 AM, they will get there promptly and apologize if they were a minute late. Literally one minute late… I did some stalling for time and asked them to hang out at a cafe until I got there (a whole 40 minutes later).
Getting in Rhythm with the Kolibris
Despite my early morning mishap, I was later asked to join the Kolibri Team. The company was growing (and still is!), so I packed my bags and relocated to Berlin. In the first few days with Kolibri Games, I became intimately familiar with the timetables kept by the company. For reference, these are:
Daily Schedule at Kolibri:
08:45 until 09:00 — Arrive for work during this time:
The founders often show up even earlier, setting a good example and turning the whole concept of “Corporate Face Time” on its head.
11:45 until 12:00 — Lunch orders taken:
Figuring out what you want to eat before lunch saves time (a lesson in efficiency!).
12:45 until 13:30 — Lunch:
Eliminating working/eating overlap with different teams ensures smooth communication.
13:30 until 13:45 — Post-lunch all-hands:
After lunch, everyone quickly discusses their daily tasks. Then, it’s back to work and there’s no confusion or scheduling dilemmas.
18:00 — Leave for post-work fun:
Early to work, early to play, since no game developer should sleep at the office.
Being on time reduces stress for everyone.