One like no other! The “Day Of New Ideas” at Runtastic.
Magazine Contact #22
From the simple beginning as a start-up company of four Austrian students in 2009, Runtastic has been able to write a fantastic success story in the past six years: The original idea was to develop an app for hobby runners which provides information on how far, how fast and where one has run. Meanwhile, Runtastic is an international success with over 160 million downloads and more than 80 million registered users on runtastic.com. It also offers various hardware products and online services, in addition to a broad range of apps from the health & fitness sector. The DONIs (Day Of New Ideas) have contributed significantly to this success. According to Florian Gschwandtner, one quarter of the founding members and Runtastic CEO, the DONIs have given birth to many new ideas since they were introduced in the year 2012. Some of these ideas have been realised as successful projects. For this reason the monthly “Day of New Ideas” has become a fixed component at Runtastic.
What is a “Day of New Ideas”?
The English title of “Day of New Ideas” sounds a bit more cumbersome in German, which is by no means the case. It is much more a matter of a smart strategy to encourage ideas, innovations and team spirit in a company which, by the way, is also a whole lot of fun.
How does a DONI work?
When all workplaces are abandoned and lively conversations and exciting discussions can be heard in small scattered groups, then it is the last Thursday of the month at Runtastic. The work hours to come are characterised by creative brainstorming. Employees from different departments gather together in teams to develop projects, pursue new visions or develop proposed changes.
Preparations begin three days prior to the actual DONI. Suggestions, proposals and ideas are introduced by the employees. They are free to decide which of the projects they would like to participate in. The company is completely open to any proposed topics – nearly everything is permitted as long as it has something to do with Runtastic – thus, a diversity of approaches and ideas emerges.
Starting gun: Thursday, 8:00 a.m. All of the proposed topics are briefly reviewed to ensure that every employee is allocated to a project. These are then discussed, designed and worked on to one’s heart’s content in a motivated atmosphere at a freely chosen workplace. The interdisciplinary composition of the employees results in a unique, innovative climate. Hence, for example, interns work together with software developers, and colleagues from human resources work with employees from the translation department. It is left up to the teams how they tackle and process their topics. The result of the free work approach is that it is no rarity that entirely new directions are developed for projects or some groups may even reassemble. 3:30 p.m. Showtime! The results of the individual groups are introduced in English in three-minute presentations. Afterwards, Runtastic arranges a cosy get-together with drinks and snacks to reflect on, discuss and exchange experiences, projects and results of the day.
Successful! The DONIs have proven themselves – the opportunity to work freely and think laterally has yielded numerous successful projects. For example, the idea of story running was born and further developed during the DONIs. The aim was to offer sports enthusiasts a special running experience by putting them into the story as protagonists – entirely in contrast to a classic audio book. The diverse story runs involve the entire body, pass the time and motivate. There are more than 16 versions already, one of which was created in cooperation with Hollywood.
Runtastic is a leading company in the field of digital health & fitness. Over 160 million app downloads and more than 80 million registered users on runtastic.com speak for themselves. Regardless of whether one would like to lose some weight, be more physically active or improve the quality of their sleep – useful tips and inspirations to reach personal goals can be found on the Runtastic blog!