Stories from the mountains of Morillon
In the middle of October 2015 we took 6 teams out to Morillon in the French Alps on an experiment to see whether the mountains could help us accelerate our ideas.
The theory was that by being together in an inspirational setting with likeminded, driven people, we could make much more progress than if we just worked separately in our offices back in the UK (more about what we did over that week here).
Not all of us where there to build products. Antony and Jerome, the founders of the design studio Ribot, were there to get clarity and focus.
Watch the interview with Antony (A) and Jerome (J) Ribot here (6 mins):
Or read the transcript below:
Why are you here?
A: As you can probably see, it’s an amazing and inspiring place.
J: It’s a pretty good place to be.
A: Until you come out here, you don’t really appreciate what it can do to you. This is my 3rd time out here in 5 weeks and I’m starting to get quite worried… We’re out here to get clarity and make decisions on the future of our service company and the future of our product company. We’re also here to get inspired and interact with like minded people running different kinds of companies.
J: We’re also here to do lots of hiking and running and fondue eating… ha ha!
A: We’re also here for laughter.
“We’re also here to get inspired and interact with like minded people running different kinds of companies.”
What has shaped you?
A: What’s one thing that has shaped us Jerome?
J: We live in an age of distraction…
A: YOU WHAT?… MEEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! ARRGGHHH!
J: I need to limit my inputs to increase the quality of my outputs. There are so many things that we can be distracted by. It’s really important to carefully consider what comes into your mind so that you can achieve clarity and have the best state of mind to create the best things. With the rise of digital technology we are being increasingly more distracted and unless we are able to manage this distraction our creativity will be ruined.
A: We need to be more disciplined with our usage of our connected devices. We should step back and make sure that we have holidays “offline”. We should switch off our devices after 6.30pm. We need to find a balance in life so that we spend more time BEING rather than just DOING.
J: I’ve found it very difficult but it’s the only real way to get anything meaningful done.
A: It’s an investment in yourself.
What are you proud of?
A: Our biggest achievement to date was winning the Tesco account when we were just a three and half person agency…
J: Hayaaa! (karate chop action)
A: The brief was to create a mobile grocery shopping experience. We ended up researching, designing and building the iPhone experience. What took 9 months to complete ended up making Tesco their money back in a week. Something that has run through our veins since the start of our careers in this industry has been to create tools that are useful for people, tools that people got at a glance and continued to use. We’re still very proud of that project and stands out as one of our biggest achievements.
J: A personal achievement that I’m proud of is a project that marries the academic world and business world. We have a product called Coglode that seeks to take the latest behavioural research and apply it to business problems. We aim to do it an way that is really well designed, easy to understand and makes it very clear on how the knowledge can be applied to real problems in the business world. We’ve really hit the nail on the head with it. We’re on to something here and while it’s going through some big changes at the moment I’m excited to see what’s going to happen in the future.
A: Coglode.com — Brain gems for decision makers!
What did you get from this week?
A: We have been able to make some major decisions this week by getting some clarity and focus…
J: I was going to say fondue!… I feel like we have made some key decisions on things that we’ve been umming and ahhing over for a long time. It feels good to have clarity.
A: While we’ve been in this lovely chalet for this week we’ve also been out in the mountains having power walks and power talks.
J: Stepping away from the computer and out of the work environment has been the best thing we could have ever done. When you’re at work you’re completely consumed by the everyday and the small issues that distract you from thinking more broadly. So being here, surrounded by likeminded people who can give us some advice really helped as well. It’s not just about being alone in nature but also being around likeminded people whom we respect and trust.
“It’s not just about being alone in nature but also being around likeminded people whom we respect and trust.”
Find out more about the teams
The Alpselerator teams were, in no particular order:
- The Happy Startup School
- Dream Valley Projects
- Coverage Book
- Global Green Events
- Beyond The Breakfast Flock