Every individual has quirks. And a group of individuals is a collection of quirks which makes working together very interesting. It makes us who we are. One fine day, to remind ourselves of our quirks, we decided to announce it publicly on our website. And the About Us page happened. It is a page we are particularly proud of. Everyone who is a permanent member of FusionCharts has their bio and photo put out for the world to look at.
In this post, I would like to take you through the making of our About Us page. I will discuss the unique process we use to dig out the weirdest facts about everyone in the team. You are gonna love it, I promise.
And in case you don’t believe me, here’s a small serving:
The first version
When we decided to create the About Us page, we just went to everyone and asked them what they would like to tell the world about themselves.
Knowing that it was a page where we wanted to truly show who we are, we got some pretty good responses for a start. The team wanted to tell the world what they like to eat, what they do on weekends and how they are going to change the world.
To dig deeper, we asked their managers for their opinion. We got to know who is hard working, who is the first one out on Friday evening, who is patient and who is a hustler. While it did give the bio a well-rounded feel, it still didn’t have that utopian feel about it.
And that’s when we made one of the best decisions in the history of FusionCharts. We asked everyone to send their thoughts on everyone else. It was an absolute riot! We got to know things about the team that we had never known before. People got to know facts about themselves they had never known before.
Here’s what it says about me:
The only line I had contributed to my bio was the last one because…well I know that I put on socks and floaters every morning…and while I feel comfortable in it, I know it is a little weird. I had no idea that I say “Ya dude” every time I have to affirm something or someone calls out to me, or that I am almost rapping when I am talking about something that excites me.
Just so you know, I have been working hard to speak slower ever since I got to know this. I think I am almost there. And I have not uttered “Ya dude” ever after…ping me in the comments if you would like to test me.
The new way – a deeper introspection
When we first created the About page, the team was about twenty-strong. As and when we added people, it started becoming a little difficult getting everyone’s thoughts on all the new members. So we decided to collect thoughts only from the member himself and his manager.
While this wasn’t an issue with people whose job is to talk (marketing and sales folks, I know that’s crude but I am one of you) but with people who like staying quite (tech folks, see how respectful I am towards you), we weren’t getting enough dope. We weren’t getting enough quirks that made the bio as life-changing as in the first version.
And to combat this, we decided to create a questionnaire. A questionnaire that every member can take home, think deep about, ask their parents…girlfriends…ex-crushes and finally come back with to create their bio. Here’s what we ask:
- Describe yourself in 3 bulleted points.
(Examples: Have always wanted to be a designer, Live on the web 24×7, Love photography especially taking pictures of clouds, Am a biking enthusiast and frequently head out on the highway, Love my family and friends)
- What’s your favorite sport?
(Examples: Underarm cricket)
- Are you a foodie? What’s your favorite food?
(Examples: Totally. Chicken biryani and pepperoni pizza)
- What’s the most embarrassing moment of your life?
(Examples: When someone pulled down my shorts when I was about to shoot in a basketball match, The marriage rituals I was made to go through wearing the clothes I had to wear)
- What kind of people do you hate?
(Examples: People who talk too much, People who are never on time, People who have dirty shoes, People who have a bad breath)
- What kind of people do you make best friends with?
(Examples: People who drink a lot, People who love reading, People who are natural conversationists so I don’t have to talk at all)
- What’s your biggest fear in life?
(Examples: Heights, Spiders, Cockroaches, Work)
- What is the biggest fear you had that you have now overcome?
(Examples: Heights – went paragliding, Cockroaches – killed one with my bare hand)
- What is your biggest accomplishment outside of work?
(Examples: Went bungee jumping, asked a girl out after contemplating it for 5 years, slapped a bully in school)
- What do you do during weekends?
(Examples: Sleep, Read and watch sitcoms, Jam with my band, Hit a pub, Get the house in order, Take my kids out)
- What do you hate doing during weekends?
(Examples: Stepping out of the house for any reason whatsoever)
- Three of your best qualities (at work or outside)
(Examples: Good taste in design, Very hard working, Am nice to people, Can make people comfortable around me)
- Three of your worst qualities…or let’s put it midly, three of your qualities you know you have to work on
(Examples: Short attention span, very lazy, smoke too much, eat too much, don’t get along with people)
- As a teenager, what did you want to be in life?
(Examples: Righ arm medium pace bowler who played only ODIs, Jailer, Teller at a government bank, Astrologer who wrote the daily column for ToI)
- One shocking fact about you (good or bad)
(Examples: Have a black belt in Karate, Went on a date with a Spanish model, Bribed a teacher at school for clearing my exams, Carrom is the only “sport” I have played)
Even though we have used the questionnaire with only three members till now, the results we have got are astounding. People think about things they have never ever thought about. They get in touch with a side of theirs they had lost out on long ago. They get to discover quirks about themselves that they never knew of.
Our quirks give us an individuality which cannot be shared or compared. They also give us our personality. When Rajroop launches on his never-ending train of words punctuated by Nilanjan’s evening call – “Pizza anyone?” – it gives us a reason to smile at our own uniqueness. When Sudipto shaves off his mustache at a casual mention and Ranajit refuses to shake hands with those he dislikes, it re-affirms our faith in us. As a company, we love Debasish’s filmy GK and Deb’s roaring laughter alike. Sanjukta’s accent will always be difficult to place and Shamasis’ world difficult to crack.
The definitions on the About page mean individuality is recognised and valued more than designations. Appreciation, after all comes in many forms. This is just one of them.