The end of the year always seems to creep up on us - even when one’s really looking forward to it, somehow it’s just there all of a sudden with no warning. It’s only a few days until Christmas, and already next week we’re gonna turn a new leaf and start the new year. What did the year 2021 have in store for us and MyNolla?
From two to three
The year started with Miska and Lennart moving forward with MyNolla, taking it all the way to production. Product development progressed at a steady pace, and MyNolla was planned to be launched in the fall. With things progressing, Miska and Lennart wanted to add a new employee to their ranks, and thus Sara started at Riot Innovations in August. At the same time, it was clear MyNolla’s launch was forced to be delayed. With the raw material shortage and energy crisis, production slowed down and the launch needed to be pushed to next year. Little did we know it would actually turn out to be the best. The couple extra months gave us more time to finalize, test and assemble the prototypes and be more prepared to start with larger batches.
Going from two to three might sound easy enough and simple, but actually the fewer people there are in a company the more challenging it is to add new ones. Anyone joining the ready-made tight team has to fit there, because collaboration happens daily with the whole group. For us, working together not only means things develop, but plenty of laughter, having fun and inspiring each other daily.
One of the things making MyNolla and Riot Innovations so unique is the way they were created. They are underpinned by a solid friendship, challenging each other, sharing the same key values, and a clear goal that the entire team is striving for. The means and ideas may be different, and the discussions can heat up, but it is precisely by challenging each other that we have reached this point. And that’s the thing that will keep us rolling in the future as well. Wanting to do things differently, think outside the box and always asking ourselves and each other why keeps us moving forward rather than just settling with what is.
In short, Riot Innovations is in great shape and fully motivated from top to bottom to keep going at it with MyNolla.
Still living with a pandemic
2022. Who knew we’d still be in the same unknown situation as a year ago. Two years ago, the word pandemic was known from action movies and most of the population hadn’t even heard of corona viruses. In two years, the situation has become more or less a new normal, although nothing about it is normal. We might have gotten used to the masks, but social distancing and not seeing people can never be normal, and neither it should. Who knew it would last this long. The pandemic has surely been a big part of this year, as well as the one before, but we are hopeful next year will finally make a turn for the positive.
For us, the pandemic with all its restrictions has not caused as much trouble as some others. We started the year with just two people, and after adding a third in August, the situation had improved a bit and given us more flexibility to see each other and actually use the office space for a while. Remote work has always been a part of the way we do things and corona doesn’t really have anything to do with that. But then again, being just three people, we can meet at the office a couple times a week and still collaborate face to face when needed without the complexity of too many people in the same space at once. Hybrid model has been our way all the way.
For us, social distancing shows mostly in the way we see other people and create new contacts. Video meets and phone calls are an efficient way to reach out to people and keep everyone updated of the going ons, but leaves too much out. We really hoped to participate in some fairs and happenings this year and really show MyNolla off with the prototypes we have, but that was not once again possible. Habitare got cancelled and moved to next year, whereas Slush did happen, but we did not feel good about participating in an event with thousands of people. Since MyNolla wouldn’t have been available for purchasing at this year's events, it was not too big of a deal, but let’s keep our fingers crossed next year will open those opportunities up again.
Building a operational base
Mostly every major event concerning MyNolla took place this year. Last January we were facing a new year with multiple challenges ahead, and today, here we are. The last twelve months have taken us from product development to launching, and basically given our company a mission, structure and content. Most of all, we have a perfectly clear mindset of what we are doing and what we want to achieve with it.
With the product launch, some creativity has been needed. Schedules switching and surprises lurking around the next corner, quick reactions, focusing on the right things and prioritizing are skills that should not be underestimated. For us, the hardest part has been learning to let some things be. Not forever, but for now. When you’re eager and impatient to get the ball rolling and see your ideas form into reality before your eyes, it can be daunting to leave them behind. Then again, the amount of ideas we have will surely keep us busy for the next several decades.
This year, we’ve learned how to bring a new product to the market. Next time we’ll know what it takes, how to prepare and take all the small details into account. We have learned some lessons and can ease the way. Surely there are things we’ll want to keep looking into, such as 100% recycled materials to make MyNolla completely eco-friendly. At this moment, we are very happy with what we’ve got and immensely proud of the way MyNolla turned out. We have chosen the best we can with what is available right now, and that’s what we’ll keep doing in the future. With the change of attitude we’ve seen happening in the industry as well as government level requirements being issued, the future seems promising. And next year should be very interesting indeed.