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When you join a company that your friend has started, people will most likely come up to you, look sadly into your eyes and say something along the lines of, “Hey buddy, good luck. If you need anything…I’m here for you.”
I guess it’s understandable. Many businesses founded on friendship tend to fail when the foundation weathers away under the stress of a competitive business environment.
But, that’s what makes us unique at Retrica: We found a way to make it work.
Two of our software engineers, Sam Yang and James Jeong, have been friends with Sangwon Park (CEO of Retrica) for seven years and were among the first ones to take the plunge and join the team.
Here are some insights into how they managed to make it work.
1. Throw hierarchy out the window, but decide who makes the final decision
Creating a non-hierarchical (or “flat”) organization is extremely important. It creates an environment where everyone can co-exist, unfettered by titles and obligations.
Sam said, “Previously, we all worked for larger firms and we disliked how hierarchical they were. I felt like I didn’t matter to the company. We did not want this for Retrica because I read that workplace equality can stimulate great communication, so we strived to create a flat organization. We tried it and it was a huge success! Everyone became more comfortable sharing ideas, and giving constructive criticism.”
However, Sam went on to explain the importance of establishing who makes the final decision for the company, saying, “By the time we joined the team, Sangwon had created the app and developed a significant user base. So, we understood from the start that he was the main visionary behind the product and Retrica as a company would be most successful by finding effective ways to support his endeavors. We believed in his insight, so we never had to quarrel over who was the boss.”
2. Positive experiences build company culture
Each and every experience you share with the team helps develop a culture tailor-made for your team.
For Retrica, it was a trip to ‘Korea’s Hawaii’, Jeju Island, that set the groundwork for our current company culture.
James said, “We went to Jeju Island to escape the co-working space. The space was too crowded for us to focus in. We could literally hear other startups brainstorming. So, we decided to escape for two weeks. Lo and behold, the experience was amazing. We would code all day and talk (and drink) all night. I believe this outing helped develop stronger team chemistry. We weren’t ‘working’; we were just having fun trying to achieve our dream. At the end of two weeks, we had created the first version of the GIF feature you see on Retrica today.”
Sam added, “That trip really shaped our mentality towards work. We truly believe that people produce the best results when they have the freedom to think creatively and have fun while doing it. In Retrica, there are absolutely no limits on the kind of impact you can make on the team. One of our core values is to see that no resources are wasted when it comes to work. We love proactive people who are always looking out to not only better themselves but also the company’s well-being. If a person has a great idea, they have the freedom to pursue it and we will support them all the way.”
3. Sharing a goal and a vision for the company
Once you know what you want to ultimately achieve together, it makes everything else easier.
Sam said, “All the members on the team work so that Retrica will develop into a community in which the users can thrive by expressing their individual identities. We do not want to be known as just a selfie app. Ultimately, I think we want to leverage our fame to achieve greater things. We hope that one day we can give something back to the community that helped us become what we are.”
At Retrica, we couldn’t have achieved so much success without our shared dream and company culture. We’re actually looking for more people to join us on our journey.
Since our launch in 2012, user experience has been one of our top priorities that have helped us grow. Your feedback has been the backbone of how Retrica changed over the last five years.
Thanks to you, we are proud to announce that we’ve just hit over 6 million reviews! That’s the most any dedicated selfie app has EVER received.
We want what you want. So, we read and re-read every single comment on the App Store and Google Play.
Our latest Filters, Decoration tools (Stickers, Stamps, Doodle, and Text), My Memories, and now Discover, give you the power to create and connect with each other across the world.
Over the last 12 months, we’ve seen a big increase in activity from India and a huge surge of new users from Brazil, Italy, Russia, and Turkey.
But no matter where you’re from, we thank you for your continued support and feedback. It’s because of you Retrica has become what it is today.
If there’s a feature that you would like to see, let us know by leaving a review on your platform of choice:
Here’s to the next 6 million reviews, and let’s discover more together.
– Team Retrica
We’re very excited to show you what’s next for Retrica, Discover.
Now you can share your favorite moments through Retrica with more than just your friends. With over 350 million downloads from around the world, it’s never been easier to connect.
Now you’ll be able to:
- View featured posts and geotags.
- Discover and grow your friends list.
- Like to your heart’s content.
- Show off your Retrica profile.
Here’s how it works!
It’s easy to start Discovering. Swipe up from the home screen and you’ll see your friends’ latest updates. To help you discover new friends, we’ve dedicated the first two slots for featured Retrica users and updates from your area.
To return to the home screen, simply swipe down.
So how do you get featured? Our curation team will carefully select the most exciting and creative Retrica posts and give them the spotlight.
Your photos deserve to be liked more than once.
Now you can like a photo as many times as you wish. Show your friends just how much you care. Surprise them with a million likes!
Enhanced Retrica Profile.
Now that you can discover and like to your heart’s content, it’s time to upgrade your Retrica profile and get discovered.
Profile is where you can share a little about yourself, show off your latest posts, and look back on how many likes and views you have received. Your Retrica profile is how the world will see you.
So, that’s Retrica V5.0!
It’s a massive update and we can’t wait for you to discover new friends from all over the world. Update Retrica now and get Discovering!
Android [Google Play]
iOS [App store]
Greetings, Retricans. Welcome to the Retrica blog!
We’re the team behind your favorite filters, stickered selfie, and appealing app: Retrica! We love the Retrica community, but also know it can be hard to feel connected and heard (we feel the same). That’s why we decided to start this conversation.
Not only do we value your feedback, but we also value your creativity. This community thrives on your individuality, adventures and love of sharing.
Here, you’ll find updates from our team on new content, how to be featured, and put a face to your selfie’s biggest fans (that would be us)! Read about the next filter pack release or tag challenge, all here on our blog.