The punky path

Table of contents

The past week I went to the Redradix Innovation Space (RIS), an internal event of my past company. It was a 3-day event dedicated to exploring new tech and innovating in any way. In this article, I’ll be sharing my experience + some thoughts on the RIS.

The event was organized into teams built around a project. My initial plan was to join all the projects and basically goof around. This plan got frustrated when I peeked into the “punky path” project.

Punky Project

This project was somehow special. The objective was to be as anti-norm as possible. We had no idea what we wanted to build. Basically, we improvised the whole project. It’s always fun to join the “punky side” and try to break every possible rule.

The first activity we did was play “camp games”. Despite how childish this might sound, I consider those games to be an essential tool for collaboration. Playing games puts you in a playful mindset; you get loose and have fun.

After a couple of games and lots of fun, we were already feeling energized. It’s weird to explain the feeling, but life felt brighter and more enjoyable.

The games had concluded, and it was time to sit down and talk about what we wanted to do. I missed the first day, so I needed to catch up with what ideas they collected on day 1.

Our product

Briefly explained, they were chatting with ChatGPT and somehow the chat led them to the idea of developing a Teletext version of Redradix’s new website. The idea sounded fun, so we went full retro.

Building a retro-looking website is entertaining, but we wanted to go further. We won’t use any new technology. No fancy JS frameworks; everything that could be done in plain HTML and CSS should be done that way.

With our goal defined, it was time to get organized.

Planning and phases

We didn’t use any kanban boards or agile methodologies. We sat down around a table and discussed the plan openly. Thanks to the games, everyone was energized and willing to contribute their ideas. After some discussion, we created a basic four-phase plan.

  1. Information. We took a content-first approach. Before thinking about UI and UX, we needed to define what message we wanted to convey.
  2. Design. Once the content was defined, we thought about how it was going to be presented. In this phase, we defined the font, the colors, and the layout of the pages.
  3. Putting pieces together. Until now, we were working in pairs, each focused on one section of the web. In order to merge our work, we needed to think about navigation and normalize our designs to fit a common standard.
  4. Deploy + Presentation. The deployment part was easy because we developed everything in Codesandbox. However, like every other release, we found lots of bugs once we started to test.

I’ll admit that this is not the best plan ever, but it worked for us. Furthermore, the most important thing is that, throughout the process, all of us were having so much fun. For a moment, I wondered why it wasn’t always like this.

Team work and environment

Despite working in pairs during phases 1 and 2, we were sitting around the same table. This single detail helped us in many ways. Communication was easier; if you had a question, you only needed to ask. Everything was discussed openly so that everyone could contribute and stay aligned. Furthermore, if you needed help from someone, you could get it in an instant. Everyone was willing to help; we were truly united towards the same goal.

At the end of each day, we had a retro. One by one, we shared how our day went based on two areas: progress and feelings. Perhaps this was the most important part of the process because we cared about each other’s mood and stress.

Everyone had their own vision for the day. Some people made less progress but gave more help. Others advanced a lot at the cost of getting stressed. Talking about this openly sparks deeper conversations about new ways of managing stress and bad emotions.

We had a cool anecdote related to this. During the last phase of the project, we were in a hurry. Someone detected that one of us was getting too stressed about releasing the project. In that same moment, we stopped and played a couple of games to cool down. Think about that. Wouldn’t it be great to have someone who saves you from burning out?

Be that person.

Always remember that the performance of the team is proportional to the health of its members.


I talked about lots of ideas in this post. You might feel tempted to try some of the practices that I shared here. However, be aware that they might work on your team.

Let’s do things differently. I encourage you to create your own methodology, customized for the people on your team. Just make sure to keep things simple and make communication your top priority.

The key takeaway is that sometimes you need to forget everything and start from scratch. Be punky about it, break the rules, listen to unpopular opinions, and do what no one else does.

Thanks for reading, and thanks to the punkies that made this possible.

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