“A Guatemalan, a Ukranian, a German, a Polish, an American and a Swiss walk into a bar in Sofia, and order some drinks...” Now, you might think that some weird dad joke will come after this line, but this is basically what our month in Bulgaria looked like every Friday night. The rest of the week…we work and code.
So you might be asking how did all these people end up in Sofia drinking together. Well, the answer lies in cryptocurrency, taxes, an expired visa, horrible food, an awesome hacker house, and a very odd group of individuals meeting up together. Follow me on this journey.
How it all began…
So if you haven’t heard of Accointing by now, you:
a) probably haven’t done your crypto taxes
b) you’re not tracking your portfolio and really have no clue how much money you have invested in crypto.
Now, everyone in Accointing has a similar background, the majority of us were always sort of mavericks in our industries: technology, FMCG, consulting, AI, etc., always trying to defy the status quo and coming up with new ways of doing things, but we would be either shut down by the system or didn’t quite have the best manner to say things. Crypto provided us the way to do so. By some miraculous event and the alignment of the crypto planets, that month in Bulgaria worked out perfectly. It was the first time we would all meet up- no mutual friends, no mutual backgrounds, foreigners in every way…and it was great.
So the hacker-house was a 4 story building with 9 rooms. We had a dining room table so we could have our meals together (we ate together more than we probably do with our families). We had a living room for Gitlab issues review and presentations. It had everything you expected from a hacker house (it’s own bar included). We basically ate pizza every other day, and when delivered, orders were always mixed-up because they came back written in Bulgarian. Still, there was no way of complaining… because obviously, they would only speak Bulgarian. Sharing meals together felt like family or long time friends. We made that house our home for those 3 weeks very fast.
So the company is comprised of people from Guatemala, Germany, Switzerland, Ukraine, Poland, and the United States. The company language is English, so you can imagine that some English words might sound different depending on where you come from. By the third day, we managed to decipher words through the accents. After getting the user stories, we all headed to work without any constraints. Progress was being made…very fast. The designers were working with the app developers. The project manager was able to precisely explain what features would look like. There were no ifs or buts. Things would just get done, but on Friday nights…we would party. Our nights would all start with either Guatemalan Rum or Ukrainian Vodka, some board game (usually Secret Hitler). Then, we would head out to the bars in Sofia. I will just say that some people left quite a big impression of their drinking abilities and some others…not so much.
Parting ways (but we will always have Slack)
Those weeks were the most intense weeks for the team. Working very long hours a week, basically waking up, getting some coffee, eating your breakfast, and getting to work. We wanted to get things done, and we need to take advantage that we were all there. It was nice to get recognition from your teammates for a job well done and fix it fast when you had a couple of bugs. We realized that even though we’ve always been so far away from each other, we would still laugh and share the same jokes we did through Telegram and Slack.
The last week was the hardest: you miss home, your family, girlfriend, you miss your dog, regular food, etc. However, the truth of the matter is that we all came in as strangers to that house, and walked out as colleagues and friends. I don’t know what your job is like and what you are doing today. Still, for me, this was an eye-opener of how working environments will work out in the future: no cultures, no religion, no race…just people.
There was a great learning curve for all of this. We realized that, even though progress during that time in Bulgaria was incredible, it was clearly not sustainable. People have lives and families to go back to. You can’t be working until 2 a.m. in the morning because you need to take the dog out the next day or do laundry or wash dishes.
What I can tell you is that since then, there are fewer issues, fewer communication problems, and above all, great relationships with great people. In Accointing, we are not only building a fantastic crypto platform, but we are also paving the way for the work industry. We are showing how a decentralized team with decentralized technologies can do amazing things, and you only need to meet once a year to have some Rum, drink some Vodka and play Secret Hitler somewhere in Bulgaria…or any other place is fine.