One of My Biggest Mistakes at Friendly – And Why Our First Retreat Was So Special

In the first weeks after founding Friendly, I made a big mistake. Due to a careless oversight, I deleted numerous important files on what was then our only live server.

I saw letters and numbers rattling down the screen like in Matrix. All files that had just been deleted. By the time I could stop the process, basic system files were gone. The server was broken.

All of our customer accounts at the time were offline. On a Sunday evening. I have rarely felt so bad.

After I got over the initial shock, I wrote a message to Joey Keller. I had recruited him as a freelancer on Upwork a few weeks earlier. To my surprise, Joey was there immediately.

Desperately we tried to get the server up and running again. Unsuccessfully. When the tiredness became too much, we gave up. I’m amazed that I was able to sleep at all that night.

The next day at 6am Joey was already back. It went on for a few more hours, but during the day we were able to reset the server and restore the customer data.

Shortly thereafter, I hired Joey on a 100% permanent basis. That was in June 2020. “Hire for attitude, train for skills,” as the saying goes. Joey had already proven his skills. And his attitude during this crisis had completely convinced me of him. I have never regretted it.

Over a year later, we finally met live for the first time! Because of the Corona pandemic, this trip had been delayed again and again. A week ago I was able to visit Joey in his hometown Budapest.

To just have a beer together. To take trips with Joey’s family. To talk shop. Quite normally, actually. At least before Corona.

Let’s hope that the situation continues to improve and we can all have more social encounters again!

P.S. Of course we have learned from our mistakes. Today our servers run on a redundant infrastructure with multiple daily backups 😉


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