Who we are? A recap of our joint venture

Reading Time: 5 minutes

On our website, you can find a lot of information about what we are doing, what our expertise is and how we can help to solve your problems. But we also want to let you look behind the scenes: Therefore, on our culture site, you can have a look what we are currently doing in behind, what we want to achieve and how we want to care about ourselves, our employees, too. And when we play with open cards anyway, maybe it’s interesting to you how it all began and how we came until here. Our vision is to be a company in a glass house. 🏢

So, here we go – this is our story

It started when we were still students 👨🏻‍🎓 at the University of Constance Germany. We started to work on tiny little projects 🤓, doing things like a website for a barbershop or a little online shop. The first projects were just some hundred bucks worth – but we were proud of it 😎! With our first income we started to open our first “office” – ok, it was more like a garage 🚗 or basement. But we started to get entrepreneurs, got some new projects, something bigger and it worked quite well, so we were able to hire our first employee in 2015 and moved into a “real office”, the starting shot for us to grow. Since it was clear to us that we want to have our on place, keep our free work, inspired by the working groups of the university – and give other talents a place to grow with us and also shape the company.

In 2016, we were grown to 6 employees, at this stage, we saw that we could need some support, some manpower but also seeing how difficult it was to find developers, so we started to get our first experience with offshore companies🌏. And, as we took the entrepreneurship in, we thought ok, why not establishing our own company in another country: So, therefore we opened an office in Skopje Macedonia 🇲🇰 with just one employee at first. You can read more about it in our blog post: IT nearshore in Skopje: Turning Fail Story to Success Story.

In 2017 we made it to grow up to 12 people 💪🏻, thanks to the University and Fachhochschule in Constance, where we found some very talented developers helping us to grow. But by becoming a bigger team we also had to deal with different challenges: How to deal with the growing administrative work, financial stuff, management and things like that? How to reach the next level into professionalization and therefore make some decisions: How should we go on with our company in Skopje? Close it or invest in it? How should we handle our opportunities in Switzerland?

Lots of topics, one after another. To focus on our core business, we externalized our finances 💰 and some of the administrational stuff 🗄. Our point here – let’s make professionals take care of that and we focus on what we are professionals in. We also created a internal position for project & business development 📈.

As the topic of nearshore/offshore gets more and more important, we decided to go on more professionally and started to hire a Store Manager in Skopje. We followed up on this on a separate blog post IT nearshore in Skopje: Turning Fail Story to Success Story. but without telling too much, our manager did a great job so far and built up a team of professionals very very quickly.

In September 2018 we also founded our office in Switzerland 🇨🇭. Our goal here was to work for clients in Switzerland, have seniors near the clients, architects or lead developers who can take over the responsibility for conception and realization of projects and also organize and delegate work to Germany 🇩🇪 or Skopje 🇲🇰.

In the 2nd half of 2018 with the fusion to 47 North Labs AG, we got two very experienced guys on board and made a big step to expand our expert know-how and follow our ambitious goals – growing in manpower but also in culture, together as a seamless team, as an IT agency.

How we will do this in 2️⃣0️⃣1️⃣9️⃣, what our goals are and how we want to achieve this will be shown and documented on our culture site. Stay tuned…

To be always up to date you can follow us on twitter, instagram or linkedin… see you there!

IT Nearshore in Skopje: Turning Fail Story to Success Story

Reading Time: 6 minutes

After a successful start into the business in 2014, we wanted to offer our clients a wider portfolio. As you might know in IT businesses „change & development“ is a main topic and if you stuck in development, you will die. 💀

Beginning of 2015, we discussed about the establishment of an own nearshore company. Therefore we had a lot of questions, where we found also the answers and finally decided to establish a nearshore development company in Skopje. 🇲🇰 Here is the journey of establishing our nearshore and turning a Fail Story to a Success Story. 🙌

What are the benefits of an own nearshore company

  • We have the full control of developing our own experts 🎛️
  • We can feel what support the developer needs, instead of just body lease a resource 🤗
  • Our team gets international and the know how exchange grows 🌍
  • We can externalize specific expertises and create a well running work force, like testing units, front-end / back-end development units or mobile development units
  • We can offer our clients lower rates than Swiss experts 💰

After a detailed market analysis our thoughts of establishing an own nearshore company where affirmed! ✅

But why in Skopje?


Skopje is a start-up city on the rise 📈. It is the capital of Macedonia 🇲🇰 and the main point of the Macedonian start-up ecosystem. In the last few years the membership has grown surprisingly fast and younger people are becoming more familiar with start-ups and are willing in innovations and inventions. 🏢
There where also more reasons like:

  • 80% of the young population speaks English fluently 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿
  • Skopje has a great infrastructure and is well connected to the rest of the European cities, especially Zurich 🌍
  • Direct access to students and a lot of IT universities 🎓
  • Financial advantages like lower salaries, living expenses and transportation costs, also low taxes 💰
  • And Skopje already welcomes start-ups with communities 🏢

Kickoff…

So we flew to Skopje ✈️ to establish our business there. It was the first time, visiting Macedonia 🇲🇰 but everything felt so homelike and tiny 🏠. After a very good preparation with the lawyers before we could finish all our tasks within few days. As we were back, we had established our nearshore company Digital Natives DOOEL ✅, found an accountant ✅, rented an office ✅, bought some office furniture ✅ and employed our first developer there ✅.

It was surprisingly fast and we couldn’t even believe it, how easy and fast it was! We felt like Flash!

… ok and we got a wheel clamp 🙈🙉🙊, because the parking situation in Skopje is horrible. But also this situation was fixed very quickly! 🙂

But we had a bigger issue


For two years the productivity of our nearshore was not satisfying 😔. We were concentrated to our business in Germany 🇩🇪 and Switzerland🇨🇭. So it was hard to us to develop our business there in Macedonia 🇲🇰. Even, to have a company with just one developer afraid new developers to join, maybe we where too small? 🚶

In 2018 we did a big change, we stand in front of the questions „Was this the dream of an own nearshore? Is this the end of the nearshore journey?“ No, we faced with the problems and focussed on the growth in Skopje 🇲🇰. Now it was the time to turn the Fail Story to a Success Story!!!

Roll up your sleeves…

Our first task was to find a store manager 👨🏻‍💼, who is responsible for finding well educated and motivated developers 👨🏼‍💻. Also he had to convince the developers of our vision and strategy. His main skill was to have a great IT network and the ability to convince the candidate with our story. We had to live the same dream 💭 and work hard for it 💦. Within few months we integrated the full Skopje team 🇲🇰 into our projects and the environment of our client. We changed our office to a bigger place and in autumn 2018 we reached our goal:

Now we have a team of high class experts in the field of back-end, front-end and mobile development. We are up and running successfully 🙌. The know how and physical exchanges have grown. In our Hackdayz 2018 event we where all together and it was great to see how everybody knows each other, even if some guys hadn’t seen each other physically before. 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦

Team at team lunch and our team is still growing… we will need bigger restaurants 🙂

Our cultural change program is well accepted from everybody and we can feel even now the positive effect of our program. Our goal was to establish a seamless team with Swiss🇨🇭, German 🇩🇪 and Macedonian 🇲🇰 developers, who speak the same language ❤️ and work on the same project with the same level and vision in different locations. 🌍

With this success, we can offer our clients a well working model package of Swiss🇨🇭, German 🇩🇪 and Macedonian 🇲🇰 developers for fair and low rates. The client is happy and we are happy. 😃

We have seen that is important to have loyal team mates 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦, who speak the same language 👨🏼‍💻, feel the same spirit and have the same vision ❤️! And we achieved that by integrating everybody in the same environment and having an open ear 👂 to the needs of anybody.

The success of a great team!