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Trulia Innovation Week: A Time For Collaboration and Creativity

This week is one of my favorite weeks of the year – we are holding our annual Q2 Innovation Week for Trulia in our San Francisco office. Recently, I was comparing notes on innovation with some execs from a company in New Zealand and had the opportunity to pause and reflect on some of the successes we’ve had from our quarterly Innovation Weeks.

Digging through our demos from the past few years, we’ve been averaging more than 30 product ideas as a result of each Innovation Week. Of these projects, at least half end up being built out to a point we can integrate them into our product experience with little to modest effort. More importantly, at least one-fifth have been responsible for creating new areas of focus for the company — that without the opportunity for the team to clear their brains and think outside the norm, would have been missed opportunities.

While that’s amazing from a product perspective, I’ve also seen huge gains from innovative ideas around how Trulia deals with technical debt, how we monitor and track internal services, how we test and release code, and how we evolve the languages we use to build out our products. All of this helps to ensure everyone at Trulia not only has a voice in how the company evolves and how we work each day, but actively steer the direction.


As a manager, I also love seeing different parts of our organization organically form into teams to work together on projects during the week. It’s another great way for oddball ideas to form, and to promote teamwork with folks who may not interact frequently. If you’ve used our Local Info page recently, you’ve experienced one of our innovation ideas. In that case, teams from Trulia Rentals, Trulia Consumer Web, and Trulia Back End Data worked together to generate new data, improve accuracy of existing data, and use new display techniques to present insightful local information to consumers. Bonds created during Innovation Week pay big dividends later in promoting greater cross-team collaboration and intermingling across different parts the company.

I’m working on two projects this week, partnering with engineers from several different teams and our product team. While I can’t publically share with you what I’m working on, I can say that these projects are way outside our current roadmap and working with new technology. Being able to work on this makes me feel like it’s the first day of work all over again – I’m pumped! If it goes well, look for another post from me in about six months when we ship it. If it doesn’t, then I will have learned new skills and had to chance to work with an amazing team.

Here’s to the start of a great week of innovation, my brain is clear and I’m excited to have the opportunity to write code for the week!