Recap Functional - Offsites

Michael Pöllath|


The Team Each quarter, we try to come together from all over Germany to discuss the state of Functional and its direction. However, we also take the opportunity to catch up on life with others, have some drinks, and relax from our projects. 2023 was our first full business year, and as you can imagine, we had a lot to discuss.

Frankfurt - February 2023

Our first proper offsite with everyone on board. A few months ago, we left our former employer to found our company. A couple of months later, everybody in Functional sat together in Frankfurt to discuss Functional’s offering.

As a mixed team of Data Engineers, Data/Cloud Architects, and Cloud Engineers, it was not easy to find a single offering that would hold every skill we have. With a focus on Azure Cloud, something we have been doing for years, we decided to focus on App and Data Innovation.

App Innovation: Whether you plan to build a custom app or need to re-platform an existing solution, we help by augmenting internal teams to accelerate delivery, adopt cloud-native principles, and embrace Developer Platforms.

Data Innovation: We help level up your data play by orchestrating operational feedback loops based on analytical insights in the cloud. Go beyond dashboards and let’s automate recommendations, decisions, and actions.

Sounds nifty, right?

Focusing the company towards Cloud Native Apps on Azure. The perfect synergy between App Innovation and Data Innovation.

Frankfurt - April 2023


Soon after our first offsite, we had to meet again. Not to discuss the focus of Functional, but to cement the foundation. From the beginning, we wanted to make sure that the company is owned by its employees. Not the marketing slogan you put on if you want to hire more people, but a true entrepreneurial partnership. uintent has inspired and helped us to achieve that.

The solution: We founded a Co-op. This Co-op holds 49% of Functional, while the other 51% are split between two other shareholders.

Virtually no decision can be made without a 2/3 majority, making the Co-op a guardian against investor changes and destructive forces.

Meet Kuupers.

Hannover - September 2023

frankfurt2 Towards the end of our first full business year, we had to make some important decisions. We decided to make it a “Home Game” in Hannover.

With happy customers and growing revenue, one suddenly has a luxurious question to answer: What to do with the profits?

We started with different salaries, yet we expected a founder’s spirit from everyone. This “gap,” and the process of slowly closing it, became the main part of our discussions. The group agreed that a part of the profit should be spread evenly between everybody, while the rest should be used for internal investments and shareholders.

Until now, we have not found a perfect solution to “close the gap.” However, it became clear that we wanted to up-skill everybody in the company. Luckily, “closing the gap” is a common issue with companies organized like ours. We’ll continue to learn from them and find a way that suits us best.

Profit distribution, investments, and closing the gap.

Munich - December 2023

What happens when Tollwood opens for the winter season and two members live in Munich? Right, we all go there, eat lots of food, play curling, and discuss Functional.

This “Celebrate Functional 2023” offsite was not only about partying.

We recognized an urge to build something together, as we have done in the company before. We were missing something in our daily project work that brought more of us together. Given some of the challenges we have seen in companies, we started ideating possible solutions, something that would help us help customers better. At the end of the offsite, we had identified an idea we would like to pursue and left with some exciting todos.

Tollwood and Product Kalypso

Erfurt - February 2024

2024 has started strong, and we wanted to take quality time together to work on two important topics.

Linked to our up-skill discussion, we wanted to talk about growth paths for ourselves. With two new engineering hires in 2023 and 2024, this was even more needed. How could we argue about the skills of a colleague or her growth path efficiently? What is important to them, the business, and us as a group?

We spent a day to achieve a common understanding and expectations. Next offsite, we’ll operationalize and find ways to support ourselves the best we can.

In the meantime, we had been working on Kalypso on the side, but we couldn’t let the opportunity of an offsite, with everybody in place, go to waste. The result was an old-fashioned Hackathon ending in development progress, lots of new questions, and a better common understanding of the product we are building. I’d call that a success!

Growth Path and Kalypso Hackathon

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