Sphero | Connected Toys

Weekly Wrap Up - Spring Break

28 Mar 2017
Weekly Wrap Up - Spring Break

Skiing some fresh (not always) POW or swimming some pristine (also not always) beach? Those are usually the ways to spend Spring Break, right? The irony around Spring Break is usually the season itself isn’t enjoyed over the week-long vacation holding its namesake. Many people migrate to some other destination which is either still wintry or summer-like, which on a rainy day like today, we can’t blame them.

This week we’re getting our own Spring Break! Well, kinda. While we’re working Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Friday’s day off has us hollerin’ like a frat boy who barely made it through midterms.

What will we be doing with our 3-day spring break weekend? From the looks of the weather, we’ll either be spending a day in ski traffic to the country, or keeping it local al la Gene Kelly in the city.

Either way, Spring Break 2017, we’re tuning up for you. Lalalalalalaaaaa…memememememeeeeee….dooo-beee-do-be-doooo….

Weekly Wrap Up - Spring Break

A Day In The Life: Whitney Howe

Weekly Wrap Up - Spring Break

Q. Hi, there. Please tell us your name and title here at Sphero.

A. My name is Whitney Howe and I am an Executive Assistant.

Q. Hello, Whitney. What does and EA do at Sphero everyday?

A. Every day is so different! I assist our CFO, CMO, General Counsel, VP of Finance and VP of Accounting and all of them keep me on my toes!

Q. Goodness. Can you impart some advice for aspiring toe-hopping EAs?

A. Details, organization. Organization and details! Aside from those two necessities, it's important to be proactive and I think it's essential to practice servant leadership.

Q. I can imagine. Can you let us in on what you’re working on now, or is it super secret?

A. It's always top secret!

Q. What do you love most about working here?

A. The people! I love my team and the folks I get to work with every day. My work takes me across departments and I appreciate the opportunity to make connections all over the organization.

Q. Definitely a people person, you are. Are you a robot person as well? Which of our bots is your fave?

A. Ollie for sure! I had the chance to work one of our shows, specifically IFA (in Germany). Without speaking much German, I was able to connect with the kids without a problem. Their eyes lit up making Ollie do tricks and race around corners. Ollie is so fun to drive!

Q. I concur. What do you like to do outside of Sphero?

A. I love to workout, play soccer, spend time with my hubby, our friends and families. I'm also REALLY into working on our house. I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm a fix and flip professional, but it's been done!

Q. What do you love most about living in Colorado?

A. The outdoors! I'm a native to Colorado, but I love every day that I get to live here. Plus my family is here which is great for get togethers!

Q. That’s saying something about this great place we live in. Any recommendations on what to see or visit around here?

A. I LOVE tea. In Boulder, I'm really into the Dushanbe Tea House. I also love Whiskey.... there is a new place in Lafayette - William Oliver's. Check it out!

Q. Solid reco’s, thanks. So for this last question, can you share some little unknown fact about yourself?

A. I love pigs and I really hope that one day I will get to own a mini pig! #lifegoals

ICYMI Top 5

A dozen noms. Dust flyin'. Star Wars 'n chill. Jarring. #squadgoals

Weekly Wrap Up - You've Got it In You

14 Mar 2017
Weekly Wrap Up - You've Got it In You

What day is as irrational as it is delicious? Pi(e) Day, of course. Officially recognized by Congress in 2009 (what took them so long?), we’re celebrating with our own little ratio of the amount of blood we give to the sweetness of pies we consume. Yes, that’s a mathematical constant… pretty sure.

Bonfils Blood Center has stopped by our offices and Spheroites marched out in formation with sleeves rolled up. Travis from Customer Service was the first appointment of the day, and probably the fastest, too. Though to be fair, he does get a lot of practice with rapid-fire customer service responses. Yeah, that freakin’ guy. NEEDLES to say, other Spheroites also went with the FLOW.

Now that we’re all feeling a little faint, on to the pie. How many slices…five? Seven? Anything but a rational amount, please.

A Day In The Life: Rory Overdorff

Weekly Wrap Up - You've Got it In You

Q. Sup. What’s your name and title at Sphero?

A. Rory Overdorff, Packaging Art Director.

Q. Fancy. What do you here?

A. I make cool stuff. More specifically I help take packaging at Sphero from concept to reality.

Q. What advice can you offer for those looking to get into the same thing.

A. Don’t be afraid to challenge design. Like Jake Bendrick once said, “Creativity takes courage.”

Q. A sensitive man, Mr. Bendrick. Can you show us some cool stuff you’re working on or is it top secret?

A. Top secret stuff at the moment but it’s gonna be sweet.

Q. Besides working on sweet, top-secret stuff, what else do you love about working here?

A. Getting to work alongside some really talented designers.

Q. Which of our bots is your favorite?

A. Probably Ollie because he’s extreme and really fun to drive wide open.

Q. What kind of stuff do you enjoy when not designing packages?

A. I love music and going to shows. I do a lot of gig posters for freelance work. Being a native of Colorado I love being outdoors and spending time in the mountains. Snowboarding in the winter is a must. I’d feel guilty not appreciating nature before Trump destroys it.

Q. As a native, what do you love most about this state?

A. The art scene is rad. The mountains are rad. Only downfall is the music scene. Seattle had Nirvana we have The Fray.

Q. The Lumineers let out a soothing, acoustic gasp. Can you recommend any cool places that are a must-see?

A. The art district in Denver is awesome. Tons of cool galleries. I spend a lot of time at Albums on the Hill just searching for new music to add to my collection.

Q. One more question—any unknown little fact about yourself you’d like to share?

A. The love I have for music runs deep in the family. I’m related to Keith Moon, drummer of The Who. One of the greatest drummers in rock history.

Keith Moon

ICYMI Top 5

Birthday wishes. Desert cruise. Small bot, big city. Grassy knolls. Right of the tracks.

Weekly Wrap Up - SXSWedu

07 Mar 2017
Weekly Wrap Up - SXSWedu

Ok, March is now officially here (has been for a week, I guess), and if you’re down in Austin this week—like the rest of the country’s youth—come get your pre-music-festival game on and visit us at Playground #38 on the 4th Floor. We got a Sphero DDR going on for those of you who just gotta dance.

Will there be young, brooding artists learning how to code? Maybe—what better way to prep for your music set 3 days out than coding with SPRK+? You’ll just have to come visit us to see for yourself, maybe pilot a SPRK+ through a brooding maze. Is that a thing? It can be, if you set your imagination free. Oh yeah, and Bill is there too, so be sure to say “Sup” while you’re at it.

Bill and the Broods? Sounds like a new band name to us. Yeah, we went there. Take the bait.

For those of you not currently present in Austin, check out Bill get his dance on in this demo.

A Day In The Life: Bre Madsen

Weekly Wrap Up - SXSWedu

Q. Good morning. Please tell all our (3) fans your name and title here.

A. Bre Madsen, Accountant.

Q. Hi, Bre. What do you do at Sphero every day?

A. If you’re looking for accolades, I’m a Professional Paper Pusher.

Q. I’ve heard of those, very popular. What sound advice can you impart for those looking to get into the same thing?

A. Must have a proven resilience to papercuts, exhibit an irrational excitability about excel formulas, display genuine enthusiasm for solving puzzles (real-life or theoretical) and illustrate proficiency with a calculator. Lastly and probably the most important, for protection - their own Nerf gun.

Q. Do you need said Nerf gun because you’re working on something top secret?

A. Top secret, nah. But uninteresting according to most social circles.

Q. Nerf gun says otherwise. What do you love most about working here?

A. The people and the culture. I have a genuine appreciation for people across the spectrum, especially for those that push social norms, and Sphero is filled with incredibly unique and fascinating individuals.

Q. Do you have a favorite bot?

A. The Darkside, for obvious reasons. 

Q. Obviously. What kind of things do you get into outside of work?

A. Scholarly research on light topics like Politics and Race in America. Write and publish articles. Read incessantly and attend documentary screenings.

Q.What do you enjoy most about living in Colorado?

A. Road rage. Sometimes life can be mundane, but daily spats of road rage keeps you at the top of your game.

Q. Can you share some spots you recommend we check out around here? What are you favorite places to eat or hang?

A. If you’re hipster-esque, I’d say City, O' City in Denver. But don’t go there for the ambiance, political discourse or beards, go there for their egregiously overpriced Gluten-Free Vegan rendition of the Hostess Cupcake. [Also,] The library. Museums. The IMAX. Dairy Arts Center. Paramount Theatre.

Q. Solid reco’s. Last question—what little tidbit can you share about yourself?

A. I’m socially awkward. The easiest way to confuse me is to reference anything pop-culture. Public pens terrify me. If you cough, sneeze or sniffle in close proximity to me, I instantly start to sweat and panic while simultaneously planning my exit strategy. I own binoculars and use them to scout for Hawks.

ICYMI Top 5

Peek-A-Boo. Wampa wig. So fly. Rain on me. Martian lands.

Weekly Wrap Up - SPRK+ 1

28 Feb 2017
Weekly Wrap Up - SPRK+ 1

MARCH IS HERE! Well, almost. Sorry, February—we know you’re already the shortest month, but we’re ready to MARCH right into next month—er, roll I guess—with SPRK+.

Next week jet-setter SPRK+ dazzles in the name of education and coding at two events: SXSW in Austin and GESS in Dubai.

Did you know SXSW isn’t just a music festival? Yeah, you can actually take a break from the crooning (or screaming, I don’t know your musical tastes) of Up-And-Coming-Artist to the Interactive section of SouthBy and visit us at our booth with Workbench. SPRK+ would be happy to see you.

If you fancy and on the other side of the world in an even fancier place like Dubai, well…we’re sure you have a ton to do. BUT should you find yourself at GESS, do come and say Marhaban.

A Day In The Life: Matthew De Goes

Weekly Wrap Up - SPRK+ 1

Q. Ok, you probably know the drill since you help me post this every week, but for formality’s sake, please tell us your name and title here.

A. My name is Ragnar Scarhead...err Matthew De Goes and my title is Senior Front End Manager, Web Properties.

Q. And what do you do at Sphero every day, Mr. De Goes?

A. I guide, develop, maintain and evolve our customer facing web properties, ensuring they keep up with both modern design and technology standards, in concert with some amazingly talented people on our graphics team. I also ensure my chair doesn't up and float off the surface of the planet.

Q. I hate when that happens. What advice can you offer for aspiring front-end developers?

A. Work with passion and never stop learning, whether it be reading, listening or from others. Match confidence with humility and treat everyone with respect and courtesy. Learn from masters and then do your fair bit of challenging them.

Q. I think that’s just solid life advice right there. Can you share what you’re currently working on or is it super secret?

A. Definitely secret, but my plans for universe domination are still in beta. As for Sphero, I'm currently doing a redesign of our e-commerce platform to update the user experience and overall aesthetic.

Q. Both the users and the aesthetics will thank you. What do you love most about working here?

A. I see a lot of my colleagues say the 'people', but I can't stand most of them, just between the two of us. Just kidding. It's a close tie between the amazing people of Sphero and a product/vision I can really get behind and get super excited about. The fusion of robots and play is something any geek can get behind.

Q. Which of our bots is your favorite?

A. As a geek, my favorite is BB-8, because I can't help it having grown up with StarWars. To play with, definitely Ollie. Why? Because. SPEED, POWER, CRASH, AWESOME!

Q. What are your favorite things to do outside of work?

A. In my spare time, I love to take long walks on the beach...except I live in Colorado where there are no beaches. So instead, I do some weight training, hiking, video games, digital painting and have good times with family.

Q. Helps to have an adorable son and a Selkie wife. Back to you—what do you love most about living in Colorado?

A. The snow. I don't ski or any such dangerous and potentially life-threatening habit (See Ice Skating), but I love the cold weather and the freshly fallen snow. I also love the balance between the great outdoors and modern conveniences.

Q. Have any favorite spots around here you like to frequent?

A. For those who are coffee lovers, I've gotta recommend Ozo's Coffee. They've some truly amazing beans, and though I'm not really a coffee aficionado, I've gotta say their Cappuccinos are out of this world.

Q. Ok, last question—can you share something surprising or unexpected about yourself?

A. I've got a double jointed thumb. It's pretty scary to behold and makes opening peanut butter jars a real challenge.

ICYMI Top 5

Make an impression. Small bot in the Big City The fire inside. Roll this way. Perfect pair.

Please review our archived posts to see more content.