Marcel is a Shipmate

Last May, I was deeply focused on pushing a client project on a sunny afternoon at my co-working space in Valencia, when two foreign faces strolled in. At that time of year, with summer very close, I was one of the few co-workers around, making the space look “busy”.

The guy that ran the space seemed to know who these strangers were, and soon I figured out that they had just flown in from London. Hmm, interesting!

Since I’m not very tolerant when it comes to sudden distractions, I started to focus on my work once again. Before heading to lunch however, one of the two strangers gave me that first sign of contact, and dropped his business card on my desk.

It said: “We are Hanno”, with a hand-written signature on it: “Matthew”

First contact

I remember that in the evening the same guy started watching some live football on his notebook: an English FA cup semi-final.

If there’s anything in this world to grab my attention quickly and get me in the mood to socialize, then football is probably that subject.

It didn’t take too long for us to figure out that we had plenty in common: Web design and development, communication, remote working, productivity, rapid prototyping, blogging and all the other things that get a web-crafting individual very excited.

And so it was no surprise that from that day forward, we spent lunch together almost every day and tested out the menu of the day of almost every restaurant in our radius, while chatting about the latest stuff going on in the online world.

Keep in touch, guys

As with everything good in life though, Jon and Matt’s stay had to come to an end one day, a few months later. And although Matt was able to extend it for another 2 weeks after Jon had left, I had to eventually get used to living without their great company again.

But they had left a positive impact upon me: I admired the way they worked, the passion and focus they put into their work, the way they communicated with their clients. Without a doubt I can I say that our daily chats at lunch-time, the evening runs in the river Turia, and the after-work beers inspired me not only a personal level, but also to become a better professional.

But it wasn’t until the end of 2013 that we would meet up again, this time for a rather casual occasion (New Year’s Eve) and at a different, much rainier place (London).

Joining the team

As with every relationship in life, sharing common interests and being on the same wavelength always has its benefits when you do business together. The strong focus on design and frontend development that the team here at Hanno share with me, left me very enthusiastic about working with a team of frontend gurus that “design web pages iteratively in the browser”.

When Jon visited Valencia once again, he and I had a great chat about some common frustrations at work. Our conclusion was that we’d keep in touch and see if we could find a way to collaborate in the future, since I might be a good fit to help Hanno to grow. Of course, it didn’t hurt that at this point, Matt had already become my biggest fan.

I’m thrilled to now be able to announce that 1 year after we first met, I’m now a part of the team here at Hanno. I firmly believe in one of the Hanno principles, Never Settle, and I’m looking forward to a fresh challenge.