You know that feeling when a great song unexpectedly comes on the radio, the one you know and constantly sing in the shower? Read on to see how we built a box that starts dance-offs and sing-alongs by the coffee machine.
Push a button, get rewarded
Some time ago, we stumbled across “The Big Green Button” project by IDEO Labs. We loved the simplicity of the idea, that they shared it with the world and the fact that it does one thing absolutely great. For IDEO, that thing was celebrating the completion of a project by playing some music and showing an animated GIF.
We wanted a simpler contraption that, when a button was pushed, randomly selected a short clip from a great song and played it loud. It was our way of celebrating anything, anytime.
To be brutally honest, we had no idea what was needed or how to build such a thing. We bought a Raspberry Pi, wrote some Python code and connected wires. At one point, we found out we needed an amplifier. Someone found a kit that needed soldering, so we got that too.
In the end, we had a box with a single button that does one thing and does it pretty well.
A shitty first draft that works
The “just try it out” approach is probably a key factor to why The Celebration Station (which is the name that stuck) has become such an office success – we tried, failed, tried again and finally had a shitty first draft. It now hangs on the office wall, available for anyone to push at any time. Usually, that happens as soon as someone grabs coffee or heads out for lunch. Also, visitors seem to love it as much as we do.
The idea is simple – push a button, get a random song clip. Since we built it, it has started a ridiculous amount of spontaneous dance-offs and sing-along-moments.
We want to keep that up as we believe that embracing creative passion projects such as the 'celebration station' will increase our innovative power in the long run. More fun leads to better output. Better everything.