Twice a year, we invite new employees to participate in a birdhouse decorating contest. Every participant is provided with a bare bones wooden birdhouse and is basically given free reign to decorate it however they feel inspired to do so.
We've received a ton of different types of entries over years, from Christmas-themed birdhouses to ones resembling iconic movie homes, but in the final half of 2014, the standout design bore a striking resemblance to an Austin favorite: Rudy's BBQ.
Quality Engineer Adam Dispenza, who joined HomeAway in July 2014, shares how he came up with the winning idea:
As a new employee, what do you think of the birdhouse competition?
It threw me for a loop! I’ve never worked at a company that sponsored contests like this before, and I thought it was a cool way to start acclimating to the HomeAway culture!
How did you come up with your idea?
My girlfriend suggested that I do something Texas themed, and after a quick brainstorming session, we came up with Rudy's. All of the sudden the creative process took over: tiny bottles of BBQ sauce, an ice box, and a light up sign! I knew bells and whistles would knock it out of the park!
Were there any other ideas you considered before picking Rudy’s?
There were quite a few! Pinterest was a fantastic place to do some research. Here were a few: a spaceship, an airstream, and a beach house (with a hammock!). None of those seemed nearly as iconic as Rudy’s!
How long did it take you to complete?
After gathering all the materials, about 2 to 3 hours. It was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon!