Are You Ready For Datto's Disaster Demo Challenge?

March 4, 2016

Are You Ready For Datto's Disaster Demo Challenge?

By: Chris Brunau

For this week’s Tech & Culture Blog, Associate Trainer, Dan Newman, talks about Datto’s Disaster Demo Challenge. 

I love explosions. And mayhem. And smaller, more intimate explosions that surprise you after the big explosion. Watching fireworks is obviously in my top 10 list of awesome things, but it is enhanced by watching them with friends on a roof with cool beers and a warm evening.

While fireworks are not a commonplace event at Datto, that feeling of camaraderie permeates a lot of my team meetings (sometimes with beer, sometimes without). I love that I can sit back and talk about ways that Training can improve how Datto runs, and it was out of one of these casual conversations that an idea was born.

The idea to have lots of explosions!

We thought that people love challenges and contests, and a little friendly rivalry would help cement friendships across offices and reiterate the pile of Datto values we love such as Be Can Do and Nothing We Do is Set In Stone. Since everyone loves explosions, we thought it would be top form to challenge Datto employees to design a new way to deliver one of our popular presentations, the Disaster Demo.

The now infamous Disaster Demo is a presentation that involves some ludicrous disaster that could befall a Datto product. Its goal is that even in the event of, oh say a liquid nitrogen tanker spill, the Datto product would still protect business data, no matter where it lives. A small group of people typically design and perform the Disaster Demo…why not invite the broader company to design their own?

After we finished our beers tested the viability of this idea, I sketched a loose plan. Challenge? Check. Incentive? Glory, of course, but a cash prize donated by Finance could help. Execution? Operations and the Productions team were amped to order implements of destruction and get footage of mayhem. Sexy marketing? The Graphic Design team and our Animator produced assets that captured the devil-may-care nature of the challenge that made me laugh out loud.

Throughout this process, I felt like the driver with an open road. Every office that I asked for help was more than excited to pitch in, and nobody got in the way saying, “Let’s slow this down; let’s regulate the process.” I think that’s what makes Datto such an exciting place: a guy with a crazy dream doesn’t need to ask permission to make crazy into reality, like getting the green-light to challenge a 500+-person company to blow up thousands of dollars of hardware. May the best disaster win.

Stay tuned and we will share the results of all these awesomely disastrous disaster demos.