Octobet is a bot for Slack initially designed for betting during the 2022 World Cup. An easy-to-use and flexible team-bonding tool, Octobet is currently customizable and can fit a variety of organizational purposes.
Octobet: An Employee-Bonding Edge and Betting Bot
When a football match begins, the thrill of a bet and the joy of the game surge together in a pleasant combo that lightens the spirit. Now imagine sharing that uplifting concoction with your colleagues in the workplace. High fives and lots of yelling included.
Creating a Culture Resistant to Employee Turnover
IT companies have statistically high employee turnover, with developers switching employers every three years. Being tech enthusiasts, developers usually crave challenges in different contexts to satiate their appetite for problem-solving. But it’s just as often the culture, or lack thereof, that pushes people to switch companies.
Companies that prioritize culture are therefore more likely to create tight-knit teams with people staying well beyond the statistical three-year mark. A welcoming environment where people who share similar values co-create bonding experiences is a launching board for something greater than just a workplace.
Octobet is the result of that shared and cherished passion at Nomtek — football and betting.
Automating the Betting Craze
In 2014, we put together an internal league of tipsters. At first, it was just a bunch of football fans enjoying the thrill of small bets and exciting matches.
But as the football tournaments went by, our betting game got more sophisticated. The bunch grew bigger, and so did our appetite to automate the betting process. After all, we wouldn’t have been true to our nomtek spirit if we hadn't developed a Slack bot for processing and collecting tips and counting points.
And yet in 2022, we went even further with automatization efforts — we built a betting bot for Slack that’s available for any organization.
Everything has a story. So does Octobet. Let’s start with the name. The “octo” root word has many meanings behind it.
- Remembering Paul, the common octopus who predicted the results of football matches between 2008 and 2010, we obviously could not not use it.
- Octopus is also our Labs logo.
- October was the month when we built Octobet.
Bot’s betting capabilities
Using Octobet on Slack, users could:
- Bet on specific matches
- Bet on the top scorer
- Bet on the best team in the tournament
Users would also get:
- Private notifications about upcoming matches
- Private notifications about points earned
- Channel notifications about ranking
- Channel notifications about points earned from a given match
- Channel reminders of an upcoming match and summarized results of completed matches
Octobet also followed a simple scoring system:
- 8 points for correctly predicting the result
- 3 points for predicting the result but not the correct score
- 24 points for the top scorer
- 12 points for the best team in the tournament
Collecting anonymous feedback
Slackbot can be an excellent tool for collecting feedback from employees. Anonymization can further encourage eliciting feedback from less vocal employees and paint a fuller company picture.
Automating daily standup meetings
The bot can collect statuses before daily meetings and upload them to the channel. This way project transparency improves and statuses can be easily accessed using search.
For example, the bot can send notifications that the company website has stopped working or a new customer has bought a product, a new lead has appeared.
Slack bots can work in the background, gathering knowledge. Then the bot categorizes it, for example, by extracting links, analyzing them for keywords, and uploading them to notion.
Integrating with ChatGPT
The bot can be trained on the knowledge that organizations already have on their Slack and provide data-based answers to new questions.
Conquering the World: Octobet’s Usage Overview
What started as an idea for enjoying a common passion with coworkers, turned into a free Slack bot for all teams to play with. Octobet began its official international career just before the 2022 World Cup. And considering we didn’t do any marketing activities around it, the bot raked in some surprising statistics:
- 400 users
- 35 organizations
- 16,461 bets placed
- 40 installations worldwide
The betting game at Nomtek was just as fierce as Argentina’s and France’s efforts on the field — no one knew who would win to the very end. The echoes of that match and emotions reverberate at our headquarters to this day.
PS: Octobet isn’t our only internal initiative. Last year, we created a time-lapse demolition video of a building just across from our headquarters.
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