A Review of X-Team Season X: Prove Them Wrong

A Review of X-Team Season X: Prove Them Wrong image

At the start of 2023, the odds were against us. Our then-CEO had just announced his departure, the global economy was still wobbly, and large tech companies continued laying off people. There were many reasons to doubt our ability to overcome such challenges.

We had to Prove Them Wrong. Coincidentally also the theme of Season X, which began in April 2023 and became one of our most exciting and experimental Seasons yet. Here's what happened during Season X.

For those unfamiliar with an X-Team Season: it's a period of multiple months centered around a particular theme, awash with activities designed to energize, motivate, and inspire X-Teamers. Go here for an overview of our previous Seasons.

The Launch of Season X

Season X started no different from Season 9: With an epic launch event that demonstrated our continued ability to create online events with incredible production quality. We debuted RISE, a new X-Team single with Unna X ft. Yas, and we announced a twelve-week program (also called RISE) designed to help X-Teamers achieve an important goal of theirs.

The launch event highlighted our incredible What the Code series on X-Team's Portuguese YouTube channel, shone a spotlight on the X-Outposts that were scheduled for 2023, and then spent some time on interviews with X-Team's leadership.

X-Team has always had a strong foundation of dedicated, talented people who ensure that everything runs smoothly behind the scenes. The CEO had left, but there had been no hiccups in signups, payments, support, logistics, et cetera. It was important to reassure our community about this.

X-Team has always been more than one person. It's a community that has existed for almost two decades. That doesn't happen without a tremendous capacity for change. After all, consider life today vs life in 2005. Quite different, isn't it? X-Team has always had to adapt, always had to evolve, and we didn't lose that ability during Season X.

Where Colleagues Become Friends

X-Outposts are one of the most fundamental pillars of the X-Team experience. During Season X, we organized no less than six of them. X-Teamers from around the world traveled to and explored the following destinations:

Each X-Outpost was a unique and delightful experience, but they weren't our only meatspace events. We also organized our biggest X-Summit yet. In November 2023, over a hundred and fifty X-Teamers traveled to Florianópolis, Brazil, for a weekend full of epic activities. If ever there was a place and time for turning colleagues into friends, it was there and then.

We Kept the Tried-and-True

For almost two decades, X-Team has shown that it is possible to thrive as a fully remote community. The X-Outposts and X-Summits are important, because there's just something special about meeting someone in person, but much more is required to build and maintain a dynamic, productive remote community.

Our online events are designed to engage and inspire X-Teamers on a more frequent basis and in a more easily accessible way than our in-person events. Everyone can participate (although, of course, no one is forced to). And for Season X, we brought back a few formats that worked really well in previous Seasons.

The first of which was LEGENDS '23, a mega-event where we determined which X-Teamers were the best across a wide range of categories, from poker to trivia to typing to betting. We crowned eight new LEGENDS in 2023, each of whom received a legendary box filled to the brim with unique prizes specific.

We also organized UNDYING '23 from October 13 (a Friday) to October 31, because what's October without some creepiness and spookiness? More specifically, we had a costume contest, a pet costume parade, and a trick-or-treat challenge in our #undying23 channel, all supported by bounties and collectibles from our Vault.

Finally, at the end of the year, in good tradition and to close off the Season, we organized our annual X-Mas party. I've been writing about X-Team's X-Mas parties since 2018, and this was probably my favorite one. We gave out lots of goodies, helped our local communities with Hero Drops, and dropped the 2024 X-Outpost destinations.

We Tried Something New

In the spirit of Prove Them Wrong, we also did things we never did before. X-Team has always been fairly exclusive. For outsiders, it's often hard to understand how much effort we put into our community. That's why, for the very first time, we organized an event called the eXperience, open to everyone, to give the outside world an idea of what it's like being an X-Teamer working for our incredible clients.  

We also launched our very first referral program. X-Team has always relied heavily on referrals to get new clients; it was about time we rewarded that. Now both X-Teamers and clients can refer companies they know, and earn some of our most popular collectibles while doing so.

We Proved Them Wrong (Whoever "They" Were)

Did we live up to the theme of Season X? I believe we did. Despite the challenges 2023 brought, we onboarded ninety new X-Teamers, began working together with many new clients in new industries, surpassed three million (!) billed hours, and were certified a Great Place to Work.

None of this would have been possible without the incredible X-Teamers that constitute our community. While we try our hardest to give X-Teamers the best possible environment, ultimately it's up to them to work hard, have a positive attitude, and help each other. X-Teamers do so without fail. The real magic of X-Team sits not with the events or the giveaways or the way we structure things. It sits with the people, always and forever.

Curious about previous X-Team Seasons? Read the review of Season 9.


Thomas De Moor / community