13 December, 2018
NoShave November Inside ScaleFocus

How the story of NoShave November in ScaleFocus started?

Ever wondered about all the buzz around NoShave November? I have never thought about it till a few months ago. I actually never even considered it would turn into a story worth sharing. Yet it did.

Here’s how the story of NoShave November at ScaleFocus unfolded.

My name is Vasil Georgiev and I am a Technical Lead at ScaleFocus. Yup, I am the dude on the photo below.

Around this time of the year, the beard topic usually gets popular. A good friend and colleague of mine- Nikolay Taskov, also a Tech Lead at ScaleFocus, showed me some funny old photos of cool looking Wild West style beards – what man does not dream to be a daring gunslinger, right?

There you go, the idea was born, and in a matter of a few days, the NoShave website was born to host the everchanging ideas around NoShave November in ScaleFocus . We started recruiting teammates, who were willing to shave their beards and grow new ones within a month. This strategy did not work very well – I wonder why.  So, we added a second category, for the gentleman willing to show off with already groomed and stylish beards.

Last, but not least, we needed a cause to support, as we envisioned the whole event as a charity one.  We have been partners with I CAN TOO for several years and we decided we will join forces with them in the name of their noble cause.

What were the rules you may ask? Quite simple I would say..

The NoShave November Categories unveiled

We outlined two main categories: Fresh Start for all the freshies, without a lot of facial hair, and Already Stylish, for the already bearded fellows. Every week of the event all ScaleFocusarians uploaded a fresh photo, to show on their progress. Anyone was able to vote for their favorite participant, by directly contributing to I CAN TOO with a sum per their choice. All ScaleFocus colleagues were able to see the ranking at all times.

Simple, right? There was only one restriction: participants were not be able to vote for themselves.

The Unnamed Man

The ScaleFocus NoShave team and I were amazed with the popularity of the website. In our heads, we had set a goal and we managed to fulfill 60% of it during the first week. An urgent ScaleFocus secret council was convened, to discuss how we can spice-up the event even more. We decided to launch a sub-category called “The Unnamed Man”.

One of our already stylish participants was supposed to let fans decide on the form of his beard. Four distinct shapes were chosen and a trigger of 62.5% was set to release the event. The identity of the participant was held as a secret. Even from the early days, it was clear that the top choices were “Mutton Chops” and “Musketeer”, as they were gaining traction in the competition.

On November 19th, the 85% mark was reached and as promised the secret identity was unveiled. Surprisingly enough, it was me.

There was nothing for me to do but wait patiently for my faith to be decided. The Great Battle of ScaleFocus Beards took place all day and all night until the outcome was finally clear in the early hours of 24th of November. I was going to be shaved as a musketeer. As a true NoShave fan, I kept my word and during the cold mid-day, I sat on the Barber’s chair to fulfill my duty. It took a while as the beard was great and mighty, yet in the end, I became a true musketeer.

After a month, filled with enthusiasm, fun, and jokes, we managed to gather around 3000 BGN to donate for I CAN TOO’s cause. I am sure you are curious to find out who are the winners. I am so proud of you guys, joke aside.


Aleksandar Stoimenov, HR Business Partner, FreshStart

Aleksandar Mihaylov, Technical Lead, Already Stylish

I would like to give my appreciation and applause for all the bold fellows in ScaleFocus and Upnetix, who were brave enough to join the NoShave November initiative. Special thanks, of course, go to all the voting enthusiasts, who never stopped supporting us and I CAN TOO. Next year, we are planning to expand the initiative, so keep your eyes on inside.scalefocus.com as we have a lot of cool initiatives coming up.

If you would like to be a part of our fantastic team, check our current openings and apply now. Let’s do IT, while having fun.