When we started our web development business in 1996, it was all about surviving to the next month, stretching dollars as far as we could as we designed web sites using our Gateway computers, creating graphics with Paint Shop, and uploading files with the benefit of a 56K Modem. We used search indexes – not engines – such as Yahoo! It was a different world. The web was something from the future; when you told people that you were a web site designer, they looked at you as if you said you were an astronaut or deep sea diver or some other exotic, cutting edge profession.
One of the things that being in business for 20 years gives somebody is perspective. Perspective is a good thing; it is a useful source of wisdom, and a reminder to practice humility. We’ve seen technology companies come and go, rode the strange waves of the tech bubble, survived a couple of serious national economic declines, and just plugged away, day after day, month after month… year after year, designing and maintaining and redesigning and developing web sites.
And then it is 20 years later.
One of the best things about the web development business is that it introduces you to so many other kinds of organizations out there, organizations in different niches of our economy and society, with different management styles, and different resource capabilities, and different planning processes and outlooks, because you have to get a continually growing understanding of your clients. And at the 20 year point, we take a moment and look at our history and realize how much we have learned from our clients about running a business, about setting priorities for an organization, about dealing with success and with failure. Who we are today as an organization is a synthesis of our experiences and what we learned from our clients’ experiences. Many of our clients have been sharing those experiences with us for years and years, some for just a few, but all have been illuminating in one way or another. It is one of the perks of this industry, and we’ve been privileged to enjoy it for 20 years.
And our plan is to enjoy that privilege for a long time to come.
We’re not big on celebrations – this post is the extent of our celebration of 20 years. Too much work to do, the work of a web developer is never done, etc., etc. etc.. But we are all appreciating the journey of our past together, and look forward to the horizons of our future. Stay tuned for the 30 year anniversary post next decade… that time will come sooner than any of us recognize.
And thanks to all our clients, past and present and future, for shaping our organization.