It's okay to write a year in review post in March right?
I suppose if we're going to do that, then we should also talk about what this year is going to bring for us. Maybe we should start by answering the burning question: Why are you writing a blog post to begin with?
On the surface that's an easy question to answer, and since we want this particular post to be short, vague, and entertaining, we'll stick with the easy answer: We aren't great at telling the story of We Write Code, and we want to get better at it.
Our team has grown to seven people over the past two years, (That's right! We've been around for two whole years now.) and we're a pretty unique group of people who have interesting stories to tell. So, we're going to start sharing them.
Now that we have all of that out of the way, let's lay some groundwork for where We Write Code came from, and where we're headed.
Like many development agencies, We Write Code started out of necessity. It was something I had been planning on doing for quite some time. However, having just come off of a 3-year escapade building Goodsmiths with James, I was enjoying the stress-free'ish life of a cube farm job, and it was easier to keep cashing checks than it was to start a new company from the ground up.
But, all good things must come to an end, and that gig was no exception. January 16, 2015 was the day my focus on We Write Code became Priority Number One.
Quick shoutout to Gravitate - I cannot stress enough how much of a role Gravitate played in the early days of We Write Code. This will certainly be something we talk about in future posts.
Throughout that first year, We Write Code saw Lyndsay come on board as the first hire, and we were able to drum up four new clients with a very diverse set of projects.
2016 got off to an amazing start. The "We" in We Write Code became legit when Corey, Abby, and Tyler join the team as developers. We had a few clients who had carried over into the new year with even more projects, and we had landed what was at the time, the largest development project in We Write Code's short history.
We were loving life. We were super busy, tackling some very complex issues, and loving every minute of it. Our plates were full, and we simply didn't care about what was next because our blinders were on and everyone was heads down getting shit done.
We had moved almost all of our proverbial eggs into one basket, and that basket got dropped. Over-hand-jump-in-the-air slammed to the ground is probably more accurate, but none-the-less, hard times were upon us. In the short span of just one week, we went from having too much work for our team of five to nearly none. We had been so focused on one goal and one client, it turns out we had nothing in the funnel. Hell, we didn't even have a funnel or sales process built for potential clients. There was consideration of thinning the team or even shutting down completely and chalking this whole thing up to being yet another life lesson, but fortunately when the writing was on the wall, the team kicked into action and focused on better defining who we were and what we do.
The summer of 2016 was a pivotal time for We Write Code. A reset if you will. I'm going to leave the details of this to a future blog post, but in the end, we made the right decisions. We didn't let anyone go. We added more new clients, and by the end of 2016, we had stabilized.
In summary, 2016 saw us add three people to our team, and six new clients. With one lost client.
So here we are, three months into 2017. We've recently added Josh and Elias to our team. Lyndsay is setting up an instance of We Write Code in Chicago, and we're continuing to keep our model flexible while at the same time refining it.
We are also branching out of the Midwest. We are working closely with our clients in San Francisco and Atlanta, and are doing a much better job of keeping our eyes on the road ahead. Will there be speed bumps? You bet. Do we have the team in place to handle those speed bumps? Absolutely.
So where do we go from here? That's a great question. Unfortunately, I don't have an answer for that just yet. What I do know is that we are going to keep moving forward by keeping our environment fun and relaxed, and providing professional and robust services to our clients.
Moving forward with this blog...
Walking down History Lane is great and all, but the intent of this post is to give you an idea of the stories we intend to tell you in the coming months and years. Our goal for the blog is as follows:
- We will be transparent in our approach and create content you care about.
- We will be fun and continually strive for our blog to match the culture we're building within our company.
- We will engage you as a reader on a regular basis and will always be open to conversation.
Ultimately as we strive to write about our day-to-day as a distributed development agency with Midwest roots, we will continue to get shit done.