I'd like to say that time flies when you are having fun - but it's also been hard work. I think I may have had hair at the beginning of this adventure.
In 1999 the average connection speed was a mere 56kbs - lightfast broadband (well 512kbs) wouldn't be introduced 'til the next year & no one thought it worth it. We purchased our first domain name (www.internationalspacestation.com) - we still have it NASA if you're interested.
Liz officially joined in 2000 doubling our staff count.
In 2000 we launched our first in house "project" - The Steel Hub, an online steel trading portal - we had 304 members sourcing and supplying structural steel. Even though our members were only checking their emails once maybe twice a week our accountant at the time valued it a several million quid!! Just in time for the dotcom bubble to burst.
In 2003 we launched our first e-commerce website for a client - an Asian furniture retailer based in Boston. We quickly followed that up with two art websites and a UK-based furniture superstore. All from the comfort of the spare room. Ensemble (our e-commerce platform) was born.
In 2004 we launched Beebo.com an email and SMS reminder service - which went on to be our very own Mailchimp. Over its 10 years online it delivered millions of marketing emails.
2005 saw us moving to an office (read posh portacabin) in a customers premises - Carl joined us in October just in time to be left holding the fort during my annual pilgrimage back to NZ. A baptism by fire - but he's still here.
Some other highlights in the intervening years:
- 2007 we moved to larger premises in Orpington,Kent
- ISO certification in 2009
- 2010 Marc joined us (along with Bella the husky)
- In 2012 named Bromley Best Small Business of the year
- 2012 created a MAC application for Sennheiser & one of their "Supergroup" clients
- Also 2012 we built a "big data" tool for a client to process call data for Transport for London
- 2013 bought and renovated our forever home studio in Otford, Kent
- 2013 Si joined us
- 2014 Charlie (our first apprentice) joined us
- 2015 saw us win awards for our client work including the Coolmore Collection (www.coolmorecollection.com) and Bill Skinners (www.billskinnerstudio.com)
- 2015 Fiona (our second apprentice) joined the team whilst Charlie graduated.
It's all been a bit of a blur really, but I have the privilege of working with a great roster of clients and creating amazing sites / applications with a fantastically talented team.
Thanks for all the messages...