End of year 2019

Reflecting on 2019 and talking about our 'people first' strategy and its foundation: "if you do good for your team, your team will do good for your customer, which in turn is good for your company."

It's that time of the year where you look back and think: "wow, the time has passed quickly!" And yes, we had fun as well :-) It also makes you reflect on the road taken over the last year. Business-wise it was a great year: we've seen serious growth, both in team and revenue. And while growth alone is not our primary goal, it's good to know that we're able to execute and deliver to our customers while also being attractive as an employer.

When we started Baseflow, we built it around the idea of a 'people first' strategy. As founders, we've seen the same story repeated: a lack of understanding of what software development is all about, often resulting in disappointments both business-wise and on a personal level.

While this phenomenon itself is an interesting subject for a philosophical debate ("is this only happening in the software development industry?") by the coffee machine or better, with some drinks at a bar, I'd like to zoom in a little bit in how we try to avoid this altogether.

Our 'people first' strategy is based on a rather fundamental and simple foundation: "if you do good for your team, your team will do good for your customer, which in turn is good for your company." This strategy sounds somewhat simplified, and in essence, it is. Executing this strategy is an exciting challenge because we're not talking here about "stuff", we're talking about culture. How are we organized, do we communicate and behave to create a working environment in which everyone can excel at what they are doing and be happy.

Happiness is extremely underrated in terms of operational efficiency. I'm still surprised how much this is still considered as 'soft' when talking about managing an organization, while it seems so apparent that happy people are more productive than people who are not. And again, we're not talking about '"stuff" here: you don't make people happy with a PlayStation in the office.

One of the biggest drivers of our culture is autonomy: a sense of freedom and the ability to make decisions by yourself instead of asking a manager for permission. Again, rather obvious, but enabling this in your organization is a real feat. I'm very proud that we, still being a startup, have someone on board who's specifically creating tools and guidelines to work on our culture daily. And this is hard work: right now our culture is not carved in stone, but organically evolves over time. Why are we doing this now and not in 5 years when we've come out of the startup phase? Because in 5 years, the company culture is a fait accompli, and it might be too late to start thinking about it consciously.

So yeah, we had one hell of a ride this year! We've achieved a lot, learned a lot, and had a lot of fun. A massive thank you to the team: it's humbling to see such an exceptional group of talented people working together, bearing the responsibility towards our customers, have fun, and challenge each other to shine and excel.

I'd also like to thank our customers that believe in our people and trust us with their business challenges and budgets. "It takes two to tango," but when that happens, it is incredible to see that we can play our part in making our customers successful in their own businesses.

We would like to express our sincerest appreciation for the trust you have placed in us and best wishes for the holidays and into the New Year.  From all of us at Baseflow!