We're Turning 5!
Sometimes it seems like just a flash. Other times it feels like a lifetime. In the five years since we founded Spark Digital, we’ve had both ups and downs. But, thanks to the hard work of our team and the trust of our clients, we’ve had far more success than we even thought was possible.
The company was something of a lucky accident. After the founders sold Panvidea, a media distribution SaaS offering in 2011, we already had a team that felt like family. Instead of disbanding, we decided to keep working together. We owe a tremendous debt to the original crew who stuck with us through those early days when uncertainty was the only constant. A good developer in Argentina can find a job in about 10 minutes, so it really means a lot to us that put their faith in the camaraderie of our group and the vision of Spark Digital.
In those days, we inhabited an eighth of a large office building in Argentina and we had one client. We are so proud, that five years later, our first client is still a client and have called on us to support them with increasingly complicated and mission-critical work. It is because of our clients, the faith they put in us, that we now inhabit that entire building where we first got our start as well as another one nearby.
Bootstrapping A Business on Unshakable Beliefs
Like any young business, there were some tough times in the beginning. Everyone had more than one job at the company and did more than should be expected of one person. Our founders went unpaid, our team accepted less than they deserved. What kept us together then is what keeps us moving forward today: our shared beliefs about how business should be done and a strong company culture.
We always had a feeling that things would work out if we focused less on the balance sheet and more on building a company where people would want to come to work every morning and leave feeling proud of what they accomplished. Through every stage of our business, this belief has proven to be far less naive than it sounds.
We have grown by every relevant metric. While growing our revenues is certainly nice, we’re more proud of the people we’ve been able to hire and the way we’ve been able to become increasingly valuable to our clients. Lots of services businesses can scale horizontally (by adding more people), but the only way to scale exponentially is to invest in your people to make them more valuable to a client.
The first major milestone in our growth was when we grew to the point that we could no longer manage the company ourselves. We hired HR and Recruiting personnel whose contribution cannot be overstated. They have made Spark Digital into place where every person has the opportunity to reach their full potential, while feeling supported.
In the next major phase of our development, we moved past our software engineering-only focus. By hiring the right people and keeping our commitment to training and mentorship, we’ve been able to add Consulting and UX design capabilities to our business while steadily improving our Application Development expertise.
The evolution of our business led to the last major milestone in our five-year history: the rebranding effort that we unveiled last summer. With our new name, logo and messaging our brand was able to catch up to what our business had become. We’re beginning to become a more active voice in our industry, connecting people and sharing knowledge - something we take great pride in doing and plan to do even more of in the future.
Our success was not an accident. And it is not the company leadership or smart management that made it happen. It is the team at Spark Digital and the clients that put their faith in us that have made all this possible.
So, to every client past and present: Thank You. We believe that in this business, trust is the most meaningful form of currency. Your faith in us has been humbling.
And, to every one of our team members past and present: Thank you. You have all worked harder than the competition. You have embraced our culture and your colleagues and we’re all better off because of it.
The Next Five Years
We don’t plan to mess with a good thing. We believe that coming five years will be similarly good to Spark Digital if we continue to live by our core values, especially our vision to prove that treating people well can be the single most potent source of competitive advantage for our company.
Thanks again and cheers to the next 5 years!