I decided there wasn’t much point in writing the second installment of my segmentation blog this week – since so many people aren’t going to be around to read it. I’ll save that for next Sunday after which things will be back to normal.
So I thought instead I’d just write a quick (ho, ho, ho) holiday thank you to everyone I’ve worked with this past year.
2009 dawned as scary as any I remember. Semphonic went through the dotcom boom and bust (yes, we’ve been around that long) and it had a devastating impact on our business. Back then, dotcoms were pretty much the only consumers of web analytics and even they didn’t care very much!
When it all went bust, we didn’t lose clients, they flat-out disappeared.This past year had the same grim look.
But as tough as 2009 was (and it was a much worse macro-economy), it had nothing like the same kind of impact on our business. It was, in fact, a very good year for Semphonic.
I’m uncomfortable saying that – not because I fear some kind of hexerati – but just because I know how difficult a year it was for the vast majority of companies. It’s easy to pretend you’re better than everyone else or smarter than everyone else when most of the time it’s really just a matter of being luckier than everyone else.
I think we truly were smarter than everyone else in 2000 when we recognized that web analytics was real and important. But it didn’t help our business one whit and it didn’t make it any easier to layoff, one by one, our entire staff.
This year, we weren’t any smarter than back then but we were luckier - and perhaps a little better at our business too. And so we found ourselves quietly having the best year of our ten plus years in business – best by almost any measure you could name - from revenue growth to employee growth, client growth to profitability, and even in the quality and accomplishment of our work. By year’s end, things felt strong indeed. I take this as a tribute to our industry, its importance in the online world, and the increasing recognition that web analytics really does matter.I do not pretend to predict the greater macro-economic climate. The economy could roar-back, it could double-dip. It could stagger along without either growth or disaster. I have no idea. And I’m pretty certain no one else really knows either. But at least in our little corner of the woods the wolves seem far afield and the horizon wide indeed.
The joy of a business like ours is doing work we love with people we like. The hard part is running the business – especially when times are tough. Having barely survived one devastating downturn, you can imagine how thankful we are to have flourished during a second.
This new year is exciting indeed. We look forward not merely to survival but to new horizons. We are still early-days in a great shift that is fundamentally changing the way marketing works and the way business is done. There are still vast unexplored regions on our maps of this new world. And we in web analytics are like the long-ago sailors who penciled in their maps with vague guesses and ventured in their ships of wood out into that remote unknown in search of distant lands, vast riches, and most intoxicating of all, the adventure of new ideas.Happy New Year!