Three Things and Eight Heartfelt Thank Yous
Last month, we earned the Healthcare Innovators 2015 Product of the Year award for OurDirectives, a web app we built in collaboration with Penn Medicine. A week before that, at the Philly 100 Awards, Arcweb Technologies was named the second-fastest growing company in the Philadelphia region for 2015.
I don’t want to say that we’ve been shocked by all this recognition but yeah—we’ve been shocked. We always believe in the products we create (like OurDirectives) and we knew that we had grown fast enough to make the Philly 100 since we were invited to attend in the first place. But to earn recognition from other respected organizations is truly humbling. Ranking second out of 100 companies is even more mind-blowing.
After a night of Philly 100 celebration and revelry, we staggered into the office the next morning trying to figure out “what just happened.” It wouldn’t take too long, or too many cups of coffee (thank you), before we could manage piece together a few thoughts on the magnitude of our achievement.
How did Arcweb Technologies outpace ninety-eight other rapid growth companies in the region? Luck? Good timing? Location, location, location? (Yes, yes, yes.)
But there’s more to it than that. There have been an abundance of wonderful things have made this company possible, starting with great leadership in Chris Cera and the many generous mentors and advisors that have guided him and us throughout the years. (Thank you!) In fact, many things completely beyond our control have played a part in our growth. However, when we looked at the things that we could control — things like our values, work ethic and mission — there are three fundamentals that make all the difference.
Building a digital product?
1: Make Good Things
A couple of stars need to align for a company to thrive: good marketing, effective sales and account management and helpful customer service just to name a few. Yet very few of those things will be able to consistently make up for a bad product or service. If your product sucks — good luck and godspeed.
No matter what you sell, it has to be of high value to the people you hope will consume it. For a services company like Arcweb Technologies that means busting our you-know-what every time to produce the best digital products for clients, and their users and customers. It’s not always perfect — nothing ever is. But over the past four-plus years, we’ve been fortunate to work with over 50 clients from early stage startups to Fortune 50 enterprises, and most of them have trusted us to come back again and again. (Thank you!)
We’ve gotten very lucky. Many of the entrepreneurs and corporate innovators that we’ve had the pleasure to collaborate with were already rockstars (or at least, rockstars-in-the-making). They’ve tapped us for our expertise in making great digital products, but those great products always start with their good ideas. To all of our great customers, awards like the Philly 100 and the Healthcare Innovators 2015 Product of the Year are as much your victory as they are ours. (Thank you!)
2: Find Good People
Ironically, it is in an increasingly tech-centric world that companies begin to value people even more. Technology, as it turns out, has helped us quantify the value of people — not to mention find, hire, and empower the very best. We’re all aware of the shortage of talented engineers, but it turns out you also need the best project managers, designers, sellers, marketers, and operations/finance people for your company to be successful — and those top people aren’t always readily available either. (Thank you!)
People, at the end of the day — and regardless of their role, seniority, or skill — are still our builders, consumers, supporters, evangelists and cheerleaders. People come in early to turn the office lights on, and make the coffee. And people stay late to make sure the job gets done. (Thank you.)
Arcweb’s growth has been made possible by people. Hiring and nurturing some of the best project managers, designers, and engineers in the region is no simple feat. We’ve been able to do it 30-plus times and counting. (Oh, we’re hiring, btw!) But it’s also been the spouses and significant others, the children (pets included), friends, family and colleagues. Those people have chipped in along the way to make Arcweb great. They’ve shared our story, patted us on the back, admonished us, and dusted us off when we’ve needed it. (Thank you!)
3: Love the Grind
The truth is that it hasn’t been all fist bumps and high fives. The road to Arcweb’s success is paved with good lessons that were sometimes learned the hard way. Growing almost 1000 percent in less than three years sounds fantastic on paper, but sometimes it’s downright messy. Comfort zones get stretched. Processes bend, then break unexpectedly. Plans get skewed, if not distorted. Everything always seems to have a bandaid on it.
But all of that is part of why we do it.
The work of building a company and building products, can often be a clunky dance, but it is made beautiful and elegant by the people we get to do it with. Our experiences with products and people make us who we are and influence what we will be. Many of those experiences have been with you, our incredible community of loved ones, employees, clients and partners. You give us your support, talent, expertise, patience and trust. And we are grateful.