People often ask me what it’s like to run your own business. I’ll be honest and say it’s a lot harder than I expected.
But with that said, in the blink of an eye, Airteam has turned 3 years old. Someone once told me “if you make three years, you have a viable business”.
Something I’m not great at is taking the time to celebrate achievements. I’m always looking ahead and pushing to the next milestone I think is important to take the business forward.
This last month however, we’ve run a couple of celebratory events and taken some time out to map the key business milestones since our incorporation in June 2016. It’s allowed me some time to appreciate what we’ve achieved in a relatively short space of time.
So on reflection, what are the key successes we’ve had over the last 3 years?
I’ve captured the highlights and plotted them in our journey illustration below. But I also wanted to take this opportunity to share the story of how we came to be...From a small start-up in a co-work space to a fully fledged technical digital agency with offices overlooking Sydney Harbour.
It was November 2015, Rich and I (Airteam co-founders) came to meet for the first time on a street corner in Piermont, Sydney. Not as dodgy as it sounds, we were actually on the way to a joint client briefing having been mutually introduced by a friend.
In the lead-up to this meeting, I’d spent most of my career working in market research, digital marketing and then went into UX and Customer Experience. In my latter years, I was at a large consulting firm where we often charged $$$$$$$ to hand over a strategic document to clients at the end of a 6-month engagement, leaving the client asking “what the hell am I supposed to do with this now?”. This frustrated me greatly. We were bringing more problems to the table rather than solving them. And we never produced any tangible outcomes.
Meanwhile Rich had been working for a number of years at The Reserve Bank of Australia. He was a Technical lead on the redevelopment of the Reserve Bank Information and Transfer System (RITS), Australia’s Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system; categorised by ASIO as critical infrastructure. He was doing important work and had a great understanding of technology. From there he decided to try something different and set about running an independent development consultancy.
On the way back from our first meeting together, we discussed how we felt there was a need for a true, technical digital agency. One that fused the capabilities of Human Centred Design, Lean UX and Agile Development. A business with high performing scrum teams and digital specialists that could become a true, technical digital partner for clients, or provide on-demand, specialist digital resources. An agency that delivered tangible outcomes and results, instead of weighty strategic reports.
From that initial discussion, Airteam was born.
But it’s all well and good to have an idea, everyone has ideas every day. The hard part is trying to realise it and bring it to life. It’s for that we have to be thankful to all those who have supported and believed in us so far:
- We have an amazing core crew of 16 talented and hard-working people that without, there would be no Airteam. In addition, we work with a number of trusted associates that come in and support us during peak times. It’s so hard in the current climate to find and retain top talent, and we’ve been lucky enough to build an awesome team. We’re ably assisted by our Recruitment Practice Lead who we hired at the start of the year and our awesome Head of Crew and Culture.
- We have over 25 clients we’ve worked with, many of whom continue to work with us. Without these clients who put their trust in us early on, we wouldn’t be here. We hope to continue partnering with all our clients for many years to come.
So what’s next for Airteam?
We want to grow the team, skills and capabilities to keep advancing what we do and offer our clients an even better experience. We’ve doubled down on our core service offerings around:
- Digital Product Development = helping businesses create amazing products using Human Centred Design and Agile Development.
- Enhancing Existing Products = helping businesses improve their digital product or service through Human Centred Design and Agile Development.
- Digital Experts for Hire = supporting businesses to bolster their team with ours in delivering on their digital strategy and product roadmap.
We’ve also started to invest further in developing our skills and project experience to now offer:
- Artificial Intelligence and Data Engineering = helping businesses use their data to create better automation and insights.
We continue to invest in and develop our own IP of which we hope to commercialise over the next 12-24 months.
We’ve spent the last 3 years perfecting our craft and getting the infrastructure of our business in place. We now need to spread the word about what we do and demonstrate the value we can bring to more businesses around Australia.
But for now, I’ll sit back and reflect on what we’ve achieved in 3 years and take the opportunity to say thank you to all those that have been a part of the Airteam story to-date. Here’s to another successful 3 years ahead.
The highlights - 3 years of Airteam
- 18 clients
- 5 partners
- 7 start-ups helped
- 70+ projects delivered
- 28 crew
- 4 company values
- #1 Do the right thing
- #2 Build a strong team
- #3 Focus on outcomes
- #4 Strive for better
- 4 service lines
- Digital product development
- Enhance existing products
- AI & data engineering
- Digital experts for hire
- 5 office upgrades
- 2 company aquisitions
- 12 social events
- 3 internal product innivations