Happy birthday to us!
Tom Founder, Chairman & CEO
5 Nov 2016 · 3 min read
There’s nothing wrong with buying yourself a little something – so we got ourselves a killer birthday present!
About six months after Vincent, Nick, Thomas and I founded our very first company – in other words, after our very first fifth of November – I was asked to lunch by someone I thought was a pretty wise man.
An “entrepreneur”, who wanted to give me “entrepreneurial” advice. Unfortunately, although he tried to dress it up that way, what I got sounded suspiciously like a lecture – luckily not a very long one.
Let me give you the highlights:
- We were wrong to start a company with friends, because mixing business and friendship is a recipe for disaster;
- The business we were launching wasn’t exactly “sustainable” in the long term;
- And most importantly, you can’t build a solid business if your aim is to ‘primarily’ have fun.
At the end of this short lecture, he said the smartest thing we could do, while we were still young and relatively inexperienced, was to get a “real job” while we still had the chance.
It sounded a lot like a parent telling their teenage kid that you can’t make a living doing something you think is fun, like playing, eh, darts, for example.
On a related note, it recently came to my attention that you can actually make serious cash playing darts… Good hand-eye coordination? Love to hang around your local pub? Go for it! Consider that my “entrepreneurial” advice!
So why do I want to share this story with you on our birthday?
Because every fifth of November, Vincent, Nick, Thomas, and myself celebrate not taking that advice – and this particular anecdote is not the only time we received it. We’ve had a lot of incredible mentors and advisors over the years, but we’ve also encountered plenty passers-by who thought they had a monopoly on ”The Way to Do Things”.
Every Fifth of November, we celebrate not getting that “real” job, and instead starting this business, rooted in friendship and hard work, and making it sustainable.
The one thing the wise man from the story above was right about, although that wasn’t the advice he chose to give us, was that back then we had little vision, and certainly no strong strategy. We just jumped into this new adventure, confident that we’d figure it out.
Today, however, that’s changed.
Today we know what we’re capable of and what we want to become: not the biggest, not the boldest, definitely not the loudest, but simply the best. Period! Today we know our true potential and are building a team of champions to get us there.
Are we there yet? Definitely not – but we’re well on our way.
A team of champions needs a stadium!
We’ve been running this business pretty conservatively up until now, scaling slowly and investing carefully. That’s why we’re happy to announce that this year, we’ve taken a pretty big leap by getting ourselves a killer birthday present!
To house those big ambitions that we have, we have acquired our very own champion’s league stadium, right in the heart of our hometown of Antwerp.
No, we’re not planning on taking our mothership to some more exotic horizon. Antwerp is still the perfect backdrop for our ambitious roadmap! We’re currently hard at work making our new HQ into the perfect environment for work and fun, and we’ll be moving in at the end of 2017. Of course, we’ll keep you posted on the progress – we won’t be able to help ourselves… :)