11 Jul

31,556,900 seconds old today!

Birthday cake

We can hardly believe it… 1 year ago today we made our dream a reality and became a limited company going by the name of Elm Solutions. Why in seconds though? Well, anyone who’s involved in a start-up knows that it is not, in any shape or form, a 9 – 5 job. Every waking (and a lot of weird unwaking seconds) are spent worrying, thinking, planning, innovating and dreaming about the future. I remember glimpsing the saying “Entrepreneurs spend 80 hours a week to avoid working 40” on the day we set up and you could not speak a truer word. Although it’s not just the entrepreneurs but everyone who works for and with Elm.

On reflection, I am genuinely staggered how far we have come as a company in the first year. It all started with an idea in a spare meeting room of a random hotel, which was the cheapest we could find in Dublin, and has grown to 8 employees in such a short space of time. Within 3 months we had our first office and had to turn our hand to interior design and some manual labour;

https://www.flickr.com/photos/134393671@N07/19304920549/in/dateposted-public/

We have had lessons to learn, in fact there is a full article devoted to it here. That being said I really could not be prouder of what we have achieved in such a short space of time. The amount of time, effort and late nights the staff have put in to get us over many lines is incredible. Good staff makes or breaks a start-up and I can’t say enough how fortunate we have been in finding such good people. When it comes to praise, one group that generally gets little thanks on the start-up scene is service providers. They have been such an important part in successfully delivering everything we have to date and they deserve huge credit.

The next 12 months are setting themselves up to be seriously exciting. We aim to double our head count in the next year. This is an incredible testament to the hard work in winning the confidence of our customers through consistently high quality deliverable’s. We are competing against some of the biggest names in the environmental and IT sphere and I don’t think I can overstate enough how amazing it is to win work pitted against the best based on our merit and name alone. Some of the cool stuff you can expect to see over the next year is;

  • The full launch of our corporate strategy: We are planning to streamline our work based on the core values of Elm and what we set this company up to do. It is something we have been working on for months and I am really excited to get it out in the open.
  • ISO 27001 Certification: We take data protection incredibly seriously at Elm and are currently in the final stages of our ISO certification. We have made some changes in how we do business which mitigates risks for Elm and most importantly our customers when handling data.
  • Launch of our social responsibility strategy: When I first had a vision for Elm, charity work and social responsibility were as much part of our day to day work as the office, IT…. everything. Too many organisations use buzz words without actually having a practical impact on the environment around us all and I am committed that this won’t happen in Elm.
  • Full implementation of the hyper-performance model: Out with the bell curve and in with exponential rewards based on performance alone. Won’t say too much now but you can read more about it here
  • Launch of a new offering for budding entrepreneurs and start up investors: Again, I can’t divulge too much details on this now but it is the first of its kind and something we believe can really break down the barriers for people wanting to develop or invest in ideas! Stay tuned over the next few months for the full launch!
  • Real opportunities in the environmental space: We have some exciting leads to work on over the next 12 months that can really shape how the environment is managed through our own workshop ideas and industry heavy weights. Keep an eye out for the first Elm workshop app release!
  • The first little Elmo: Probably not too much to do with the company but I can’t contain my excitement… Any day now I am expecting my first and the company’s first baby. Although she can’t join coder dojo for 7 years, she may turn out to be our Elmo mascot. Permission pending for that one though!

There is so much more coming down the pipeline I can’t disclose but 2015/2016 is really shaping up to be an incredible year for Elm and everyone who is part of the adventure so stayed tuned! Meanwhile we will keep on doing what we do best;

“Good is the enemy of great”