When a new year begins, we always take some time to set our own (usually unrealistic) goals for ourselves both personally and together as a company. This helps us stay focused and dedicated throughout the year. As the year comes to a close we found ourselves reflecting on what this year meant for us. We are incredibly thankful for our clients and for our friends for supporting us throughout this year. We’d like to take a bit to recap our year, and give some insight into what the next year will bring for us.
What went right?
After taking the plunge to moving the company from a single person to a lean, three person team, this year was our most successful to date (and we’re really proud of that). The way we measure that success is by seeing how many things from the past year we can put into our “things we care about most” buckets which are:
- Client Wins
- Personal Wins
- Speaking Engagements
- Event / Organization Sponsorships
Our clients success is our success, and we’re deftly intent on seeing them succeed. Here are some awesome wins they had in 2016:
We worked with the owner of the leading news and information website covering disruptive finance to improve the process that users go through to access SEC filings. This service, Disclosure Quest, allows users to see an “at a glance” view of crowdfunding filings but more importantly, allows them to dig deeper and view the actual documents and assets that were filed with an easy to use search interface.
The AIM Institute launches a service to test new markets for product development
AIM is a long-time client of ours who we have had an ongoing feature and maintenance contract with. They’re an absolute pleasure to work with. This year we were able to bring to fruition an amazing idea they had, B2B MarketView, which gives businesses the ability to answer a few questions to receive an insightful, custom built report regarding the market position of potential new products.
May 15th, 2016 was a big day in the crowdfunding industry. It was the first day that one could file the newly available “Form C” document, allowing individual people to invest in one’s company in exchange for equity. We can proudly say that the first Form C document that was filed, at 6:35am that day, was a document created by iDisclose, a client whose web based application we developed in 2015.
Soon after submission, someone could find the filing information on Disclosure Quest, another of our client’s projects. Having support for Form C from day one was massively important for our clients, a need that we can say confidently that was met.
vLoan launches newly realigned homepage and expanded online mortgage service
We worked with vLoan on a number of pieces to their online mortgage system, but this year we were given the ability to take a fresh look at their homepage which was originally built for their MVP launch. We had a year of data and customer experiences which were used to target the messaging and layout for conversion. In doing so, we were also able to make improvements to design, performance, and page accessibility; three things we care a lot about as a company.
Peak Telematics launches Darby, a usage based insurance application
Working directly with Brad Colbow, a local UX and design guru, we designed and built the templates for the company’s web application which takes an ultra modern approach to an industry not known for putting an importance on usability and design. In 2016 they released an alpha version of their application which they intend to license to insurance companies.
A magazine with more than 500,000 monthly page views gets complete website redesign
Working with our friends at Studio Mercury we had the distinct pleasure of implementing, from the ground up, the new website design they created for one of their clients. There was a lot of custom functionality developed to help meet the new, modern demands of their site’s users. The website is slated for launch in early 2017.
We believe that it’s very important to grow as a person outside of the business. We try to give back and involve ourselves in causes that we care deeply about in our communities.
Byron was accepted into the 2017 class of Akron Torchbearers, a Leadership Akron independent affiliate
One of our developers, Byron, was accepted into the 2017 class of Torchbearers. This program is equally focused on leadership development and community service and has well over double the amount of applicants as it does accepted members. The organization exists to strengthen the connection between Akron-area nonprofits and emerging leaders.
Cleveland GiveCamp, one of the nations largest GiveCamps with over 200 volunteers annually, has been a passion of Jon Knapp since its inception 8 years ago. As Coffee and Code grows, so does its involvement in the organization. More on this can be read in a previous write-up here.
Company helps organize and attends Hack N Akron, a civic hackathon
Hack N Akron, a civic hacking group, was founded by a group of local volunteers including our developer, Byron. He helped not only plan the technical direction for the day, but connected the city staff to the development team, and worked hard to make the event a success. Eric also attended the event and helped with design guidance and research questions.
Akron Front End Development Group
Byron has been the sole organizer of a technical meetup group in the Akron area that he started as a Micrommunity of Launch League in May of 2016. The group has hosted monthly meetups and several hack nights to create a community of local developers and designers interested in leveling up and expanding their skill set.
We believe that public speaking, especially at conferences and meetups relating to your field, is one of the best ways to grow as a person, and as a professional. The confidence, required research, and people skills developed while doing this are invaluable.
Design Feedback for Everyone, Eric Browning
Eric’s talk, Design Feedback for Everyone, was a big hit this year. On discussing how non-designers and designers can interact more efficiently, Eric gave this talk at three different events. First at StirTrek, then at the Columbus Web Group, and lastly at Flight.
Personas: an Interactive User Experience Workshop, Eric Browning
Eric crafted an interactive workshop to help work out different personas given a particular group, organization, etc. He gave this workshop at the UX Akron meetup group and an event organized by Akron Women in Tech.
Docker on the Docks, Jon Knapp
Speaking to the Cleveland Ruby Brigade (CleRB) Group, Jon talked through the process of creating and setting up Docker containers, how they differ from VMs, and lessons learned bringing local development and deployments to the technology.
Building “Serverless” Software with AWS Lambda, Jon Knapp
After utilizing AWS Lambda for a few interesting projects at the company, Jon put together a talk on the subject which he gave at Erie Day of Code, Pittsburgh Tech Fest, and will be delivering it in January of 2017 at CodeMash.
Wadsworth Career Day, Jon Knapp
For the third year in a row, Jon talked to Wadsworth high school students at their annual Career Day. He spoke a bit on starting a business, his personal development path post high school, info about the job market, and focused on open Q&A with the students.
How HTTP/2 Fits Into Your Workflow, Byron Delpinal
For a while now, Byron has been interested in web performance. He gave this talk outlining the benefits of HTTP/2 and how to implement it at Flight and will be giving it again in early January 2017 at Codemash.
We believe in supporting things that we want to see more of. It’s a big deal to us, especially in our local community. Here are the events and organizations that we supported in 2016:
Looking Forward to 2017
2016 was great, but what happens next? We’re looking to do more of what we love and are interested in finding:
- Awesome clients to bring on board in the new year.
- Great people to work with in developer, marketing/sales, and business development roles.
- Opportunities to speak at industry events.
If you’re interested in bringing any of these to our attention, don’t hesitate, we’d love to hear from you! You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.