A lot happened in 2015 around here at the now called Subvisual. I thought that I should share a recap with all of you, not only to boost our egos a bit by reviewing all the astonishing work accomplished last year, but also to lift the veil for what’s coming in 2016. We have set bold goals for the current year, and as scary as it seems to share them with you, it will add an extra layer of commitment since we expect to be held accountable by all of you. Let’s start by briefly recapping our last year.
At the beginning of 2015 after significant thought and research, we finally decided to change our company’s name. At the first of July, we launched our new name and a complete rebrand. My blog post “Our biggest announcement yet” explains the decision process that we went through and the whole rationale behind the new brand.
Changing our name and brand was without a doubt a big step, but what happened after our announcement (excluding the obvious but very welcome congratulations from everyone) was, even more, important to us. If there is something that can reflect the success that came from the rebrand, it’s the number of introductions and leads that we received from people who we already knew for years. When from one day to the next, people who you talk to regularly, that know what you do on a daily basis, start having the initiative to broadcast your company to help your growth, that is a reflection of the limitations our old brand had and how having a fresh face made everyone feel comfortable to talk about Subvisual.
The aftermath of our rebrand process is still in the making. It is early to say that it was a complete success. However, we can assert that we increased our leads, visits on our website, the number of people trying to join our team and we have now a clear vision for our company with a brand that reflects that.
We continued our team growth, adding three new members in three different areas. First Laura joined us as Head of Operations. Until this moment we were a team constituted only by designers and developers, and, to be honest, we were a bit skeptical about adding such a role. We believe our team members should take responsibilities other than designing and developing, that is how one can truly excel at their craft, but we were confident that Laura would make a difference. She is a perfect fit for our culture and quickly became a key person in our team.
The second person that joined us was Francisco. He started as our first design apprentice and turned into a full member right after that. His experience as an apprentice is well documented by himself on the blog post “The Pursuit of Craftsmanship”. When Francisco started working as a full member at Subvisual, it was a special day for our team, as the first time we had more than one designer working with us. Having someone to exchange ideas and to ping-pong thoughts on some projects made a substantial difference to our creative process and, ultimately, to the quality of our work.
Last but not least, Pedro joined us near the end of the year. He is an excellent developer that we’ve known for years, who had already helped us put together the first two editions of RubyConf Portugal and organising BragaJS. It was a solid bet, and we’re happy to have him with us. You can take a look at our current team here.
For the third time, we made it happen. It is a unique project for us, where sometimes the heart speaks louder than the mind. We stretched our goals for the 2015’s edition, doing a full-time intensive boot camp, which for a small company like ours, had serious implications regarding the time and focus it needs.
The good part is that we accomplished a complete rebrand of Creators School, we sold out and had an amazing group of students.
The not so good part was that we were completely overwhelmed with work during the three months of Creators School, with almost no time to start new projects.
At this point we are still not sure if we are going to do a new edition, only the future will tell, but for the moment it isn’t in our plans.
The second edition of RubyConf Portugal happened in September, and it was once again a blast.
We’ve been endorsing Ruby in Portugal almost for five years now, and this conference is the pinnacle of that support. From meetups to smaller conferences like Ruby Norte, we’ve always been there. Being always present gave us a crystal clear idea of the evolution that our community had. Despite believing that having over 60% of foreign attendees in the first edition was surprising and impressive, the truth is we managed to surpass that number last year.
At a first glance, we were flattered and happy because this could mean that our success in the first edition was noticed, people would talk about us and spread the word through their friends and colleagues to come this year. But on the other end, one could say that this means that we could leave a strong mark on the Portuguese Ruby community, and that was our main goal as explained on my first blog post announcing RubyConf Portugal.
We are still deciding if we are going to move forward with a third edition or not. At this point, we want to do a conference but are unsure if it will be a new edition of RubyConf Portugal or something broader in scope. One thing we know for sure, the second edition was an epic event, in a stunning venue, once again with tasty food and wine, with a memorable karaoke night (and rain :)) and here’s a video to prove it.
Despite being an exciting year regarding events and other topics, our company’s primary reason for existence is to turn ideas into impactful new products, improve older ones and also help other businesses grow their teams, processes and tools.
Last year was no different. We ended up working with people from four difference continents, getting our first projects in Asia and Australia.
One of the things that we are proud of last year is that we narrowed the type of projects we worked on. At the beginning of 2015, we decided to focus on three areas: MedTech, FinTech and Education, 95% of our projects fell under these categories.
Moving to 2016 we want to continue working in these three sectors but with a particular focus on Health Care. Being involved in a series of projects where we had the opportunity to develop products with a tremendous impact on people’s lives, increases our motivation to specialise in the healthcare space.
We want to unveil some of our plans for 2016. The focus will continue to be producing well-crafted products in the areas mentioned above. That’s where our hearts reside. Along the way here are our main goals for 2016:
We want to double our revenue. This metric alone can be misleading, but we’re in a growth phase where we want to keep our eyes on the prize, following the same pragmatic approach that brought us here.
We will be opening a new office. We have been thinking about this for a while, and we chose to do it in Boston. We’ll explain the rationale behind this decision in a future blog post.
We will launch a branch of our company just focused on the Health Care space. It’s going to be called SV Health.
There’s a lot more exciting things to come in 2016, but this is a recap of the main things 2015 had to offer and a quick overview of what our 2016 is going to look like. We have set our ambition for this year, and we can’t wait to start sharing all the goods.