Tuesday, December 21, 2021
In our Recap Part 1, we already looked at internal developments in 2021. But we also have a lot to look back on in our collaboration with our customers, in the area of our core technologies, and in partnerships. CEO and founder Christian Wendler and COO Chris Köhler therefore answer questions in our traditional interview.
Spring and fall 2021 were again very much characterized by Corona, while the situation was more relaxed in the summer. Did the waves and fluctuations affect our growth targets?
In contrast to 2020 and the uncertainties due to Corona, 2021 was completely different. Although there were waves and restrictions again, it didn't have a negative impact. Quite the opposite. We are back on track for growth in 2021 and have achieved our goals.
Which topics have particularly engaged byte5 2021?
One aspect was the extensive expansion in the Laravel area. At the beginning of the year, we were able to expand our Laravel partnership. We are now the only high-level partner with the Diamond partnership in the German-speaking region - and thus the natural contact for challenging projects in the Laravel area. This has brought us very exciting customers. We were also able to revive our Laravel Meetup in March. A highlight for all participants was certainly the Q&A with Laravel founder Taylor Otwell. Thanks to the online format, we were able to attract many new faces from all over the German-speaking world to the Meetup, which we are of course very happy about.
Another big topic was Pimcore. With its Symphony base, it offers the perfect complement to Laravel and our existing technology stack. Here, too, we were able to intensify projects. This is in response to demand from our customers, which has increased tremendously. At the same time, on the .Net side, we strengthened our Microsoft Gold partnership at the end of the year with four newly certified developers.
Since the orientation of our projects, our competencies and the focus technologies have shifted since the foundation of byte5, it was also time to make this officially clear in 2021. We therefore said goodbye to "digital media" in our company name and are now only called byte5 GmbH.
In 2021, we again spent a lot of time building resources that are available to our customers in the various projects. My highlight topic this year was also the inclusion of IOTA in our technology stack. In the spring, we were able to publish our first whitepaper on this, which explains the basics of DLT technology in an understandable way. IOTA will be part of our Web 3.0 business in the future.
Was there anything that surprised you two?
I was pleasantly surprised by the very pronounced demand - not only in relation to 2020, but overall. From the bottom of 2020 to 2021, we effectively increased our sales by 50%. This meant that we were not only able to negate the Corona effect, but after taking a breath, we were able to seamlessly continue the positive development of 2019.
If we stay with IOTA, then I was surprised by the high momentum at the end of the year. Before that, there was a rather wait-and-see attitude for quite some time. Now it's blow by blow - also in terms of third-party projects that are popping up everywhere at the moment. There's a lot happening right now, not only from the IOTA Foundation, but also from other companies and the community. This confirms our decision to go with IOTA, so in that sense "surprised" is perhaps the wrong term. But obviously we recognized the timing and the trend well. So I was pleasantly surprised that our assumptions were confirmed on such a broad front and supported by many other sides.
Christian, how would you sum up 2021 in one sentence?
There is a cautious mood of optimism.
This year was more ambivalent than almost any other year. Seen from our bubble, 2021 was characterized by enormous demand and enormous development - both for us and technologically. Many things are in the making, there is a mood of optimism. This contrasts with the fact that in 2020 we had hoped that this year would also see a renewed sense of optimism in society. But we are all in a world that is thrown back into crisis time after time. In the past, we had crises and everything was lousy. Business wasn't good, the mood outside was bad, everything was bad. People just wanted the year to be over. Now, on the other hand, certain companies and industries are doing phenomenally well, while others are not doing well at all. But we' re not just a company and a business, we' re also a private person. In your private life, too, we can be frustrated by new virus variants and new restrictions on the one hand, but on the other hand there are things we can be very happy about.
Looking ahead to 2022: Any plans to talk about?
In all core technologies such as Microsoft, IOTA, and Pimcore, we want to gain more certifications and intensify partnerships. To achieve this, we will invest massively in team growth. The biggest challenge in 2022 is basically that the team growth can keep up with the demand growth of our customers and projects.
We are at the beginning of a major disruption of Internet-based services through Web 3.0. We are not talking about technical frills. I'm talking about fundamental disruption with new business models and completely different solutions. That's why we will be massively expanding our information and resources on Web 3.0 in the coming year.
Do you have any wishes for the coming year?
Although the intensive and predominant work from the home office has been tried and tested for almost two years, I would be happy if there were more personal interaction in the office again. It would also be nice to finally meet many of the newly acquired customers in person.
We founded a subsidiary for events this year, byte5 live GmbH. My wish is to be able to hold events in a hybrid way again in 2022. No longer purely virtual, but with a real stage, with real speakers and at least some real audience. I think that would be very important for us as well as for the customers and the community.
Insights from Umbraco Festival 2019 - © Axel Gross
Dear Christian, dear Chris, thank you both for the interview!
With this we say goodbye to the well-deserved Christmas vacation and wish all customers, partners and friends a relaxing and contemplative holiday.