Thursday, December 22, 2022
In the first part of our annual review this year, we already looked at highlights of 2022 from the team's point of view. But also from a strategic point of view and with our core technologies, there is a lot we would like to look back on. Managing Director and Founder Christian Wendler and COO Chris Köhler therefore answer questions in our traditional interview.
Which topics have particularly concerned byte5 in 2022?
In any case, the permanent topic of growth. Even if the percentage growth was comparable to previous years - 2020 excluded - the absolute numbers are getting bigger. As a result, the perceived speed of change was also greater, because there are simply more new faces at byte5.
Such a high team growth as in 2022 never happens without a jolt and brings new challenges with it. That's why we've been working a lot on internal issues this year: Communication, the Change Panel as a participation format, the revision of the feedback system, recruiting, ... We are on the way to moving in the direction of Agile Org and thus solving various growth conflicts in the team.
What surprised you?
What has surprised me is the speed with which the cultural adaptation process of the new people, which has to do with participation and change panels, for example, is working. I have the feeling that the new people - who are just joining the team because of the way we are positioning ourselves - are ready for change, support these changes and also want to participate.
Another thing that surprised me is that Umbraco demand has increased significantly compared to last year. The fact that our demand situation is better is probably related to the fact that Umbraco now has a higher distribution worldwide. On the other hand, we were among the first Gold Partners ever. Now, 15 years later, we are again the only Gold Partner in Germany and one of two in the DACH region, with a view to 2023.
I was surprised by the speed with which the communication issue and also the participation issue threatened to slip out of our hands. I would have thought that the pain would be a bit more gradual. But when I look back now, I'm not surprised either. Sometimes I don't realise how much we have grown in the last 12 months. My impression is that we have been able to solve these problems bit by bit and have started to build up guard rails. I really notice how aspects of our communication workshop are reflected everywhere in the team and how people consciously behave accordingly.
The byte5 team at the joint internal communication workshop - © byte5
How would you sum up 2022 in one sentence?
2022 is what 2021 should have been - without Corona.
In 2020 we had Corona, then there was a recovery and now it has been confirmed that we are back on track. But at the same time, the growth has felt different. It seems as if the growth, which was only ever seen in figures before, is now also tangible.
The omens were anything but good, the outlook for next year is anything but good, but on balance we have had a phenomenal year. In times like these, the quality of the people in the team shows. As long as the sun is shining and the sky is blue, many problems tend to be hidden. I believe that together, and with a great sense of togetherness, we have learned important things and set standards from which we will benefit greatly in the future. I find that extremely positive.
Looking ahead to 2023: are there plans we can talk about?
In 2023, there is a new partnership again. We start with the official Pimcore partnership in gold. And there will be a revival of the Umbraco partnership, with new activities based on the growing demand of the last six months.
© Umbraco A/S
Another issue for 2023 will be the office situation: despite remote, hybrid and the changing requirements, we have decided to include growing office space in our plans for the next few years. On 1 April, we will therefore move to Frankfurt's Westhafen. The office there should become even more of a place for the team to get together than the current one is.
We expect a potentially challenging market environment in 2022. All the economic indicators I know are pointing to storm. But if everyone is expecting the economic hurricane, everyone is also adjusting to it. Then the question is: how deep will the recession be? But we are still positioning ourselves in such a way that we are looking at moderate growth. We are there. We continue to take on client projects. We continue to hire.
We will also expand our investment in the IOTA business and strengthen our IOTA expertise. Let's address the pink elephant that is currently in the room: Regardless of the crisis in the crypto trading market, we continue to see the benefit of the various potential use cases and pursue the added value that comes from them. There are simply certain things you can do with this technology that will provide an advantage. That is what we are focusing on. The benefit doesn't disappear just because the prices collapse. That has nothing to do with the technology itself.
Do you have any wishes for the coming year?
I wish that we manage to get through any problems and crises that may come in the next year. And that we manage not only to preserve our special byte5 culture, but also to develop it further, despite growth and an increasing remote quota.
Our goal is to provide the team with the environment we promised them. There has been a decent growth this year and accordingly the new, but also old team members want to see, "Does byte5 deliver what I expected after a year or a year and a half?" This is no small job, but of course we want to live up to it. Especially in times like these, we want to show that even a small company like byte5 can be a very good and very solid place to work.
We talk a lot about the team but of course the same applies to our customers. For them, too, we want to be a reliable business partner - no matter what the market environment is like.
Dear Christian, dear Chris,
Thank you for these insights into your year 2022 and the small preview of everything that will come in the new year! This is our farewell to the well-deserved Christmas holiday and we wish all our customers, partners and friends a relaxing and peaceful holiday season.