The end of 2010 brings me to think about what Ordered List has been, and what it’s becoming. It’s been nearly four years since I started out on my own. And this milestone aligns with another, the arrival of our fourth team member.
When I started Ordered List as my full time business back in January of 2007, I really had no idea of what I wanted the company to be in the long term. I knew that I loved designing and building web sites and applications. I knew that I wanted to make a go of it on my own. And when it came to growing, I knew that I never wanted to grow just because there was work. I’d rather turn down work than grow and shrink with demand. But I also knew that if I found the right people, I’d find the work to pay for them. And that started with John.
It was in the middle of my second year of business that I found out that John Nunemaker was planning to leave Notre Dame, and was interested in joining me at Ordered List. I jumped at the chance to work with, without hesitation, one of the best programmers I have ever known. What he may lack in programming depth, he more than makes up for in thoughtfulness, usability, and simplistic creativity. And today, I value John even more for his honesty, his passion, and his dedication to building amazing things.
The third year of Ordered List saw us burrow down, and build the foundation of Harmony, our first major product. Working on client work in bursts helped us pay the bills, sometimes just in time, while we bootstrapped our own product. Along with the reduction in incoming funds came a quiet spell on our blog. It was tough to find the time to write when every available ounce of creativity was spent perfecting our product. Some months were exhilarating, others testing. But we pushed through, and the beginning of our fourth year saw us bring Harmony to the surface.
2010 has been our best year by far. John and I have had the privilege of working with some amazing clients on projects that have stretched us to learn things well beyond our previous skill set. It also saw Harmony launch in beta, then publicly. The response has been amazing, and we’re so excited to continue building the best CMS we’ve ever used.
With our successes John and I discussed growing, but wanted to stick to the vision of ‘the right people at the right time.’ And fortunately for us, the end of 2010 brought us two amazing people.
Jonathan Hoyt joined us in mid December. Hoyt’s development experience is young, but his technical skill is broad, and his vision and enthusiasm have challenged both John and I to step up our game. And starting the beginning of January, Brandon Keepers will bring his wealth of programming experience to help us serve clients, and build Harmony in ways we couldn’t have otherwise. Brandon’s depth of knowledge is perfectly balanced with his vision for simplicity, a skill I value more than any other.
To put it simply, I couldn’t be any more exited about 2011. Excited about what we’ll help our clients accomplish, about what we can communicate better on our blog, about how we can grow Harmony, and about launching our next product, Speaker Deck.
But more importantly, I’m thrilled to be surrounded by such talented, enthusiastic, and genuinely awesome people in John, Hoyt, and Brandon. I’m so proud of what we’ve built, and what we can do with this team.
Here’s to a great 2011!