2012! It was a challenging year, but even more challenging year started

von Ivo Lukač -

One year ago we were summarizing year 2011. Now is the time to underline what we achieved in year 2012 and also what we learned in the process. It will be interesting to see on how we met the expectations for 2012: to have more engagement, to work more, to earn more. Let see how we performed.

To generally compare these two year I would say that the 2011 was year of "execution" and 2012 year of "resource growth". The execution phase enabled the growth phase and by growth I mostly mean the increase of number of employees. In a year time we jumped from 8 to 13 which is definitively the biggest jump in our 10 years of doing business. It was also a very tough period as we are mostly a service oriented company depending a lot on the knowledge and experience we all have. We worked a lot and learned a lot on how to spread the know-how to new employees. It is a long process and you need to invest lot of time and be patient. The result will come. After a "resource growth" phase we need again an "execution" phase and that is the main goal for 2013. To execute our know-how in web development.

So how we met the expectation for the year?

More Engagement? Oh yes

To spread the business you need more leads, more opportunities, more projects, etc. Our way of getting all of this is through engagement. I think we nailed this expectation 120%. Could be even that we had too much of it :)

  • Celebrated 10 years of the company - this was more of an internal engagement but a significant milestone to share nevertheless
  • Presented on Lisbon eZ Partner Conference and on Cologne eZ Unconference - we are consistent with all important events in our niche: eZ Publish CMS
  • Worked a lot on extensions like eZ Tags and eZ App Factory - we always aim to return to the community as much as we can through useful code
  • Written 25 blog posts on this blog, about dozen on share.ez.no - we try to share the knowledge to the community and to our own team at the same time
  • Written 22 week reports on our Google+ profile from week 6 to week 52  - trying to inform regularly about our activities 
  • Shared lot of nice pictures and videos on our Facebook page - mostly communicating on Croatian 
  • Sponsored and co-organized two BEST Code Challenge student competitions - trying to find some future employees 
  • Sponsored WebCamp Zagreb event & presented on ZGPHP meetup - helping out our industry locally 
  • Did huge amount of tweeting on personal and company profiles :) - always informing followers and each other about some interesting stuff
  • I was personally involved in the eZ Product Inonvation Board (steering the eZ future a bit) and the CISEx board (supporting and promoting Croatian software exporters community)

This alone would be enough, but hell no, we had to do something even bigger: we organized the first eZ Publish Summer Camp. It is hard to describe this event in few words, I can just say it was an amazing learn & fun experience. I hope all of attendees and all of my colleagues learned a lot in those few days and that we can repeat it this year too. Plans for the next summer camp are in the making :)

So if somebody thinks that we missed some engagement please inform me. We will try to correct it this year :)

More Work? Yep

As we hired more people by the end of 2011 and during the 2012 we also did more work. The problem, obviously, is this growth does not scale easily: new people need time to fit into the team and learn the stuff. Five brilliant and talented people joined us last year (Hrvoje, Hrvoje, Mario, Tomislav & Tomislav) and our mission was to make them feel at home, share our collective knowledge and Netgen philosophy, provide them an environment which will boost their creativity and productivity. Also, part of this effort was to establish Netgen office in Osijek which added a bit more work overhead. Generally we did more work but it was on average less efficient then in the previous year. We will increase the efficiency this year.

By the way our main type of work is web development based on eZ Publish CMS. For example we re-implemented the iskon.hr site with new design and built a completely new irb.hr. I mentioning these 2 sites because we recently got awarded for both :) But this year, besides the usual project work, we were also involved in eZ Publish 5 development through out the whole year (released in November) + the new eZ Community login system

Did we earn more?

Well, that was a stupid expectation. Of course, we wanted to earn more money but it is hard to say at this point, yearly reports are not yet ready. Could be similar like in year 2011, could be a bit more. Important for us is that in 2012 we increased the export ratio, we had roughly 60% income coming outside of Croatia. I would say the main reason for this is shrinking Croatian economy. The good thing is that we can substitute less local work with more international work. 

Main targets for this year

Lets put it really simple again:

- Work more efficiently
- Maintain the engagement level

We'll see in one year how we performed.

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