Five years ago this month, I started iThemes in my home office. (In fact, Matt Danner, our COO, uses my first desk. And yes, a lot of the team has some of my other hand-me-downs too.)
I’ve learned that 5 years — be it on the web, in WordPress, or just as a small business — is a SUPER long time.
And my oh my has the web changed!
Thinking back to January 2008 when we released our first premium theme, Essence, the iPhone was just barely 7 months old. Today, the prolific adoption of smartphones and tablets have fundamentally changed our business AND yours.
As I sit in my office at iThemes HQ in Oklahoma City today (our third for the company), working with a team of 24+ dedicated, passionate professionals, having released hundreds of cool products I personally love using, I am overwhelmed by gratefulness for the journey.
None of this would be possible without YOU — the thousands of customers we called our customer community, but even more so our customer family. (We’ve got over a hundred photos of you on our office wall to remind us who we serve.)
Our mission for YOU is to “make people’s lives awesome” by making web design fun and easy through our tools, training and support.
Our goal is to release products that save YOU time, money and energy in building awesome WordPress sites.
Hopefully you see this clearly through some of most popular products like: BackupBuddy, now safely backing up over 150,000 sites; iThemes Builder, one of the first themes to make layout options super easy; WebDesign.com, which trains people to start freelance web design businesses.
And it’s been so exciting and fulfilling to hear stories of our customers going full-time with their freelance businesses and living lives of freedom and autonomy because of what we have helped them do.
That’s what amps us up at the start of each day!
Since the beginning though, I’ve sought to lead and grow our business and team for the long-term … not just the short-term buck. And in the last five years, we’ve seen some people and businesses come and go. They burst into the market, promise the world, and then disappear into obscurity.
It might not make for a sexy headline … but we’ve just sought to focus on what we’re doing, how we can do it better … and most importantly on who we’re serving.
We’ve also made our fair share of mistakes and blunders too.
Of course it doesn’t hurt to have some fun while doing it — whether it’s going on a roadtrip in an RV, building Lego pirate ships or doing goofy videos.
So in celebration of this significant milestone, I just wanted to say THANK YOU.
Without you and your support these last 5 years, none of this would have been possible. And our team of over 20 dedicated, passionate professionals and I don’t take that for granted!
In particular, in 2013, we’re working on some plans and projects to continue to innovate, expand and improve what we do for you … and you’ll be hearing about those shortly.
I don’t believe in sitting still or resting on past achievements. As long as I’m still leading the charge at iThemes, we’ll be pushing forward to be and do better.
Here’s to the next 5 years as we walk step in step with you building the web together!