Five years ago, at the end of October 2015, Joost and I stood in our newly rented office in Spaces Zuidas. Next to us was a pile of newly purchased IKEA desks, a locker and some chairs borrowed from Spaces. Time to get started.
Our ambitions were high and our vision was clear: we were going to free asset managers from the banks and we were going to do that by building a supersonic ‘back of the house’ with the latest technology. A small point of interest was that neither Joost nor I could program, but those are some of the challenges to solve as you go when you start a business.
On paper, our plans looked great, although the design of our sunflower-filled PowerPoint slides at the time is still memorable. Thanks to a group of believers, who knew either Joost or me for many years and have stood by us from the beginning, we were able to get out of the starting blocks. We will literally remain eternally grateful to these parties – both our clients and sting investors. They were the catalyst for the company that we have been able to build in 5 years.
The past 5 years were long on the one hand and extremely short on the other. Long because the first 4 years in particular were extremely tough and exciting. There were many, many nights when I woke up at 04.30 with the fear that we would go bankrupt, that we would not make it, that we would not be able to raise finance in time, that we would have to let our great Blanconians go back to the many countries they came from. Short because I can hardly believe where we are today. More than 100 clients, in 5 countries, 45 Blanconians of 14 nationalities, with a deeply rooted culture of diversity, freedom and responsibility.
When I started Blanco, I wanted to create the ideal company to work for, and I think we have succeeded. Our natural tendency, especially Joost and I’s as founders, is to always be busy with the next thing because it is never finished, never good enough. But our lustrum is a nice milestone to reflect on the company we have built. Our customers and our employees are the core of Blanco and our great drive. When we look at our KPI list, customer satisfaction and retention are at the top, directly followed by employee satisfaction. After all, it is not just about the technology, but also about the human factor. And that is what we form together.
The past few years have been a rollercoaster, but the most beautiful one that could ever have been. I look back with intense pride, but I am also looking forward to the wonderful times that await us. For and with our clients, for and with our Blanconians, for and with each other. The most beautiful technology with the human factor, and we are only going to make it even more beautiful.
Many thanks to everyone who built Blanco with us: our customers, our Blanconians and our investors. Without your trust and commitment, Blanco would not be what it is today after 5 years.