28 Sep
CEO of Visuality

Visuality 13th birthday

It's been a long time since my last blogpost:) This year Visuality turned 13 (just 5 years to be 18!) and I have some thoughts regarding the time that passed to share.

But first of all, I wanted to begin with a small remark regarding the typical vibe when it comes to celebrations like this. Through the past years I've seen that almost any CEO/owner (followed usually by HR-people) refers to their company as "THE BEST .....". And I just wanted to call this a bullshit. It is a pill that’s hard to swallow but calling your company/team/etc. as "the best" is one of the worst things you can say. This is what's wrong with the world these days. Everything has to be perfect, flawless and noone can show any weaknesses. As we say in Poland - it's "puking with a rainbow".

Having said that, I wanted to state the obvious. We are not the best company in the world. We most likely do not have the best team in the world. And that's ok. You know why? *Because we are good enough and we do our best while following our values :) * Throughout these years I realised that this works. Our clients are happy, our people stay with us for more than 3 years (on average) which is (for me) a very good outcome given our industry’s standards.

For some time I thought we needed to call ourselves the best company (for our clients as well as for our people). But only when I realised that It's ok to be “just good” things started to change. I stopped lying to myself and others, I became open about the problems that appeared on our way - and guess what - it helped us to solve them.

Through this years Visuality had a total of 70 people engaged in our business and with full confidence I can say that I have no regrets. Every problem, every joy we had, led us to the place we are now. I haven’t left any "bridges burned" with people that do not work here anymore (for whichever reason) and this is something I'm particularly proud of. Any member of our team (be it current or former one) is always very welcome in our home.

In those past years we’ve learned what our true values are. They are not far-fetched - rather down-to-earth BUT they make our work better and create a good office vibe. Visuality gave me some cool friendships (I'm not afraid to use that word) and created a lot of interesting business opportunities - not only for the founders. I personally helped some of our previous employees to find their next jobs. To others I was kind-of a mentor in their new businesses they decided to run.

For me, what we do here on a daily basis is just a prelude to something bigger, and sometimes, more meaningful than we imagined - and sometimes it's just everyday work:) And that's perfectly ok.

I'm grateful for where we are now, as a company. I'm also grateful that I found people (Michał Krochecki and Mariusz Kozieł) who I trusted enough to allow them to lead the company further. It doesn't mean I'm disappearing from the life of Visuality - I can't imagine being anywhere else. But I do want to distance myself a little bit and serve with my knowledge and business-driven approach whenever I'm needed.

As for the previous year (since we celebrate another birthday it may be a good place to mention) we made a lot of changes. Most of them I have already described on our blog. We did not grow much in numbers (I hate the fact that these days the biggest value for companies is GROWTH) but we have accomplished some valuable things. We improved our profitability, which could’ve been better. We got some new clients, some of them are really interesting startups that are well known (Spacelift, DIJA, Tier.app and others). We learned a lot as a team, improved our knowledge and processes around project management and software development. We also learned our value more than ever and are really excited about what the future may bring. For us, this is what should be called growth. Not only numbers matter, but skill, experience and the way you treat your employees and partners, is what makes a great company.

Since I keep mentioning so much all the people we collaborated with, let me mention all of them (YES) by name - it's a form of recognition of the fact that we wouldn't be in the place we are now without them:) I’ll also add the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of a particular person.

  • Krzysztof Ociepa (our first employee!)
  • Rafał Maliszewski (some really funny stories and KETO)
  • Ola Pazio (the only girl in Patoroom)
  • Mateusz Nowakowski (calling me SZEFIE)
  • Robert Maciejewski (JAPAN!!!!)
  • Adam Garstka (RAZEM)
  • Przemysław Mroczek (HipHop)
  • Marcin Stachyra (listening to others + you helped me save my life)
  • Nadia Ginalska (germany)
  • Krystian Wojdan (calmness)
  • Bartek Bednarski (my soul brother)
  • Łukasz Jackiewicz (always smiling)
  • Paweł Aleksandruk (true beginnings)
  • Jarosław Lubelski (wiele serdeczności)
  • Umit Naimian (piłkarzyki)
  • Marcin Prokop (GUNS)
  • Adam Król (books and he's a reasonable guy)
  • Susanna Romantsova (SMILE)
  • Konrad Strojny (Visuality Board Game)
  • Paweł Zwoliński (positive approach)
  • Angelika Salska (most beautiful illustrations)
  • Bartosz Bilejczyk (magello)
  • Michał Młoźniak (simplicity is the key)
  • Kuba Rohleder (humour)
  • Damian Wieteska (our talks, always in the office)
  • Tomasz Jacak (KILER)
  • Marcin Kot (punk music, always cheerful)
  • Dominik Curyło (AUDI)
  • Kamil Kowalski (Silesia)
  • Karol Słuszniak (countless discussions)
  • Bartosz Bąbol (“czy z tej chmury pierdolnie?”)
  • Krzysztof Niksiński (own music)
  • Grzegorz Korzeniowski (STEFAN!)
  • Jan Matusz (true PATO)
  • Sakir Temel (our walks during work)
  • Michał Janeczek (honesty, bluntness)
  • Monika Krauze (climbing)
  • Marcin Dąbrowski (my friend and original founder)
  • Marek Łukaszuk (Basketball & new beginnings)
  • Maciej Zdunek (skkkkkrrrrrtt)
  • Jack Gluskin (danietki)
  • Aneta Sobaniec (rabbit & our second logo)
  • Mariusz Marczak (ORLEN)
  • Burak Aybar (IoT)
  • Paweł Majchrzak (first HOS)
  • Michał Kaźmierczak (poznań)
  • Mariusz Kozieł (leadership and friendship)
  • Jarosław Kowalewski (calling me at 2 am on saturday)
  • Cezary Pietruszko (spain)
  • Stanisław Zawadzki (walking & running & irrational ideas)
  • Mateusz Wodyk (pure calmness)
  • Bartosz Bazański (running)
  • Michał Krochecki (perfume)
  • Wiktor DeWitte (your catchphrases)
  • Alicja Gruszczyk (MILICJA)
  • Michał Łęcicki (smile)
  • Paweł Strzałkowski (kids & life)
  • Piotr Wasiak (detailed discussions & mountains)
  • Katarzyna Szewc (sci-fi)
  • Jakub Tokarzewski (nerds on lakes)
  • Tomasz Jóźwik (knowledge!)
  • Bartek Kowalski (shisha xD)
  • Patryk Ptasiński (cars)
  • Diana Czarnecka (positive power)
  • Michał Książek (eating the most spicy pizza on your own)
  • Zuzanna Wodyk (therapy)
  • Anita Kowalska (silesia)
  • Antoni Smoliński (Krzysztof Krawczyk)
  • Alexander Repnikov (directness & talking)
  • Piotr Pańko (born to work in Visuality)
  • Dominik Halat (first remote)
  • Jakub Arent (never worked in Visuality, but POLONEZ)
  • Kamil Fotyniuk (never worked in Visuality, but METALLICA)

Visuality Family

The order is totally accidental, and I am forever grateful for meeting each and everyone of you. If for some reason I forgot somebody please ping me, but I tried hard to remember all of you:) Visuality family grows bigger and bigger!

I decided to break my radio silence again. I’ve just written an article about our 13th birthday and figured out I feel creative enough to write another one. I wanted to choose something that would be valuable to our clients and interesting to others as well. Hence the topic “how to approach funding as an MVP”.

Some time ago, we needed to implement a full email inbox feature in the Ruby on Rails application. Let’s take a look at possible ways of building an email receiver mechanism with Rails.