Matt is proud - and grateful - for how we've weathered 2020.
January 15, 2021
For all its troubles, Brand New Box weathered this stormy year well. Much of it was beyond our control (a global pandemic, economic disruption, political unrest). But the parts of it that we had control of - that we tackled - we can be really proud of. We delivered good work to our clients. We helped other groups maintain their businesses and livelihoods. We adapted to a remote-first setup smoothly, and our connections as a team have grown stronger. (Absence makes the heart grow fonder!)
What I'm most proud of is how we have been able to help our clients through this year as well.
Odradek Records is a great example: a large part of their business model revolved around flying people to Europe to make recordings. Remember the devastating waves that hit Europe in March? But they pivoted fast, redirecting their staff efforts into their digital projects. They kept their team in place, and even grew to support these new digital ventures. During this time they launched Neumz, the Gregorian chant app, and we've been cooking up other exciting projects that will launch in 2021.
Merchtable's ecommerce platform (which we develop and maintain) became a lifeline for recording artists. Concerts were cancelled all over the world, and artists had to lean into other ways to provide revenue - so those merchandise sales became more critical than ever. Online stores for artists had to grow and update quickly this year, and that resulted in a surge of activity and usage of the platform. It did great.
The Institute is a platform for home visitor professional development. If your job is to visit people's homes and offer support to parents and families, the spring of 2020 was rough! Many home visitors had to pivot to spending their time in online learning and professional development, and thus turned to the Institute. The platform saw big surges in use: doubling in registered user numbers and 10x-ing in daily users at the height of stay-at-home orders. That doesn't even include not-logged-in users, as the training material is free and available to anyone.
Just like our clients had challenges to face, 2020 brought its challenges to Brand New Box, too.
We had some big financial impacts that made the year harder for us: some projects had to tap the brakes, some cancelled their work entirely. But we started new exciting things, and other projects doubled down on digital work as their physical work had to pause.
We all started working from home in March, and our team has all had to adapt to working remotely. While we are best-suited for it of any company I know, this can still be a challenge to productivity! We have to work harder to make personal connections. We have interruptions: pets and babies and home-schoolers and roommates and significant others.
But honestly, I personally love those interruptions. Nate and I have worked hard to normalize 'having a life' throughout all of Brand New Box's history, and I know that's carried through during this year. I hope we've all felt it: we love your families and want them to thrive in any year, but especially this one. I LOVE seeing everyone's cats and babies and families. It's a beautiful way keep the human aspect of our work front-and-center.
We're not motivated by raw numbers, but it's still fun to look back and recognize the outsized impact our small team has. Here are a few standout metrics:
No matter how you slice it, we punch way above our weight for our clients - using technology to deliver new superpowers for our clients.
If you're reading this, it's likely you're part of this story. We're so grateful to be a part of your work - even through 2020, the weirdest of years.