2021 Was All About Sustainability
It’s that beautiful time of the year again, when we look back at all our accomplishments, learnings, and experiences throughout the year, and try to extract the main themes for us. 2021 for me and for Wolfpack Digital, the award-winning web and mobile app development agency I founded 7 years ago, was all about reaching greater sustainability 🎋 in everything that we do and how we do it.
The general climate in our domain has been one of overall flourishing in terms of projects and demand this year and we’ve both onboarded some exciting new clients and scaled up our existing collaborations, however it has been one of unpredictability in terms of team attrition — with the new reality of work from home, the multiple opportunities, and the general “resignation wave” around the world. Despite that, Wolfpack Digital’s team has been more stable than ever 💪and for that we are grateful. We ended the year with quite a good turnover rate, and we also filled in some new positions in the company. It is true, it has been more competitive than ever to hire top talent, especially people who are a good fit with our culture & values — which is essential for us. The future seems to be one that will balance out this issue, however. ⚖️
Here are 10 highlights ✨ of this year:
🏆 We won the European Technology Awards in the App Development category, and this has been a beautiful surprise, along with some other wonderful distinctions and media mentions that we are super grateful for, such as being included in the Clutch 1000 list, or becoming a Great Place to Work.
📲 We launched some great digital products together with our partners: Everon, ecoXpress, Voxa etc. Also, our existing partners got some great reviews, press coverage, or received awards for the apps developed together with us (kudos to Transreport!).
🤝 We partnered up with more startups and larger companies, in the health, fintech, transportation, and beauty sectors.
🌳 We focused more on helping people in our company grow their skills and follow their passions.
👩🏫 We organised internships for iOS, Android and web (Ruby on Rails) development.
🎉 We managed to meet in-person more often in 2021, which has been absolutely great.
🎗 We continued our involvement in the local community, by being mentors, sponsors and jury members at various hackathons, accelerators, conferences etc., such as Techsylvania, or the first ever eMental Health Hackathon in Romania, and by supporting local NGOs and organisations (Code4Romania, Romanian Fencing Federation, Help Autism etc.).
🍃 We continued our support of environmental sustainability projects, by multiple donations and team actions.
🙏 Overall, so far we have been blessed to have had a very low impact made by the coronavirus to our team’s health.
📈 We are ending the year with a >20% growth in terms of revenue and headcount — we are now over 75 people.
Lessons of 2021
And here are 5 lessons ✅ I (re)learned this year:
- Openness to suggestions is everything in a team. Bonus: Judgement kills creativity.
- When setting goals for individual growth, besides drive and potential, individual learning styles seem to have the biggest impact.
- Opening brand new roles in the company is challenging, so looking for external help when doing it is a good idea.
- A minimum culture match is necessary in any working relationship, even when the performance is good. Some people may be better at leading during good times, while others are better at it during tough times, yet the team needs to have a functional relationship at all times.
- Change management begins to matter even more as the team grows, and extra resources need to be dedicated to it.
The strategic changes we made this year to our organisation, although not big, have been impactful, and helped us move away from a more reactive mindset to one that is clearly more empowered and sustainable.
This will definitely come in handy as new challenges arise, while staying adaptive is still the norm, of course. These changes also helped us accommodate our team size growth.
As a reflection, for me it’s interesting how the Wolfpack’s greatest theme this year — how to achieve greater stability and grow in a sustainable way (and not necessarily in terms of headcount), seems to parallel the theme mankind is finding itself more and more compelled to act on: sustainability as an active preoccupation for our planet 🌍, with the need of proactive measures & strategic policies.
As a generation, we can no longer afford not thinking ahead in the long-term when making our decisions and investing our resources. Moving at a sustainable pace is everything!
The signals we are getting at the end of the year are showing that in the interconnectedness of today’s economy, the supply chain issues will not fail to leave their mark on all businesses, including ours, as we work on digitalization projects covering a wide range of industries. It seems that the flourishing stage as it is now might get toned down and we’ll all need to adapt. And there may even be some opportunity there. Nevertheless, the way we have set our context this year is likely to help us in 2022. 💫
Until then, after a year when we had to take care to pace our work because of multiple projects coming our way, we find ourselves grateful for the little winter break ❄️, and surprised to even some availability to take on new projects at the beginning of next year, for the first time in a long time. So, if you want to find a dedicated agency to work on your cool app challenge, we can have a talk and plan for next year.
For the beautiful moments and also the learnings of 2021 I’d like to thank our ah-mazing team for making Wolfpack Digital an awesome place to work 💛, our driven partners for trusting us 🙏, and everyone in our community for supporting and challenging us! 🙌
I hope your 2022 will be one of sustainable growth 🌿 — both internally and externally! 🥂
In the words of our talented UX/UI designer, Cristian Virciu, may you all have a “paw-fect” 🐾 holiday season!