When I first started Primate, I was young and poor. Now, after an entire decade of hard work, I'm no longer young.
Ten. Freaking. Years. They've passed in a flash. It's crazy looking back to when Bart, Espen, and myself started Primate in the summer of 2011. We were so full of confidence and invincible naivety, excited and terrified in equal measure. We knew a lot about building websites but very little about running a business, especially an agency. It's probably why our first client website looked great but only cost the client £600. Paid in two separate instalments.
Even though we were working long hours, earning less than minimum wage, and losing money on every piece of work, we still had a blast. It was all about the then and now, our ambition to push forward the boundaries of the Internet, and produce the best possible work ever, regardless of time and budget. It was all about the journey and never the destination. All about finding and creating joy along the way.
Over the years we learned a modicum of commercial sense, fuelled mainly by our inevitable need to actually earn a decent salary to pay for all the offspring we were having and our slowly growing team. I even became 'Managing Director', a job title we swore we would never have because none of us liked the idea of being or having a 'boss'. Ha.
The years also brought a lot of changes and challenges, as life does. Espen leaving, new employees (there's now 14 of us), rising overheads, moving offices, cancer, pandemics. But they've always left us stronger, wiser (I dare say), and more pragmatic. Change also brings opportunity. It's forced us to constantly evolve our work and understand how to run a company and properly service clients (we hope!). Every year I learn something new.
These past ten years haven't always been easy. It's reduced me to tears at time and forced me the edge, ready to yell "I quit!" and disappear. But this is something every business owner knows. However, I keep coming back for more because, at the end of the day, I can't help but love what we do and the people we do it with. It's the joy of our work and our culture and our clients that keep me (and everyone else here) going strong.
So thank you to everyone. You know who you are. We couldn't have done it with you. Here's the next ten years of Primate!