Usually, at this time of the year, we publish a summary of the year. But this year was different from any other, so it requires a different approach. This time, we asked our board members what they are particularly proud of this year and how they are managing in these uncertain times.
2020 was a year of great accomplishments and changes at Printbox. In September, we released a new version of our demo and refreshed our website. In October, after months of work, Smart Creation technology was officially launched in the market. Printbox has grown to over 65 employees, and we have moved to a new location. But as we all know, 2020 was also a year full of personal and business challenges. We asked our leaders what they will remember most about this year.
Michal Czaicki, CEO: The positive surprise of remote work
We have a full team located in one city and working from an office. Moving to a remote work model was a 180-degree flip for us. Proper communication and building bonds in a quickly growing company are much more complicated when you are not in one place. But, as always with hard things, the precautions taken before are the most important. We were always very focused on communication and transparency. The weekly all-hands, monthly summaries, and transparent team goals—all those things we built for years—became huge saviors, helping us to retain and even strengthen our bond and the important feeling of going through a difficult time together successfully. I’m extremely proud of my team for accomplishing all of our yearly goals in these uncertain times.
Zsolt Rácz, Chief Revenue Officer: The human-to-human approach
For the Sales & Marketing department, 2020 was extraordinarily challenging. Like many others, we started the year with huge plans and booked our places at many trade shows in Europe, the USA, and Asia. We were ready to conquer the world. Then COVID-19 totally changed our plans. Trade shows were canceled or postponed to the next year, personal business meetings were canceled, and though our standard communication channel with prospects and clients was always online communication, we experienced new forms of isolation. Our business model is business-to-business, but in 2020 we’ve learned more than ever that we are in a human-to-human business. It’s not about selling services to business. It’s about cooperating with people and helping them. Thanks to our great marketing and sales team, we were able to switch to a totally new approach, and even in these crazy times, more and more new clients are joining us.
Grzegorz Szczepańczyk, CTO: The hard work on error-proof technology
At the beginning of the year, we managed to implement changes in infrastructure management and publishing services we worked on last year. Doing so brought us great benefits in terms of availability, scaling, stability, and very fast release of new versions or completely new services. During the year, we expanded our technical teams, modified their structure to better suit the way we work, and implemented changes to our applications. We are developing these teams to be able to deliver functionality and modifications to our customers more quickly. To keep up with our customers while providing them with good product quality, we have significantly expanded our systems for automatic testing on several levels. At the same time, we have emphasized product development, and I am very proud that despite the adversities, this year we managed to bring Smart Creation into operation quickly and efficiently.
Agnieszka Sadowska, Chief Customer Officer: The power of community
There is no doubt that COVID-19 has affected all of us—our relatives, our co-workers, and our customers. This was a super challenging year in terms of stress management. Spring was the time when we were overwhelmed by the information regarding lockdowns, and we wondered what the future would bring for our partners’ countries. The worst-possible scenarios were close to happening: production completely stopped and the risk of holding on to too many processes grew. Luckily, the reality proved that we were all wrong. Our customers and team members were all focused on getting the job done. I really appreciate all the efforts we put forth together to deal with this new reality. This year clearly showed us that there is unlimited power and energy in people, and all we have to do is support each other. As a result, we launched some promising new partner stores, implemented new functionalities for our product, and prepared new brands for the Christmas season. And yes, the circumstances have been unfavorable, but working together brought us here, and now we can observe the fantastic results.
…and a Happy New Year
This year has brought unexpected challenges for our business, our employees, and our partners. We are very grateful for being in this place, despite all of these challenges. Thank you for all the effort and commitment throughout the year. And from the whole Printbox team, we wish you a happy New Year full of new opportunities.