5 Down: 10up’s Fifth Year
Our origin story is modest: just five years ago, 10up began with a single individual working in the smallest U.S. state and a portfolio containing fewer clients than there were Star Wars movies at the time.
Since then, 10up has matured at a much faster pace than your average agency. We’ve continued to grow our team by ~30%, welcoming dozens of new 10uppers across Project Management, Web Strategy, Engineering, Design, Revenue, and User Experience. Financials also continue to thrive; in the first month of 2016, we saw more revenue than our first two years combined (and more than half of what we did in our third year).
But here at 10up, we value more than revenue and growth statistics—it’s about nurturing the culture within, providing our team the resources to achieve peak performance—a sense of community, a pride of ownership, and material benefits for a team that is building a future together, not merely cashing in a paycheck.
In 2015, we hosted our biggest All Hands Summit, practically taking over a hotel in Boulder for a 10up-only conference with sessions exploring our business goals, emerging and important technologies, and the latest tactics for effective project management, with a healthy dose of team building. We even hosted an awards ceremony: The First Annual Uppies – a tradition is born.
As we continue to strive for the very best consulting experience in the publishing and content management space, here are just a few accomplishments since our last birthday:
- Launched client projects, including a global software launch event from one of the world’s largest companies, a total rethink and redesign for a major public university, a re-platforming for several major cable networks, and a redesign and rebuild for one of the nation’s largest and best known non-profits.
- Worked closely with the Internet’s very own reddit, launching Upvoted—their curated and original content hub.
- Published an in-depth whitepaper examining iOS 9’s content blocking feature and its implications for the web industry, which earned us coverage in both mainstream media and enthusiast Apple publications.
- Bridged the gap between the modern web and legacy browsers by developing Flexibility, an open source polyfill that brings Flexbox support to Internet Explorer versions 8 and 9.
- Facilitated a massive migration to a custom-built infrastructure using WordPress as a platform for MotorTrend.
- Collaborated with the Observer to reimagine their legacy print-to-web publishing process, moving to a WordPress-centric web-first model. 10up and Observer open sourced the solution by releasing the jointly sponsored Eight Day Week plugin.
- Doubled down on our time contribution to WordPress, including allocating Drew Jaynes full-time to the project, and Scott Kingsley Clark’s work on the Fields API, while also taking on leadership over more open source projects, like sanitize.css.
- Helped make the first ever WordCamp US a success, with a 10upper contributing as a major organizer, and 10 speakers from within our ranks, chosen through a blind selection process.
- Helped StoryCorps launch an app and website powered by the WordPress REST API, which proceeded to be featured on Google’s homepage without missing a beat (highlighted in Matt Mullenweg’s State of the Word 2015).
- Updated ElasticPress, taking it from version 1.3 to 1.8 in less than a year, adding new resources like the ElasticPress Debug Bar and more sophisticated sorting abilities. We’ve implemented ElasticPress for a half dozen enterprise clients, who are relying on us for managed Elasticsearch infrastructure.
- Saw our largest expansion of employee benefits, adding company 401k matching and paid parental leave, while rolling out our employee professional development / continuing education benefit and absorbing healthcare increases.
And we’re only getting started. Here’s to five more years of 10up growth, solidification, and client success.
Kurt Bomya on