We celebrate our sixth birthday in September. That’s six years of phenomenal growth. Six years of fantastic innovation. And six years of awesome success. It’s been beyond our wildest dreams to see Viddyoze flourish in the way it has and while we no longer feel the need to pinch ourselves to see if this is all real, there are moments where we can’t help but smile at how things have turned out. It’s been quite the journey.
When we founded the business in 2015, we had no real idea how things were going to turn out. Our expectations were relatively modest. All we knew was that the platform we had created was special and that there would be a market for it. That was it really. Little did we know that it would come to be used and enjoyed by 170,000 plus and counting individuals, businesses, and organizations the world over, and that we would shake up the industry we work in.
None of this could have happened without our team, past and present. Through it all, from the early, manic days of 2014/15 to the more surreal days of 2020/21, our colleagues have been critical to making the business what it is today: a hugely successful and disruptive SaaS technology company that helps anyone and everyone create high-quality video animations with deft ease.
We owe our staff members a hell of a lot, which is why, over the past few months, we’ve been working hard on developing initiatives that will better recognize and reward our employees for their contributions to the business, as well as putting in place schemes that will make Viddyoze an even better place to work. Because it’s not enough to have a great solution that makes a difference to people’s lives. We also want to build a business where the individuals behind our offering and service can thrive at work – and have fun while they’re at it.
Flexible working, for one, has been baked into our DNA from the get-go
It’s not that Viddyoze isn’t already a good place to work. It is. We genuinely believe that the culture of our workplace has always been positive, welcoming, and relaxed. And that we’re a progressive company at heart (flexible working, for one, has been baked into our DNA from the get-go). And that we’ve always strived not to be another drab, dispiriting, and run-of-the-mill business. Because, really, who wants that? Certainly not us.
But we’re not perfect – not by a long shot. There’s plenty that can be improved, and there’s plenty more that we should be doing. Part of the reason we’re not where we want to be culturally is down to the logistics of managing a business that has grown so much in such a short space of time. At times it has been a huge challenge, an all-consuming beast.
Likewise, because we’ve built Viddyoze from the ground up, with no prior or hands-on experience of running a start-up like this – and especially not one this size and of this complexity – we’ve had to learn on the job. A lot of it has been new to us and, truth be told, we’ve always been founders and entrepreneurs first – and not managers (at least not in the conventional sense). But that doesn’t mean we can’t pick up and build better leadership, coaching and management skills. We definitely can. The development for us as co-founders is just as important as the development of our wider team. And that journey of professional growth as leaders has already begun.
What has emerged is a desire to not only make Viddyoze the number one video content creation platform in the world, but also one of the greatest places to work
So, you may be asking, where has all of this come from? Well, our six-year anniversary is on the horizon. That naturally make us reflective. And it also makes us look to the future. Beyond that, circumstance and experience have also played a role. We’ve matured a lot as entrepreneurs over the years, and arguably more so since early 2020 when Covid-19 first emerged. Living and working against the backdrop of a pandemic, while far from easy, has proved to be illuminating. It sometimes takes a seismic event like that to see things anew.
For instance, many assumptions for us as a business have since been confirmed. We’ve also been able to make time to fast-track and kickstart things that have been sat on the backburner for far too long. It’s opened us up to new ideas and possibilities, too, and given us the opportunity to reflect more deeply on who we are, what we stand for and what our vision is – to better see the proverbial bigger picture, so to speak. And what has emerged is a desire to not only make Viddyoze the number one video content creation platform in the world, but also one of the greatest places to work full stop.
We are pleased to say that this transformation has already started. While we will be taking our time with much of this – such as overhauling the way we communicate with one another and improving the way employees progress in their roles with training and development opportunities – we’re keen to get the (animated) ball rolling. And so we have.
For example, we’ve signed up to Hey Taco, which is an enjoyable and charming way of encouraging us to give shoutouts to our colleagues (and shine a light to others in the business the impact they’ve had within their respective departments and Viddyoze at large). The tacos are more than symbolic, too. They can be exchanged for rewards, whether it’s a trip to the cinema or even a day off. Here are just a few of the kind words shared so far:
- @Ben for taking our crazy ideas and turning them into things that make sense 🌮
- @Jess for providing excellent customer service to White Label members 🌮
- @Alice for always creating great animations for users 🌮
- @Junalyn for giving amazing customer support 🌮
- @Maiyah for being an engaging, entertaining presenter 🌮
- @emina for relentlessly testing over and over and over for years now
- @Andrea for helping unravel the great mysteries of the FB conversions API 🌮
- @Hollie for being a content stalwart 🌮
- @Bogdan for great work on several initiatives we are pushing 🌮
- @Ollie for putting up with my endless requests for data and customer solutions 🌮
We’ve also sent out a survey to our entire workforce, offering them an opportunity to confidentially provide honest feedback about the company, as well as their day-to-day experience of working here. The anonymity aspect of the survey is important because we want our employees to be as candid as possible. It does no-one any favors at Viddyoze if feedback is sugar-coated. Tell it to us how it is, but be polite, of course. Criticism needs to be constructive, not an excuse to vent.
Elsewhere we’re looking at ways of better connecting team members with colleagues that they typically don’t get a chance to interact with, whether it’s because they work in different departments or because they work from home. Water cooler chats are a tad difficult when you work in different countries, after all. This not only help put names to faces – or perhaps faces to names – but also goes a long way in improving our understanding of the different roles that make up, contribute to and shape what Viddyoze does.
We want everyone who works at Viddyoze to wake up buzzed at the day ahead
Again, at this early stage, we’re taking small but important steps. We have, for example, set up apps like Bored and Donut in Slack, and, at the time of writing, we’re now aware that Jess and Alice from support are quite the trivia wizards. We didn’t know that before and that’s exactly the point. It’s a fun way of getting to know one another.
To reiterate, this is only just the beginning. Over the next 6–12 months we will be working hard on defining the key and unique characteristics of our workplace culture – and in collaboration with everyone who works here – and then bringing them to life.
The short of it is that as we strive to realize our dream of fully automating the creation of personalized video content, we want our staff members to have a brilliant time helping make this happen. Moreover, we want everyone who works at Viddyoze to wake up buzzed at the day ahead. To share in this amazing journey that started officially back in 2015. And for everyone to have as meaningful, enriching, and long a career with us as they can. That’s it. That’s what we want to achieve.
So let the good times roll.
Joey, Jamie, and David are the co-founders of Viddyoze.