Captain's log, stardate d274.y39/AB
2020 was quite a wild ride for us and 2021 is off to a good start already. In fact, we have been so busy that we haven't blogged in two months, so it is time to let you know what we're up to and catch up properly!
We are only two months into 2021, and we have already done a big pile of things, at MarsBased. Here's a small blog post to let you know what we have been up to lately and what can be expected from us in the near future.
We have been very focused on finding our first Project Manager, and today we've just announced that we have hired Nuria Llonch for this position. As a Project Manager, she will help us to standardise and improve our PM efforts whilst managing some of our most important projects herself.
Up until now, most of the project management was done by Jordi (COO), Xavi (CTO) and our Tech Leads. This new hire will allow everyone to be more focused on their main areas, and leave Project Management to a real professional 😉
The rest of the team has only changed last month, when we incorporated a new developer, José Miguel Malaca, from Portugal. Bem-vindo, José!
Before that, our last hire had been a pre-pandemic one: José Luís Estébanez, in February 2020, as we decided to stop our hiring efforts from March onwards like pretty much every company in the whole universe.
Besides that, it's is absolutely mind-blowing that the last employee to quit the company did it in September 2017. It's been three and a half years since that. What other tech company can claim that?
Last, but not least, we're now on the lookout for a Growth Lead to help us manage all our marketing projects. If you want to help us to take our newsletter, online/offline events, podcast, social media and blog to the next level, kindly apply for the job!
2021 has seen us signing two new contracts, already.
Firstly, we started working again with Rundit, a Finnish company we've known for a long time. In fact, they spun off from one of our first clients, and then we worked for them between 2015 and 2017. In 2017, they decided to migrate their Ruby on Rails codebase to Node.js, so we had to stop working for them because we didn't do Node.js at the time.
Secondly, we have just signed a contract with the Valencia-based jewellery e-commerce Singularu to help them to improve and scale their e-commerce platform built on Shopify.
On the other hand, we have finished two large assignments, too, and we're sad to see them go.
First, we have been working for C40 for five years, maintaining and evolving their bespoke CMS built with Ruby on Rails. After a change in strategy, they will be moving their new platform to Wordpress from March 2021, so we decided to discontinue this collaboration, as Wordpress is something we don't offer as a service.
That being said, it's been a fantastic five years working together! If you're interested in knowing further what we did for them, check the C40 portfolio page.
Another project that has finished this year is our collaboration with Prototyp. We have been collaborating with the Swedish software house on and off for five years now, and in 2020 they hired us to help them with a React project for one of the biggest Private Equity companies in the world. We had a fabulous year working together, as well, and we look forward to the next spell with them, as they definitely are very easy to work with and for.
We are expecting 2021 to be another year of growth. After the most awkward and unpredictable year ever, we have found some stability upon which to lay a solid foundation for growth.
We have always said that we didn't want to grow the company beyond thirty people, and at present we are 17 full-time employees and five freelancers, so we're more than 2/3rds there. Knowing that you're close to your goal is good, because it provides an extra motivational boost for the whole team to go out and make it happen.
For now, we will be back to our strategy of hiring 2-3 people per year, to ensure we keep servicing our current clients and onboard new ones, and our sales pipeline is full with interesting projects we might potentially get throughout 2021.
Marketing-wise, we have decided to step up with our podcast, as it's been working better than expected. We have found an audience and got great numbers for the first six months, so we've decided to upgrade our hardware setup and spend more time on it, and we've also outsourced the edition of the podcast to ensure higher quality and more mental bandwidth for us.
We have also started to record episodes focused on MarsBased and to break away from the fireside chats/interviews to spice it up a bit with other formats.
As for our company get-togethers and events, we will be very conservative here. For the time being, we don't envision organising offline events, and most likely, we won't host any before Q3.
What can you expect from MarsBased in 2021?
Long story short, let's summarise what you can expect from us during 2021:
- We're back to blogging regularly. Expect a new blog post every week, again.
- We'll be sharing more news-like updates on our blog, as we think we've got a lot to communicate, lately.
- Expect better quality in our podcast episodes and more diversity in the content.
- We're releasing a website for our podcast, Life on Mars, very soon!
- Expect more content talking about ourselves. After seven years running the company, we're shaking off the impostor syndrome that's been haunting us for years.
- You can also expect a step-up on all of our marketing efforts when we find the Growth Lead we're hiring.
- We're also releasing a redesign of our website during 2021, but most likely it'll be ready towards the end of the year!
- We'll hire two or three extra developers this year to increase our headcount.
- We'll continue to host online-only events for at least three or four more months, both internal (get-togethers) and external events like Startup Grind Barcelona.
Exciting times ahead! If you want to be part of it, we're hiring! Check out our Jobs page 🚀