Thank you 2021 (???!?!?!)

Diario del capitán, fecha estelar d617.y39/AB

Àlex Rodríguez Bacardit
Fundador & CEO
Thank you 2021 (???!?!?!)

2021 has been one hell of a ride. It has brought us the best and worst moments as a company, so we want to acknowledge all we've done and everyone who has supported us along the way.

For obvious reasons, we didn't write a "thank you 2020" blog post, and I didn't see myself writing one about 2021 either. However, I think there's much to be thankful for even in the midst of this crazy pandemic.

Maybe, just maybe, the way out of it is through kindness and thankfulness.

It's funny to re-read now our blog post Thank you 2019! with all the historical context and the things we've lived in these two life-changing years.

The Martians

As per usual, I'd like to start off by thanking our incredible team at MarsBased. For four years, we went without losing a single team member. What other tech company out there can claim that?

Towards the end of the year, we did lose a couple of our Martians: Dani, who stayed four years in the company (and blogged a lot about React) and David Ríos, who stayed for two years with us. We miss them a lot!

We have hired a couple of new Martians throughout the year: José Malaca and Laura, both helping us in Ruby on Rails backend development, and we've also started working with new freelancers and micro-agencies to help us when we're peaking at work, with different results, not all of them with the best outcome, but you gotta try!

I know I speak for everyone in the company when I say that it's been extremely hard to stay at home, knowing that there were almost no possibilities of meeting in the flesh. Our last in-person event was the end of the year Martian Day in 2019. It's been two years since we last met, but we are going back to offline meetings in April 2022 for our eighth anniversary!

So, thank you Laura, Juan, José, José Luís, Javi, Oriol, Pablo, David Gómez, David Garmendia, Leire, Genís, Carlos, Xavi and Jordi! Thank you! Moltes gràcies! ¡Muchas gracias! Muito obrigado! Munches gracies! Eskerrik Asko!

Our satellites, or the extended family

We like collaborating with other agencies and freelancers to help us with our projects. Sometimes we don't have enough capacity in-house, while other times it's just a matter of keeping a percentage of our workload outsourced so we don't have it 100% in-house.

Some of them have been working for years for us, like Swwweet, and Capsule Corp. Others, like The Crafters Lab are new additions to our constellation of friends and partners.

We couldn't make it without having the kickass people at Altisent dealing with our bookkeeping or the phenomenal lawyers at CMS, who've helped us with a strict GDPR audit this year and some procurement processes for big corporates like HP, Citadel Securities and Haufe, who are our clients now.

Our Startup Grind team

MarsBased can hardly be explained without our side-project Startup Grind BCN. We started it at the same time as the company, and our lives have been intertwining ever since.

The Startup Grind BCN chapter has also had a "different" year, to put it mildly. Since March 2020, we were forced to do online events only, but in September of 2021, we went back to offline ones, always following the strictest health regulations in place, with phenomenal speakers like Rebeca Pérez (CEO @ Inviertis), Netta Gilon (ex-COO @ Playtika), Vicenç Martí (serial entrepreneur) and Benjamin Viguier (CEO @ YEGO). Our thanks go to them for braving it and wanting to do offline events in such trying times!

All in all, another year putting out an event month in, month out, and it's been almost eight years already. We have never skipped a single month, and we passed the 100 editions of Startup Grind BCN during 2021. This is madness.

Thank you Marc, Stela, Victor, Leire, Nasia, Jan and Ferran!

Unfortunately, for the second year in a row, we've had to postpone our Startup Grind Tech Conference, and to be honest, we don't see it happening at least until 2023, but time will tell!

Our clients

Even if we have had a rough year in certain aspects, we can celebrate that it's been the best year when it comes to financials. Also, we are very happy with the quality of our clients and the challenges they pose. All of them are extremely interesting and force us to learn something new.

We started working for Infopraca this year, rewriting their entire site from PHP/Python to Ruby on Rails; for HP, building a global tool for their sales department using Node.js + React; for FC Barcelona, to evolve one internal tool built in Ruby on Rails; for Singularu, for whom we've rewritten their e-commerce with a combination of Shopify + Locomotive CMS + a React frontend; for DeWocracy, a BCN-based startup for whom we've developed their React Native mobile apps, and I think I'm not forgetting anyone!

We want to send a special kudos to our friends at ValuationMetrics, who sold their company to Citadel Securities and became one of our biggest clients overnight, after almost five years working together.

Also, we want to thank our stable clients, with whom we've been working for years now and keep renewing their contracts and sending us more work: Zemobile, Naiz, European Climate Foundation, zapptales, Blueprint, Spin, Rundit, Prototyp and Localistico.

As it happens with team members, we have very low client attrition. For most of the above, we've been working for five years or more now. We can't thank them enough.

The community

Since our inception, we have worked hard to build a following.

As a services company, it's hard to compete with startups and VC-backed companies. But we know we can outcool them by being the sexiest consultancy out there, working on extremely impactful projects with the stability and conditions of a lifestyle business.

For those who follow us on social media, attend our events, read our newsletter, listen to our podcast, share our articles on Twitter, receive Startup Digest, participate in our Slack community for startups in Barcelona or recommend us to companies who need development services: thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

In times like these, it's twice as important to have love and support from outside the company.

We're also thankful for the technologies and services we use, so huge thanks to Angular, React, React Native, Ionic, Node.js, Postgres, RSpec, Redis, Redux, Rubocop, Bootstrap, DataDog, Loom, Zoom, Ruby on Rails, Ruby, Kubernetes, Gather.town, Buzzsprout, Sass, vi, vim, Sinatra, Github, Docker, 1password, Slack, Google Drive, Basecamp, Heroku, Netlify and Cloud66 among others. We've also started using Linear, this year, and we're loving it!

Our speakers

With our podcast and our events, we get to meet and talk to a lot of people. What the hell, let's mention all of them!

Thank you Benjamin Viguier (YEGO), Netta Gilon, Rebeca Pérez (Inviertis), Vicenç Martí, Samuel Gil (JME Ventures), Andrea Oliver (Emjoy), Laura Fernández (AllWomen), Nora Vallcorba (Norarealfood), Mercè Tell (Nekko Capital), Mar Henshershon & Pepe Agell (Pear.vc), Eloi Gómez (Jeff), Ander Michelena (AllIron), Allie Burns (Village Capital), Borja Breña (Nauta), Farhan Lalji (Arthemis), Olivier Gemayel & Mark Birch (AWS), Thomas Petit, Jordi Miró (Thehotelsnetwork), Víctor Castell (Job&Talent), Eleanor Manley (Metta Space), Didier Lafforgue (LocomotiveCMS), Chiara Massironi and Kevin Whinnery (Twilio), Liz Dunn Carroll, Jorge Gómez (TinyBird), Nandini Jammi (Checkmyads), Josh Feldberg (GSCC), Mike Counihan (Trascend Partners), Ana Cidre (auth0), Pere Vallés (Exoticca), Alex Wilhelm (TechCrunch), Brian Leonard (Grouparoo), Pau Ramón (Factorial), Caroline Ragot (OneBox), Eduardo Manchón (Mailtrack), Marc Oliveras (Bumble), Sergio Gago (Moody's), Enrique Mandujano (Cosmic Chimps), Nacho González-Barros (Hireflix), Marc Torres (Finteca), Carlos Cruz (Iyi Events), Ivan Basart (ValidatedID), Susana Prado (Inetum), Bernat Llana (Antfluence), Laura Gascon, Albert Castellana (StakeHound), Oriol Blanc (Factorial), Laura Gil (Grup Damm), Rosa Jiménez (El Español), Alberto Betella (RSS.com), Marc Antoni Macià (Novicap), Víctor Horcasitas (Metropolitan), Marina Aisa (Apple), Sandra Rams (Nostrum) and to my colleagues Xavi, Jordi, Javier Artero, Oriol and Leire, who also appeared on the podcast!

Our partners, sponsors and providers

Our Startup Grind events wouldn't be as great without the tremendous support we receive from our sponsors: AWS, ValidatedID and CMS Lawyers. We've also had a great time doing our offline events at Aticco Coworking Spaces.

Equally important are our partners, which for the most part, they have been supporting us for years (some from the very first event in 2014!): Movistar Centre, Las Muns, Estrella Damm, ACCIÓ and Catalunya Emprèn.

If you like the media from our events, the photos and videos are done by Asimetric Films, which are the same people who edit our podcast. Brilliant folks!

My personal thanks

2021 has been an exceptional year on many fronts, but it's been a rough one for many people, and I'm no exception.

I have opened up about some mental issues that affected me in the last year (and still do) - so I want to thank first and foremost to those who helped me to open up and spread the word (you know who you are) and in particular the folks at Oliva for this incredible interview where I opened up about mental health. I also spoke about it at Startup Grind Mataró and a few other events I've spoken at (itnig, Startup Grind Andorra and a few others).

The most important learning is that we've shared a lot of rough moments with the rest of the team at MarsBased, where we managed to create a safe space for everyone to share their stories. We are a strong team.

Last, but not least, I'd love to thank my two partners and co-founders Xavier Redó and Jordi Vendrell AGAIN for being the best business partners and friends one could ever dream of. Every year, you make it easier to be your partner and more exciting to take the MarsBased spaceship to the next level.

Thank you all, and see you around, hopefully, in the next weeks!

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