Wrap-up: first two years of Bloco
On April 2017, Bloco made 2 years. Yeey! 🎂
It’s been a very interesting journey, although quite different than we envisioned initially. Since we’ve been skipping our trimestral summaries, here’s a wrap-up of these 2 years:
We worked on some great projects from all over the world. In total, we had 11 projects that lasted from 3 weeks to 4 months. Most were with startups and small teams which we enjoy and prefer. Here’s the customary map of all the locations we've worked with:
Our goal has always been to invest the time between client work on our own products. We launched two applications, Card Case and Large Text. We loved creating them, but they ended up being showcase apps, not real products. We didn’t build them to solve a valuable problem we identified.
So, our goal for this 3rd year is to finally build our own Bloco product.
We’ve done three trainings: Introduction to Android App Development, Testing Android Apps and User Experience Design from Scratch. We also tried and failed to do an Advanced Android Development workshop. We want to keep the pace and organize one training every 3 months. It’s not so much about the financial return, they’ve been lousy time investments so far. But it’s a nice way to keep in touch with the community and getting our thoughts in order around topics we care about.
Plus, we did our first conference participation, with a Testing Android Apps workshop at Appdevcon, in Amsterdam, something we want to repeat in the future.
As you probably know, we’re part of a collective of product studios called Nest Collective. The collective doesn’t have people dedicated to it, so it lives out of the effort of every company member. Recently we’ve been more involved in it, helping it grow and improve. Some of our efforts are internal, but you can get a sense of what's happening from our updates.
The summary is: they could be better. As you can probably guess from the sections above, we like getting our hands dirty in a lot of different activities. However, we’re just 2 partners with a helpful group of friends. That translates in a less regular and predictable money flow.
Our revenue is slowly growing, picking up some pace in the last months. First year we invoiced €22K, and €28K in our second year. Our expenses only vary significantly when we organize a big event like the Product Party or we invest on a company trip. But there’s been no money cushion left, even with our still low salary of €600 (after-taxes). We hope to finally start raising our salaries this year 😅
The main goal that came out of our yearly plan meeting was to focus more on Bloco. That means improving cash flow, getting more of the projects we enjoy doing and launch our first product. We’re also starting to look for our 3rd member, a big step for us, but more on that on a later post.
Let’s see what the future holds for us :)