This month marks 5 years since Pitchly launched! And while we've stayed true to the core of who we are and the data-driven content needs that our clients have, we've also grown tremendously. And we don't just mean in terms of revenue and team size; the internal, cultural growth has been incredible to witness.
To mark this special anniversary, we've asked our cofounders, Ryan Gerhardy and Michael Brook to take a look back at the past 5 years at Pitchly and share some of the best memories, lessons, and changes they've experienced.
From CIO Michael Brook...
Like many tech companies, Pitchly has had its ups and downs over the years, but what I’m most proud of is our perseverance in the face of uncertainty, our culture, and our teamwork. These factors have kept Pitchly going strong for the last 5 years.
The "P" in Pitchly Stands for "Perseverance"
Pitchly started with Ryan and I meeting every week at a coffee shop in Des Moines. In the early days, you’re full of hope, and the slightest loss (we had many) feels like a valley. But we didn’t give up. We knew there was value in what we were doing, so we kept building until we signed our first client.
That signature was our confirmation that we were finally on the right track, and it encouraged us to keep building despite any setbacks we may encounter.
I think our perseverance is what helped us attract good talent. Our employees feel confident in Pitchly because they know we will never throw in the towel, even when things get hard.
"P" Could Also Stand for "People"
Since the beginning, we set the precedent of putting our people first. We know that people are our greatest asset; without them, Pitchly is nothing. We nurture our team and encourage leadership, new thinking, and new ideas.
What many founders get wrong about starting a startup is they think they need their people to do what they say. In reality, we’ve been able to go much further by listening to and learning from our employees. Many of them have worked at tech companies before (and for longer than we have), so they bring knowledge that Ryan and I lack.
We want to foster that rather than limit it.
A Culture of Teamwork
I’m immensely proud of the teamwork our team exemplifies each and every day.
I believe what has helped grow our positive culture is respect towards each and every person.
This respect has translated into our employees feeling comfortable enough to share their ideas, and as a result, we get more of them! Respect fosters creativity, and I am proud of us for creating this foundation for Pitchly, and even more proud of our people who exemplify the Pitchly culture each and every day.
Our teamwork and culture have been a force multiplier in our business. And as a result, our people are now the ones who persevere because they believe in Pitchly. Pitchly succeeds because its people (not just its founders) don’t let it fail. And that is what I’m most proud of today.
From CEO Ryan Gerhardy...
It's crazy to think that five years ago, we launched version one of Pitchly with just four customers. We've come a long way, and what stands out most is the headway we've been able to make with culture. While there's always been a naturally strong and supportive culture, as we've grown, we had to be more intentional about fostering and scaling it.
This year, we had the first leadership retreat that helped us officially define and plan around our core values. We call them #TAG: Teamwork, Accountability and Growth.
In the last five years, my responsibilities as CEO and Co-Founder have changed at least four times. I remember each season of change by the #Teamwork that was accomplished in that given period.
From the earliest days of finding our first customers in 2018 to the changes brought upon the world by COVID-19 in 2020. During every season, team members stepped up to the uncertainty to seize the opportunity it presented.
The best example of this is a handful of team members ask me each year “What is next? What are we building after Pitchly?” If that doesn’t scream an aligned and excited team I don’t know what does!
The success of a team comes down to the core value of accountability.
Being honest, operating with integrity, and doing what you say you will do are core competencies for any individual contributor in a team - especially on small teams in a small company. We started in 2018 with four employees and are approaching 30 employees currently. The core value of #accountability is as strong as it ever has been at Pitchly.
With teamwork, accountability, and an incredible market opportunity such as data enablement, #Growth is inevitable. Our third core value #Growth promotes our focus to expand in all aspects of our lives (both personally and professionally) to support the growth of our company with new products, customers, and partners.
I am incredibly proud of the TAG culture we have built at Pitchly, and I'm excited to see what the next five years hold!
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