The festive season isn’t just a time to spread good cheer, get merry and eat cake. It’s a time for reflecting on all the things you’ve appreciated through the year.
Then get merry and eat cake.
The happy startups team have just closed our doors to celebrate festivities with our families, but not before we reflect on what a year we’ve just had. We couldn’t have wished for a stronger 2014 and we feel truly grateful for the great people we’ve met, the amazing places we’ve seen and the impactful projects we’ve been a part of.
It’s important to ‘celebrate successes and find humour in failures’ the wise words of businessman Sam Walton, so at the end of this post we invite you to take 5 mins to note down one thing from every month of 2014 you’re appreciative for. Share in the comments, hit reply if you’re reading this in an email, or write a blog post too. And if you can’t think of 12 things, try 3.
Go on, we dare you. Bets are it will warm your cockles.
Here are ours :)
In January, Happy Monday was born
We had enough of hearing about Blue Monday, said to be the most depressing day of the year so we partnered with our friends at Action for Happiness, and were joined by thousands of you across the world to re-position the day as one for positive change and look forward to the year ahead. Little did we know just how incredible 2014 was going to be. Super grateful for everyone who joined us in this mission. Same again in January 2015? Let’s banish Blue Monday forever. (along with Cyber Monday, Black Friday etc etc…).
In February, we had a hack day in the great outdoors :)
They say the best ideas don’t happen in the boardroom, and we were lucky to have worked in a cabin with a view of the rolling Sussex downs to spark creativity. We did some epic work on these days away (watch out for our first mobile app Cultivate soon), and came up with some awesome ideas which on reflection shaped a strong 2014 was for us.
— CanadianSpaceAgency (@csa_asc) March 20, 2014
In March, we were behind a campaign that went global. In fact, universal.
The UN’s International Day of Happiness falls annually on March 20th, and in 2014 we asked the world to share what makes you truly happy for #happinessday. Here’s a tweet from Canadian space station celebrating the campaign too. Epic!
In April, we moved into our new (much bigger and taller!) humble abode and became one of the World’s most democratic companies!
When we started out in business we wanted to develop an open and transparent culture that brought the best from the people we worked with. Even though there was just two of us at the time :)
This ethos has continued to this day as earlier this year we were one of only 41 companies worldwide (and 4 in the UK) to appear on the prestigious WorldBlu list of the world’s most democratic companies alongside our Brighton friends Nixon McInnes and Propellernet. We’re not big on awards, but it was a great seal of approval for the way we do business — particularly given that some of the other companies on the list were an inspiration for us. We’re big advocates for the WorldBlu mission and encourage the startups in our community to follow their lead and build companies based on trust and freedom.
In May, we launched our very first workshop on the beach!
The weather got warmer, we brainstormed how we could provide startups with a unique learning experience in an inspiring location, and Happy Beach became reality :) Our next one is coming up in January – what a great way to start the year.
In June, we hit the big 1-0!
It took us by surprise too. Time flies when you’re doing awesome work. Spook Studio, our mothership has worked on startup projects for 10 years now, developing digital ideas and building elegant products customers love. There were some BIG celebrations too…
In early July, the Happy Startups team went to the San Fermin Fiesta in Pamplona
…and almost lost our developer Dave. That’s a story for another time ;) let’s just say we celebrated our 10 year spookiversary in style.
In August, we made our office feel like our home
After brainstorming all the creative ideas of how we wanted our space to look and feel, August saw the magic happen. Happy towers was about to get a huge facelift. New flooring, lighting, tables, desks chairs, chalkboard walls, everything! The office is now a space geared up for collaboration and we’ve since had some fun and engaging events here, as well as lots of entrepreneurs working with us using our co-working space too. There’s never a dull day working here :)
In September something truly magical happened
Our biggest and wildest ideas to run a 3 day startup festival for purpose-driven entrepreneurs from across the world to come together, learn, unplug and have a CRAZY time came to life. There are no words for how grateful we are to have met and collaborated with such inspirational people to make Summercamp a reality. It was a weekend we’ll never forget :) See more pics in our write up. And we’re doing it all again next year :)
In October, we took to the shores to brainstorm in our office hideaway
It was great to get out of the office, rethink our next steps following the success of camp in September and make more plans for helping entrepreneurs make their business dreams a reality.
In November, we launched our very first online Home School
This was a huge step for us. We finally got the opportunity to work with budding entrepreneurs all across the world not only the UK, and we’ve been touched by the support since launching. Our first 4 week course was an absolute blast and we feel so grateful to have met such inspiring students driving change in the world. You guys are awesome! We also were delighted to take part in Meaning Conference, Hacking Happiness and LeanConf.
And in December, we took to the Alps!
A strong end to a fantastic year, we just got back from a visit to Jack Hubbard, our friend and founder of award winning agency Propellernet. We tinkered around with plans to take the peaks by storm next year. Watch this space.
Now it’s your turn :)
What are you grateful for?
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and all the best for a happy 2015!
We’ve got a little something for you here.