Goodbye, year of fear (may the Force be with you in 2018)!
Every first of December, everyone at Roadmap gathers together to genuinely reflect on the journey we have made over the past year and share our plans for the year to come. And every single year, it leaves us ('the bosses,' with a lowercase 'b') flabbergasted with our team's ability to look in the mirror. It proves that we're dealing with a conscious bunch of creative minds who clearly understand the possibilities for bringing us, the team, and the company forward.
This year, things got a little awkward when nearly every 'Roadmapper' made us aware of our management flaws in 2017. Still, feedback is a gift... and failure is a chance for improvement! (We repeat these quotes when crying ourselves to sleep at night.)
Roadmap has very few, but highly important rules. We rather apologize than ask for permission. We help each other out. And we act as conscious Jedis seeking the Force.
We are on a mission to change the industry by creating a much better travel experience for business travelers. Because they have the right to be pampered when closing major deals for their companies. We aim high and have taken up the challenge... But are we truly up to it?
What did we do wrong?
Back to the sore spot: what exactly was our foolish mistake according to our beloved team? Well, last year, we showed the following quote from the founder of Zappos:
If you create a culture where people love coming to work
and are moving in the same direction,
you will land where you set your heights.
Now, we love the culture of Zappos. We admire the way in which they achieve customer happiness by creating employee happiness. (Please check out Tony Hsieh's videos) So, we have translated this approach into our own company manifesto, defining it as 'Purpose over Profit.' The purpose is why we do what we do, and profit merely results from it.
So much for theory...
Roadmap had a very rough third year. We decided to say goodbye to one of our biggest cash cows, as it did not contribute to the purpose of achieving traveler happiness. It was a tough decision to make, since it jeopardized our other main goal: become a healthy, sustainable company. But as we got some of the largest global buyers on board, we needed to live up to our promise of providing 'the all-in-one travel app that creates the Force: traveler happiness.' It meant that we required focus. The motto? 'Say no and let go.'
Looking back, it is fair to say that a fear of failure wore us out. It sucked the energy out of us. With less money in the bank and a team of 20 people servicing thousands and thousands of frequent travelers each day, 2017 became the year of fear. The Dark Side took over, and we found ourselves asking questions such as: "Can we deliver? Do we have enough time? Is the product good enough?"
Now, we paid a price for giving in to our fear: we lost sight of our company culture. We harmed what we cared about the most. Because of all the stress, Roadmap was not a great place to work anymore. Tony knew, and he told us. But we did not listen, because - well, we are morons. Ultimately, though, our team gave us the best gift in the world: a wake-up call. They had the guts to tell us, and we (finally) listened.
Becoming Luke Cage
In the end, we are happy that we made this mistake. What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger - the cliché rings true once again. You know what? It turned us into Luke Cage. We learned, we survived, and the team is still in place. Moreover, our goal of becoming a sustainable company is more within reach than ever before. We reached breakeven, and we are ready for the next step. 2018 is going to be awesome again. And, more importantly: fearless!
Thanks to our amazing team, thanks to our great customers, and our apologies to those we have disappointed.
May the Force be with you in 2018!
Koen, Markus & Jeroen