Gee Digital was Bootstrapped and profitable every month since inception.
For the record what drove me towards websites was working at Ansett and then Air New Zealand, mostly with data, and as time went on more and more online. Starting with their intranet, then quickly being moved on to the internet facing stuff. I guess I was an analyst that became a developer on my own. They liked what I was doing in this ‘new’ field. So on I went. Through the transition of Ansett going broke and then getting bought by Air New Zealand, I continued working on their online stuff. But my core job was database development for the takeover of Ansett by Air New Zealand. They wanted me to figure out how to match up like 6000 employees combined. On every conceivable metric. Both organisations had totally different organisational structures. It was a mess to begin with, but I developed a system to correlate the datasets and gained fast adoption in both separate companies throughout every layer of management and operations. It was a giant mapping and deployment operation. I developed the whole system with a focus on interface design. That’s what everyone wanted, usability. Anyway….
It really was a fantastic job. I was loving it and was super proud to work for such an esteemed organisation, Air New Zealand.
So in an endeavour to learn more about AI and ML and Data Science, we have been programming our system as a team for more than 2 years. We are trying to distill our domain expertise into a more useful product that enhances the user experience at a low cost and promotes the systems we admire – as systems, and businesses too I suppose. If their systems weren’t so good now, why would their businesses be so massive? And what about the whole marketplace layer of Fiverr, Upwork, 99Designs, DesignCrowd, Freelancer that support this vertical. And the asset libraries that underpin and compliment that. UnSplash, Pixabay, iStock and on it goes.
Pretty tough start, lots of begging and pleading.
More begging and pleading for opportunities.
Pretty much the same as 2001, a very hard slog.
Hired my first full time employee – pretty stressful year. He turned out great to be a great developer for a very long time.
Hired our second full time employee, this time we needed a Designer.
Hired our 3rd and 4th employee, perhaps actually made a decent profit.
Was a lot like 2005 with a lot of 2001 thrown in.
We had a good year, started to find our feet.
Hit a stride here, was good year, Jeremy joins the team.
Was a replay of 2008, lots of change and learning.
Steady growth, team has grown, numbers have grown.
Amazing growth – Bought outright new office, Jeremy makes partner.
Was a great year, this was a big leap forward for us.
Built on 2014 - Record numbers.
Steady growth but clouds forming.
Lots of changes in the industry and amongst our team. Every year has its challenges, in every business, not just ours.
Getting worn down. Missing being innovative and relegated to sales and management, the desire to build our own products grew much stronger.
We agreed to take the plunge. Do what we each wanted to do, the three of us. We sold our office and headed off to set up whatever we actually wanted to do. I chose to return to my roots. Data and User Design. Gee continues with a slimmed down team and aisite.ai is born, even though it was conceived by myself and Shannon many years earlier. Our first funding round was secured.
Programming, lots of programming, testing and tonnes of research & Development. Special thanks to our Investors, who we call Partners, and special thanks to the Government's R & D Programs that support AI.
After just over 2 years with a team of 6, we developed our AI as it relates to websites. Released the first version of aisite.ai. Second round of funding secured.
We also are blessed to have a cohort of supporting partners and experienced advisors.
We are also grateful to the Australian Government who have supported and encouraged us with a combination of government schemes, especially the Research & Development Grants.
A special thanks to Amazon Web Services and our friends at Tractor Ventures who connected us to what we needed at the right time.