2013: A Very Good Year - February 2014
The inaugural year for any company is critical in many respects. During the first year, every company establishes the building blocks for long term success whether those are culture, finances, products, or organizational structure. When we set out to form Blueprint, the founders (Kyle, Jesse, Andy, and me) wanted to create a company that changed the way the industry thinks about consulting. Typically, consulting companies come in two forms: business management consulting companies and solution delivery companies. We set out to bridge the gap between these two segments and create a company that provides high-quality strategic analysis AND solution delivery. Looking back on 2013, I think we nailed it and hope you do too.
In review, 2013 had some amazing ups and downs for Blueprint. We had incredible successes and overcame some incredible obstacles to put us in the position we’re in. Everyone – and I do mean everyone – made significant sacrifices and expanded their skills to make our success possible. I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for that. Highlights from 2013 are too numerous to mention – I’ve actually been keeping a separate list of amazing moments and classic quotes if anyone wants to see it (keep in mind, it’s not G rated). I’ve broken the main successes down into three categories (if I missed anything, let me know), here it goes:
One of the benefits of growing a company from its inception is having the ability to pick who you want to work with. We set out to hand-select the most talented people we know in the industry to form the core center of our team and continue to hold all of our new employees to that same high standard. As the company grows, the people who are with the company now will have the unique opportunity to be at the center of a company as it takes shape. I’m incredibly proud of the team that we’ve built. We’ve held to that Blueprint standard with each hire and I think the team reflects that fact. You all continue to impress me daily (and not just because I barely know how to use Lync.)
Blueprint enjoyed unprecedented growth in 2013. Despite experiencing four major re-orgs inside our biggest clients, we continue to navigate the new landscape and find success as our clients repeatedly see the value that we bring to their business. While we ended up behind our revenue and our employee count goals for 2013, I feel that we achieved a quality of engagement and impact on our customers that far surpasses any simple growth metric. As well, we achieved profitability in our third full month of operations, which is incredibly difficult to do with our business model. We have the same aggressive goals for 2014 and are confident that the strides we made in 2013 will provide great dividends going forward.
One of our primary areas of focus from an ownership perspective is the investment we put back into the company. This comes in the form of investment in our people, investment in our infrastructure, and investment in our resources and tools. I have personally been pleased seeing employees taking advantage of our education reimbursement program. This program is one of the ways all of our staff will continue to be innovative and become thought leaders in our industry. It has also been great to see the intense collaboration by many of you helping each other on engagements, helping solve problems, and helping learn new ways of attacking a project. I feel the more we can collectively leverage our overall talent base, the more successful we will become.
In sum (Natacha told me to keep this one short), each member of the team has contributed to make Blueprint possible – you should be proud of the company you have helped create. You are all unique spectacular individuals; those are the only ones we choose. I’ll wrap up by saying thank you again to each of the members of the team, the Blueprint staff, the Blueprint leadership team, and especially to my fellow owners. 2013 has been a year beyond our expectations and it’s only the start. I challenge each of you to make 2014 even better!
- Ryan Neal, President
Blueprint Consulting Services