Manoverboard celebrated its 15th anniversary in January. While I’m not big on celebrating business-focused events, I am well aware that this is a milestone.
I’ve reflected upon this anniversary quite a bit, actually. Staying in business for a single year is hard. Doing it for 15 years somehow seems like defeating the odds.
But we did it.
And I’d like to think that the longevity has a little bit to do with giving away work.
I know that sounds counter-intuitive. It might even sound dangerous. But when I started the company in Brooklyn fifteen years ago, the dot-com economy had crashed and, in its wake, I saw an abundance of nonprofit organizations who were in dire need of design and technology services. My goal was to start a business that would help those nonprofits and, on occasion, give the work away for free or at a lower cost. That was the goal.