It’s Monday August 21, 2017. Fifteen developers and designers are creating solutions for our ten US based clients at Vincit California’s office. The designers are currently reviewing the work of our extended team in Finland, where they have already worked a full day and delivered their day’s output for the Team California to take on. It’s almost the anniversary of my relocation and official start date of Vincit California operations. Looking back, a year ago we only had one local client, hot-desk from a shared office space, big plans and even bigger dreams. We have grown fast.
Opening Vincit USA office has been my dream for nearly half a decade. When we as a company reached 250 employees I noticed quite a few of my colleagues shared the dream of working with clients outside Finland. I kicked off a market research project with a team of UCLA MBA students and after 6 months had a business plan with a “Vincit California” header on it.
Hoping your dreams will come true is different than making them happen
Vincit is known for listening to its employees’ career goals. Sometimes it means creating completely new roles for them within the company. When I started making my dream come true, everyone at Vincit did not share or believe in my vision of making Vincit a success in California. However, I did have my organisation’s full support for which I am grateful for.
During the initiation phase of Vincit California I travelled to the States almost monthly. At that time I was planning to establish Vincit’s office in Silicon Valley. During these trips I met companies, potential partners and a wide range of the developer community. Although one of my trips resulted in an agreement with Vincit California’s first client Logitech in Newark, I soon realised Silicon Valley was not the right place for us to start building up the team for reasons listed in OC Business Journal: Vincit - Latin name, OC Preference.
Forget the plan and keep planning
It certainly was not in our plans to make merger & acquisition activities during the first year. We worked on a low budget, used marketing money only for Vincit Dev Talks and managed to make Vincit California profitable in less than 6 months. However, to stay agile you need to be able to forget the plan and keep planning. When the perfect match with a local design agency was found, nobody hesitated. OC Register: XTOPOLY and Vincit merge
Having the right people on the bus
Everyone who has read Jim Collins’ books knows it all boils down to having the right people on the bus. I want to highlight the three Vincitizens I found in early 2016 to share my dream: Iiro, Mikko and Anssi. They packed their bags, left their nice homes and steady lives in Finland and moved to empty apartments in California.
Mobile developer Iiro Vidberg has managed our first client engagement with superb client satisfaction rate. He works more or less independently in Palo Alto office and I admire his hard work as much as I admire his strength in facing the First World overhead without colleagues around him. Mikko Salokangas and Anssi Kuutti have both grown way beyond their lead developer roles. Mikko has taken ownership of our hiring process and coaching of new Vincitizens, while Anssi has gained experience in the fierce field of business development. I have huge respect for them and their families for making all of this possible.
Coming back to today
Vincit California continues to offer its clients premium web systems and mobile apps design services and continuously works towards achieving outstanding customer and employee satisfaction. We are currently leasing a 33 seat office in Irvine, CA and it looks like we will run out of space by March 2018. We work with many local clients and global market leaders creating world-class solutions and apps to their customers.
Our first year lays a good foundation for the future, but we still have a lot work to do. Dreams tend to get bigger in California.