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By Mikel Lindsaar

2016 Year in Review

2016 has been an amazing year for reinteractive and for me personally. I'd like to take this opportunity to go over some of the things that happened in my end of year review and set the stage for 2017.

Growth

With thanks to our amazing customers and incredible team, I'm really happy to announce that reinteractive grew another 30% on 2016 figures. Which tops off six years of solid year on year growth since we started our company in 2010. During this time, we have grown an average of 35% year on year.

reinteractive is a professional services company where we hire more staff to deliver our growth. I'm very proud of that! Even better is that 2017 is shaping up to smash through that average in a big way.

Team & Remote Only

We hit a new milestone, with more than 30 people now working at reinteractive, 32 to be exact. And we've just signed another two team members who will be starting this month.

reinteractive is not a remote friendly, or a remote first organisation. It's a remote only organisation. This growth in terms of revenue and staff numbers has shown well, proven really, that remote is a totally workable and effective way to run a business these days.

These six years have taught me a lot about how to run a company. And how to effectively run a remote professional services company. Keeping a consistent level of service delivered to our clients.

Sure we've slipped up a few times, and occasionally make mistakes. After all even though we would like to believe we are super human, we are still only human!

But our clients know that when we find an error, we jump on it. And work on it until it is resolved to everyone's satisfaction.

2016 also had us hiring our first New Zealand team members, which has shown why remote only is such a good option. We can focus on skills and team member fit without having to worry about relocation.

This year I plan to write and talk more about the remote first approach of reinteractive, and how it can work for any services company worldwide.

Management Structure

Everyone who has run a company knows that building the management team is one of the most challenging aspects of growing a business. 2016 saw the hiring and placement of reinteractive's first Chief Operations Officer, Kane Hooper.

Kane has taken to his new role exceptionally well. He has taken charge of increasing production across the company with obvious and immediate results.

With our COO in place, we also promoted Ben Pritchard. One of our best developers post into position of Project Manager. And also put on post our Community Manager, Rachelle LeQuesne to head up the InstallFest, Development Hub, and other reinteractive community activities.

Getting these roles on post means that we have a structure that we can grow into 2017 and beyond.

OpsCare & CodeCare

Last year also saw the real establishment and growth of our OpsCare and CodeCare services. Thanks to our operations team. OpsCare has been in the works for years and in 2016 we really found our stride. Signing up customers to handle the pain, worry and attention of mission critical Ruby on Rails applications. CodeCare also found its stride getting customers signed up. Allowing us to handle the month to month tasks. Everything that keeps Ruby on Rails applications alive and well from a code maintenance point of view.

These two services are forming the backbone of our ongoing recurring revenue at reinteractive, while also providing a reliable and predictable service to our clients. 2017 will see the continued expansion of these offerings as well as a focus on expanding into more worldwide markets.

Community

The community actions of reinteractive has always been close to my heart and something that I'm really proud of that we are able to do. With our Community Manager leading the charge, 2016 saw our 1,000th Rails InstallFest attendee as well as a new InstallFest location of Perth and one booked in New Zealand giving the InstallFest now 6 locations around Australia and New Zealand.

We also had two other fantastic things happen from our Rails InstallFest work.

The first, one of the developers we hired in 2016 had their first Ruby on Rails experience through one of our InstallFest's many years ago. Which shows that this initiative is really doing what I hoped. Create new professional developers.

The second, one of our Brisbane InstallFest attendees from 2016 used the knowledge he received to build and launch his own SaaS app; Dine Mate. I am so proud of the fact that something we created just to help people learn about Ruby on Rails, has actually helped someone create a whole business and hopefully career.

DevelopmentHub has continued to grow with 61 attendees for the first week back this year! DevelopmentHub is becoming a great way for developers to work together in a relaxed environment solving problems. And also provides a simple, hassle free forum for more experienced developers to give back to the community and help someone else learn the ropes.

2017 will see our further growth in the Community Division. Creating strategic alliances with other like-minded groups, schools, universities and trade groups. While helping introduce another thousand or more people to the amazing world of web based software development.

Our New Home - reinteractive.com

Finally, we found a new home on the internet, reinteractive.com.

The story behind this though is worth repeating here, as it caps off what a great year 2016 was with a down to earth, feel good story.

When we first chose reinteractive as a name, reinteractive.com was taken by someone in South America. So deciding that it wasn't that important, I just went and took reinteractive.net.

Over the following years I tried to contact the owner a few times to purchase the .com domain name. These emails never got answered and I just moved on.

Then in December 2016, an email lands in my inbox from a fellow named Roberto Rubio. He said he owned the reinteractive.com domain name and was wondering if I would be interested in having it. Not only that but he said "I have the reinteractive.com domain and I'm not longer using it. I was wondering if you would like to have it. You just have to pay for the transfer. No hidden fees."

I replied back in the affirmative and we got chatting. The long and the short of it was that here was a guy who did something nice. He handed over a domain name he wasn't using to us without holding it to ransom. In the end even though he refused, we sent him some cash as a thank you. As the alternative was to buy him a few rounds, but our chances of visiting him in South America in the near future were slim.

However, there's another footnote to this story. After chatting with Roberto, we've brought him on to head up our remote office in Panama, providing reinteractive with true 24x7 follow the sun support for our OpsCare service! This is a major step for reinteractive and supports our massive growth in the OpsCare service in 2016.

The Future

So 2016 has been amazing, 2017 is lining up to be even more so. We are planning to more than double the size of the company this year through the publishing of our first book entitled "Confident Software". Further expansion into the USA market with our OpsCare and CodeCare services. Continued expansion of our development team. And the addition of more sales consultants in Melbourne and San Francisco.

It's going to be an exciting time and I can't wait to tell you all about it in my 2017 year in review :)

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