In the warmth of our homes on March 16, 2020. we have celebrated a decade of our existence. We have reached the point where we look at the pictures from 10 years ago and realize that, after all, we did get a little bit older. But, as sworn optimists, we still believe that our time is yet to come.
“I love him who has a free spirit and a free heart: thus his head is only the guts of his heart; his heart, however, causes his going under.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra.
I would be lying if I said that this quote did not remind me of Bild in the first place. More precisely, of the first five years, while we were still learning the basic lessons from the subject Nature and Society of Business of a digital agency in a market like ours.
The founders didn’t know about fear 10 years ago, they knew about the courage and (irrevocable) desire. Fear is something that the time later brought, when they realized what they were getting into, I can sign that. But the pitcher of fear (and other exciting things) overflowed after 2015 with the conquest of the international market. That’s when we won stability. Conditionally speaking stability, we were just at the beginning, but the picture was becoming clearer about how and where we should move. Today that stability is being managed by Denis, together with Dejo, Saša and Darko.
Of course, every successful step gave us room to experiment. In fact, it would often take us five steps back. But it is something that we, stubbornly, do not give up. Exploring and playing with fire in new, unconquered fields. But, Bild evolved as an organism, whose organs took over their functions over time, and that never allowed us to rush too far. When things escalate, there is always someone to pull the brake, sometimes it’s Batrić, sometimes some other manager, but to be honest, it’s mostly women. Sashka, Milica, Dženita, my humbleness, or as Tarik would say “The mothers of Bild.” It’s a little known fact that by using this phrase he actually sensed us changing diapers.
We are proud of the people who are here, and the people who have been here. With the energy we have invested in projects. With the team of voluntary blood donors led by Darko. With clients who trusted us and from whom we learned. With the partners with whom we initiated various actions. With team buildings to remember. Oh, we are especially proud of them. :) With women who are our great driving force, I mentioned only a few but it’s fair to say that Bild without Azra would be like a plant without water. Do we have enough of them? Of course not.
If you’re wondering how we got here, we probably don’t even know ourselves. The common denominator of this struggle is toughness and, not to forget, perseverance. Is struggle too pathetic and a difficult word for a blog post that celebrates 10 years? It’s not. If you ask me, as long as we work in the domestic market, it is still a struggle. As with many other agencies, which, regardless of experience, still often play for survival. The optimism about the idea of working on domestic market has left the building long time ago. By simple mathematics, for our ambitions, the work here is not paid adequately. Not only the creative sector, but also IT, which now makes the majority of the company. Are there any clients we like to work with here? Of course there are, but they are rare, just as much as truffles.
Have we had burnouts? Yes, on several occasions and on several fronts. Are we proud of that? No, but we tend to make them lessons for us. Did I mention that there are 70 of us? And we are going to the number 100?
Will the international market solve all our problems? Of course not. Winning the next step of stability makes the challenge greater. It makes us grind teams and become more responsible to the time we have at our disposal. Do roses bloom in our work with foreigners? It just depends on us and the level of professionalism. One thing is for sure, there is less fear when there is more knowledge and experience. Because no matter the market, excellence finds its way to success.
Junior Vs senior, who will be the sultan instead of the sultan?
Many of us started our working life in Bild, some were not helped by previous experience in the field of setting records in the number of working hours. Some proudly keep these records framed in special drawers, to remind them of the time of frying and gaining knowledge. And we would all like to work with seniors. And if it’s possible, to become seniors overnight. Joke aside, we are very aware that no one has started their working life as a senior yet. And as much as we work on educating our teams (everyone knows that internship is our middle name), we put the same effort on educating clients.
We strive to constantly improve the work ways and procedures. We measure everything that is measurable. For now, it has been shown that everything that could be measured could be improved. We test the organization with different models. We don’t squint at mistakes. We often make an elephant out of a fly. But we continue to grow and learn. We have even reconciled with the fact that some things are impossible to be accomplished. Something we still haven’t managed to do for example, is to get Dacho on the phone, from the first try.
We will dare to increase software exports over the next five years and earn 100% from foreign clients. Actually no, not 100%, we will save at least 5% for our first and most loyal domestic clients. All our forces are focused on that, at least for now.
We will dare to test the four-day work week. The possibility of remote work is, in accordance with the new situation, just on the test. We will also push for the continuation of the project of providing housing for employees. In case we didn’t buzz enough about that, we made 18 apartments, don’t mind, but that’s something that should be buzzed about. From the heels we try to improve the quality of life of all individuals, to give everyone space for expression. And we are immensely grateful for what we have achieved. First of all, to the members of the team, the present ones and all those who have been with us during all these years, and who we will always call Bild members.
Happy 10 years to all of us, Cheers!