The year is wrapping up with alarming speed, and I figured that as I wish you a wonderful Christmas and New Years (or whatever you celebrate) I’d give you a little perspective on FiveStar’s first year! It’s been crazy. It’s been wild. It’s been busier than any other job I’ve had. But it’s been a LOT OF FUN, and I hope all the great rewards you’ve received from your awesome local businesses have helped brighten your day!
So what have we been up to?
1.) Growing like bamboo shoots in the grey valleys of China: This may be a bit of an exaggeration (those bamboo shoots grow fast), but from January first to January first a LOT has changed. Last January, FiveStars was a jumble of Python code being tested in two or three businesses with a handful of users. When I arrived in March, I was the fourth person in the company (including the founders). I was the first employee for heaven’s sake–in MARCH!
Now we’ve got right around thirty employees, four hundred business, and (yes you’ve heard it) one hundred thousand people with a FiveStars card in their pockets. WOW. I mean WOW (and not the MMORPG). Let me tell you, those thirty employees have poured some serious time and effort to get us this far. So if you see anyone from FiveStars on the street, just give them a high-five. They deserve it.
2.) You used funding stone: Housemon evolved into Officemon. Yes, I know I’m a nerd, but it’s a tech company. I guess I could have included this under growth, but for me it was a big enough turning point to get it’s own bullet. Working in the same place you eat, sleep, and live get’s a little wearying–trust me.
Now, I can come home from the office, and actually BE HOME! No more programmers hacking away until the wee hours of the morning in my living room. No more laminator potpourri of slightly burnt plastic fumigating my apartment. No more servers under my bed. Phew, I got a bit carried away. Long story short, it’s nice.
3.) Los Angeles, all your stars are belong to us: Ok, I promise no more nerd references, but it’s true. FiveStars has officially expanded to Los Angeles. If that’s not exciting, I don’t know what is. It may seem like a small step, but expanding is way more exciting, stressful, exhausting, and rewarding than I thought possible. We sent some of our best guys down there to start it up, and that’s what they did.
They are living out of a house again, but that’s all part of the process. As they set up computers, desks, and operations, they signed up a handful of businesses (including one of my personal favorite LA boba places–Volcano Tea) and are already getting cards are in people’s hands.
Overall, it’s been one heck of a year. I don’t know what kind of blog post I’ll be writing at the end of 2012, but I can’t imagine it not being a good one. People have loved and used FiveStars more than we could have hoped for in our wildest dreams. Thank all of you sooo much for grabbing our FiveStars cards when you stop in at your favorite restaurants all over the Bay and LA (hey that rhymes).
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas filled with honey backed hams and joy. I hope your New Years is filled with confetti and New Years Eve Kisses. And I hope we can keep giving you great rewards at the best spots in town from 2012 onward.