2017 was a watershed year for Team Tito. Indeed, we shed many tears. Our patience was tested through some challenging moments. We shed tears of joy as our colleagues and friends announced nuptials and new babies. As a business, we got through a lot, but most of the work in 2017 was building platforms to grow from. We humbly offer you now a bit of insight into our year of laying foundations.
With revenue well into the hundreds of thousands, it felt like time to lay down “real company” roots. Things like robust employment contracts, share options, shareholders agreements and an office party that took more than one phone-call to co-ordinate. A dedicated bookkeeper now keeps our finances in check, and our accountants process payroll. We have not looked back.
In addition to bureaucracy, in 2017 we took a bit of time to reflect on who we are, how we fit into the world, and what values we want to reflect. The start of that is on our about page, but we want to continue and expand on this introspection.
We also become a client of Enterprise Ireland, a government organisation who offer support for export-led growth.
The business of Tito has never looked better, and 2017 saw us build a base to grow into the next 2 to 3 years. During the year, we crossed $1M of all-time revenue, crossed 1M all-time tickets issued, and passed $100M worth of tickets sold in one year. We paved out marketing strategies, product roadmaps, integrations and potential partnerships, and we’re eager to see where all of the groundwork takes us.
Growth at Tito doesn’t just mean numbers. Growing as people, growing our social responsibilities, growing our skills, growing our influence; all of these are important considerations to us whilst we grow our top and bottom lines. We are ambitious about numbers though, and we’ve invested early in sales and marketing efforts. Customer growth was good in 2017, but we have planted the seeds for an even better 2018.
A delightful distraction in 2017 was creating an environment that we are happy and proud to call our home. We were privileged to work with Niamh McCabe of Spacey Studio who helped us turn our vision into reality. We also had fun working with Holly Pereira of Hyperpictures on our very own mural, based on a map of our location in the heart Dublin. The office is still a work in progress, but already we couldn’t be happier.
Customer support is something we’ve always been obsessive about and 2017 was no different. We’re establishing ourselves as best-in-class on this front, and we’ve done it with a skeleton crew. We’ll be fleshing out that skeleton in 2018 to help all of our customers to get the best out of the Tito platform.
Tito grew from 4 to 6 in 2017 and it has been a delight to welcome Annie and Maria to our growing team. They have been central in laying the foundations for our content and marketing strategies, writing blog posts, measuring the results of our efforts and mapping out a plan for 2018. Summer saw Clive join us as our first intern. He left for the wiles of one of the Big Four, but he’ll always be in our hearts, and in our tax returns.
D&I is important to us. Starting off as a team of four white men set things off along the status quo, but we’re committed to being a force for good when it comes to diversity and inclusion.
We’re now split 2:1 men:women and eager to add more diverse voices to our team. In addition, we hired Nuanced, a consultancy that advises creative businesses through an intersectional lens. Natalie has been a guiding light in helping us traverse the literal nuances of taking positive steps toward being a fair, safe and inclusive company.
In terms of immediate actions, we’ll be including diversity-specific considerations in our company onboarding handbook, in our hiring process, and in the events we run, attend and promote. In addition we’ll be implementing a company code of conduct and a formal grievance and disciplinary policy.
2017 saw the vast majority of development on stuff we have yet to release. This is sad because it means that 2017 was a relatively static year (although you might also call this “stable”). But it’s also cause for optimism because we have a LOT to share in the coming weeks and months as 2018 marches on. We’ve modernised, iterated, and improved a lot of our core offerings, and (you probably guessed) set the scene for solving lots of problems that we’ve wanted to tackle for a long time.
It wasn’t all quiet though, and early in the year, we released our rebuilt Tito iOS check-in app, and added a shiny Android version to the Play Store. While good ol’ pen and paper does the job, an app is far more useful. This will be particularly relevant in 2018 as the GDPR takes hold — be sure to check out our guide for conference organisers: ti.to/gdpr
In the middle of 2017, we simplified our pricing options. Our standard fee is now 3% with a cap of €25 per ticket (free events are always free).
Having settled on a pricing structure for commercial customers, we decided that the time was right to support non-profit, community and charity events. Non-profits and community events can now apply for the lower rate of 1%.
Finally, if an event is one where the proceeds go directly to charity, we’ll waive our fees. This was something we’ve wanted to do for a while and we’re delighted to be able to offer a little help to good causes.
This is only a small step, and we’re keen to explore other ways that we can help leave this world better than we found it.
With all of our ambitions for growth elsewhere in the company, it’s important that we keep our platform running smoothly, and we’ve spent a fair bit of research and time figuring out how we’re going to do this with a small team. As huge fans of AWS, we’ll be modernising our stack, making efforts to improve our ability to ship without causing issues, to continue (and hopefully improve on) our solid track record around downtime, and to improve our reporting on all of the above.
Whilst we tend to agree with the notion that your company is not a family, we make no bones about cheering from the sidelines and celebrating love, life and babies!
In June Karl popped the question to his significant other Ruth — she said yes, hooray! In July Beau Lyons-Lowney, Tito baby #3, was born to our colleague Annie. Half of Team Tito are now parents and there have been plenty of advice-giving and sleep horror story-sharing. Beau’s in good company with Nathan Parsons, Tito baby #4. Born to our co-founder, Doc Parsons, now a proud (and even more exhausted) father of two boys. Nathan has the most hair on his head any baby has ever had. Ever.
We’re super excited for 2018. Already January has seen a nice jump in raw numbers. We’re been interviewing for our open positions and are excited to have new members join what we’re building, shaping our future, and getting to work on the platform.
Last year as a team we attended 19 events between us, events like ConfConf, Signal, Copy Cabana, SaaStock, Leading Design and TestBash. We hope to attend even more events in 2018, as attendees and hopefully as speakers. We’re running our own events too, making use of our space in Dublin. Stay tuned!
Not least, as ever, we want to thank everyone who has supported us. We’re thankful to all of our customers, everyone who recommends what we do, and all of the kind words (and helpful criticism) that we regularly receive and puts the wind in our sails.
—Annie, Cillian, Doc, Karl, Maria & Paul