2019: The Year in Review – The Highs, Lows, and In-Betweens

2019: The Year in Review - The Highs, Lows, and In-Betweens

With 2020 underway, I want to look back at some key goings-on from 2019 and reflect on the highs, lows, and in-betweens that the company went through. I’m also going to take this opportunity to share our plans moving forward.

Leadership, focus and the organization

While still far from ideal, 2019 was our best year so far in terms of focus! Even though we didn’t release any new products, we simplified things by retiring some of our older creations. Personally, I also managed to spend most of my time on the most important projects and changes that had the biggest impact on the business.

We tried a number of different approaches in the past to get work done, but due to my lack of structured thinking skills (I guess), we’ve decided to go with a simplified approach in 2019, which has turned out to work great. In short:

  1. Set one primary goal for the year – in our case, that was to build up Neve to be the best and most popular free theme out there.
  2. Work out a plan for the next six months to get everybody aligned and working toward the goal.

On top of that, I also did some revenue/profit reviews throughout the year, plus we continued doing monthly meetings for the entire team.

Here are the main learnings from all that:

1. You don’t need sophisticated software or super-specific planning

One of our main mistakes in the past was thinking that we needed a “perfect” plan in place before we could ever get to work. This pretty much failed us every time.

The problem is the complexity of coming up with a whole grand plan, a vision, structure or whatnot, and then executing it.

Simplifying things – like we’re doing now with just a primary goal for the year – is a much more manageable approach, and it’s certainly better than nothing.

The lesson here: start small.

2. Six months ahead of detailed planning is too much

When we first started executing our six-month plan, everything worked out well for the first three of those months. After that, however, most of what we were doing felt kind of random.

The problem with detailed planning for more than a couple of months is that you never know what future holds and what kind of new input will come your way – input that will, in many cases, call for the plan to be adjusted.

Moving forward, we’re only going to be planning out detailed steps for three months tops.

3. Setting a goal helps in unexpected ways

Having one goal in the back of everyone’s minds made it easier for the team to reject new initiatives – even those that came from me. ?‍♂️

Once you agree on a goal, it gives you a lot of clarity as to what you should do next and how you should act about every new opportunity that comes your way. If it’s in tune with the goal, then fine. But if it isn’t, then it’s much easier for you to reject it.

Going forward, we hope to learn from our mistakes, and

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This article was written by Ionut Neagu and originally published on CodeinWP.

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