Coffee Shop Beginnings
The energy and enthusiasm of DemoCamp created a great vibe. Somewhere between the coffee shop vibe and DemoCamp the idea for TheCodeFactory was born.
246 Queen Street
The original intent behind TheCodeFactory was to build a “community of shared interest” around open source software in downtown Ottawa. Opening night was May 26, 2008 and I distinctly remember our three speakers at the event: Scott Lake, Mike Milinkovich and Denzil Doyle. Opening night is one of my favorite memoires looking back at how the business has evolved.
Open Source Software "Community of Shared Interest"
The Tough Times
The 2008 recession was a pretty catastrophic blow to the economy. The Financial Crisis in the US and belief in the markets faltered, leading to a drastic crash. As many around Ottawa know, layoffs were common place. While this may have pushed people to consider entrepreneurship in the long term, in the short term most belts were tightened and money was harder to come by. It was tough on every service-based business, including TheCodeFactory.
The Bus Strike
A recession is bad. A recession coupled with a crippling bus strike is far worse. If you didn’t absolutely have to be downtown during the bus strike, chances were you’d avoid it like the plague. Commute times were absolutely ridiculous as cars packed the highway, and when you actually reached the core parking would be nonexistent. Things were pretty grim for a short while, but the bus strike and recession would eventually pass with time.
There have been many other bumps in the road since then; however, the more adversity you deal with the better you become at solving problems. I am a big believer in this quote from Friedrich Nietzsche: “That what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. “ It is during the tough times that you find out who your friends are. A big thank you to the customers that stuck with us and sincere gratitude for those advisors and other supporters that helped out during the difficult times.
Change and Adapt
The Most Important Thing
IMHO, People are the most important thing. I distinctly remember at my first job right out of college at one of our lunch and learn sessions the business owner said “Don’t be afraid to surround yourself with good people”. I am extremely grateful for all of the people met along the way; visitors from around the world who stop in to chat to even more importantly the people I see each and every day.
If you have taken the time to read this far, thank you … If you are one of the many people that has been a customer, supporter or engaged contributor to the growth of our business, thank you very much.
PS, next post in this series: Leap Day looking forward …