Merry Christmas – 2017 Review – An open letter

Can you remember where we were at around this time last year?

Jonas Hermann
December 25, 2017

What a year…

Can you remember where we have been last year around this time? Let me remind you with a quote: “Everyone! Listen up! Please turn up your phones for a great show”. That was Hedvig trying to motivate a crowd of students to use the alpha version of Stagecast for the first time. It failed. Miserably … I remember her ashamed and disappointed face when she stumbled off the stage. This was not the only time we failed. But we made it through all these lows and learned from our mistakes. Every single time we tried to understand why we failed and did not make the same mistakes twice. Every single time we got back up and tried again. We failed again – but in a better way. And in all honesty, this is what I am most proud of: Apart from all the accomplishments of the past twelve months – I am most proud to be part of a team of individuals who do not give up. Yes, people come and go… but the ones that understand what we are doing, stay – and that’s you guys.

Let’s face it: We are set out on a difficult mission – change the way we interact with mobile technology for the better. We are not one of those “out-of-the-box” teams. Not one of these “let’s build a simple business and make a little money” kind of startups. We aren’t simply building “the next online store for baby-jumpers in pink”, but we are actually building something that is new. Something that might turn the clock of technology one little notch further. Something that can change the whole live-event industry and have a real impact in this world. We are not just a group of dreamers, doers, hackers and entrepreneurs… we are also innovators. And it takes guts and passion to be that – a whole damn lot of it. I am incredibly proud and honoured to be with you in this together. I know all of us willingly take a hit to be part of Stagecast – may it be moving to another country, learning entirely new skills, working late nights after a long day, taking time off a safe job, talking in public, agreeing to a lower-than-market salary or putting up with an unequal distribution of gender in the team. Thank you. You are awesome. I know it is not always easy but I want you to know that we support each other when struggles arise – that’s what teams do.Okay, okay… I’ll take it down a bit. Can’t start wetting my eyes over here. So – to summarise: Starting from a wacky alpha version of Stagecast in December 2016, we developed not only the product but the whole concept to something that we have been able to use and test with real artists and a real crowd. Even better, we built that thing in a vastly scalable way and we are having a clear product and business plan where we are heading. We created our own little paradise-space: LiveHacks, where we connect with people, learn from others and contribute to Stockholm’s Startup scene by building a  community. We have been recognised by the city of Stockholm when we won the Stockholm Innovation Prize and we represented Sweden at Slush – Europe’s biggest tech & entrepreneurship conference. We are part of Amplify – Sweden’s first music-tech centred incubator within Europe’s music-tech epicentre Stockholm. We got to meet some of our idols – from Niki&TheDove to Otto Knows and Jillionaire. One lucky fellow of us even got to sit next to the Swedish King while working with Palle Palmé – one of Europe’s leading light designers! But most of all: We learned a whole lot. More than I ever could have imagined we can learn within the timeframe of only twelve month. I am really, really proud of us.However, the best thing is – we just warmed up. We just got started. Next year will be lit! I cannot wait to see our product in action on a scale. I cannot wait to ship Stagecast to our first users and bring magic to the visitors of concerts, musicals, festivals and more. I cannot wait for our next LiveHacks events and see what people will create with a better set of APIs. I cannot wait to involve big sponsors and negotiate good deals for our organisation and I cannot wait to welcome new talents to our gang! And yes – I cannot wait to learn more. Even if that means we will have to fail over and over again. I know we will get back up and try harder. Together.Thank you for making 2017 to what it was – Exciting, successful, promising and filled with a lot of ups and downs. Every second of the year was memorable. About five years ago, I remember saying to one of my close friends during my first trip to Sweden “You know, I’d rather have a life filled with high highs and low lows than a life that is the same at all times. It makes me feel alive and I think that’s what life is all about.” Stagecast is just that and much more – I truly believe in what we are doing. I truly believe we will create something “that can change the life of a billion people to the better” and I truly believe in us. I cannot tell you exactly how 2018 will be, “but I promise it won’t be boring”. Let’s find out!Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,Jonas