Proctorio's Ninth Birthday
Mike Olsen, Founder & CEO April 29, 2022
When most people think of startups, a few words come to mind. Disruptive. IPO. Patagonia vests. One word that doesn't is longevity.
There's a reason for that. The majority of startups fail within a couple years. And the usual path for those that do make it is cashing out in a splashy exit.
This month we're celebrating Proctorio's nine-year anniversary. I'm proud to say we've never taken a dime in VC money and, despite the hundreds of inquiries we get every year, we have no plans to sell. We're in this for the long haul. I'd like to tell you why.
A few years ago, I was asked to join a group of like-minded entrepreneurs in an organization called Tugboat. It was there that I was introduced to the concept of the Evergreen company.
The Evergreen Movement is a collection of business leaders who follow seven principles: purpose, perseverance, people first, profit, private, paced growth and pragmatic innovation. Like any company, we want to do well financially, but we also want to do good in the world.
I want to single out one of those principles, paced growth, and how it applies to Proctorio which experienced 900% year-over-year growth during the pandemic.
People forget the modest beginnings of a company. That's natural. But it's a good idea to go back to your foundation from time to time. That's been the theme of this year at Proctorio. The expansion of the last two years has been anything but paced. It's been exponential. As the need for remote learning exploded, so did our need to scale our operations to meet the demands of our partners.
Are there things we would change? Yes. Did we have some missteps? Of course. But if going through those challenges was what we had to do to get to this point, I wouldn't change a thing.
Next month marks the third anniversary of our Munich office. In our Belgrade office we have over one-third of employees who have worked three years or more with us.
And today, we're announcing the promotion of our longest serving team member. She started off in support on the night shift while getting her degree in design. We supported her move into the creative department where she worked her way up from manager to team leader. Now she will be Creative Director, the first in our history. In a company that puts design front and center like we do, this is the natural direction for us to take.
Starting a company is filled with cliches along the journey. Right now, as we approach a decade in business, we're at the point where we take a minute to look back on where we've been. Nine years ago, in a spare bedroom in my dad's house, we made a bet on a few people with an idea. Today, we're doubling down.