Happy birthday, Buoyancy!
It was the first anniversary of our incorporation last month- I’ll be honest, at the moment, I wasn’t feeling it, we had a lot on the go, but we’re an early-stage startup, and there’s always a lot on the go.
The date itself didn’t have any real significance. It was the arbitrary day that someone at Corporations Canada processed our application for federal incorporation.
Then I gave my head a shake.
It didn’t have significance, but it does now.
That’s the day when we untethered Buoyancy from the shores of our imagination, hopped in, and started rowing it out into the open ocean.
That’s the day when we (really) declared Buoyancy’s mission to set out and help the real people who are struggling in the uncertain and anxious waters of unplanned career interruptions in a way that’s accessible and sustainable. To be fair, we spent the better part of 2021 paddling around the calm waters near the shore in the safe harbours provided by folks in our network, Platform Calgary and Startup Edmonton. We got to stretch ourselves and develop and test our ideas with the fine folks at 321 Growth Academy and AMII. In the fall, with support from Alberta Innovates, we steered toward the open ocean to test our value proposition outside of Alberta (T.O. and Van). We successfully reduced our CAC by 10x, which pointed us toward a sustainable approach to growth, but we wobbled on product quality and market fit. Work to do…
With this milestone, we are celebrating a growing team, a new release, and an updated approach to engaging our community of users. Success is never guaranteed for a startup, and we know we have a long voyage ahead. For those of us who wade into these waters, it can be both terrifying and rewarding. Like many startups, we’ve had highs and lows, challenges to overcome, and weeks that felt more like 48/14 (versus 24/7), but we are still here and still going strong.
We’ve had some amazing cheerleaders and supporters along the way who should be acknowledged:
Hamid Rashid, our ops maven, and biggest cheerleader. Hamid and I met almost 20 years ago when we both had more hair. At that time we crushed some big projects that had others in our firm stuck. After many years of not talking frequently, I reached out to Hamid when I was working through the crazy idea of going back to school… he told me to go for it. We reconnected again in late 2020, and I walked him through the concept for Buoyancy Works. He didn’t hesitate and jumped in.
Mike Lake, our deep thinking, big-hearted advisor. Mike came on early and has been questioning and challenging us respectfully and guiding us sternly when needed. Thank you for your wisdom, Mike.
Todd Costella, our dev leader and technical guru. Todd and I worked together for many years and to be frank, after participating in a successful exit, probably doesn’t need to be hanging around with us. He’s been patient, understanding, and constantly bringing fresh approaches to the table to architect the technology for our future vision. Thank-you Todd.
Cody Austin and Evan Wildman – These guys were part of our Junction cohort and now are there almost every Friday morning for web coffee. Collectively, we’ve helped each other build companies, smash down barriers, and hashed through the nitty-gritty of contracts, deals, and raises. Couldn’t have done it without you.
Kylie Woods and I stumbled into each other amidst a global pandemic that drove Edmonton Startup Week virtual. Kylie was in the process of re-imagining the future of Chic Geek and Buoyancy was still gestating. Kylie and I met regularly every other week and then monthly to chat about our challenges, decisions, and next steps. She’s generously shared our story and made connections along the way. Thank you, Kylie.
Lastly, a huge thank you to the whole Buoyancy Works team- Theresa, Sonia, Kyerra, Jonathan, Michael, and Dani.
You’ve provided your ideas and expertise to help us build the culture and company we want to be. Your energy has helped us create amazing momentum in 2022, and we are moving faster than we ever have.
We are a true story, with team members in Calgary, Edmonton, the GTA, and Vancouver Island… I’m so excited to dive into the next chapter with all of you!