#HappyBirthdayEcademy!! 14years today the community of Entrepreneurs across the world was born
Celebrating 14 years 1998-2012
Ok, cast yourself back to 1998. What were you doing 14 years ago?
Have you changed your business, spouse, business partner or country?
How much have you innovated and adapted to the new world that is remarkably different to 1998?
How many people in your network then still matter to you and you to them?
Today, Thomas and I celebrate Ecademy's 14th Birthday with you. On the 7th February 1998 we chatted through the needs of business owners and networkers within the context of the Internet market at that time and decided to create a community to serve their needs. To help them to innovate, advance their tech skills, find new business and find new collaborative opportunities. Critical to our vision was the desire to create a family feel and a real community. As you know the word LOVE is important to us. i9n 1998 we could feel that the 'entrepreneurs' and the sole trader was going to become critical to survival, clearly the Internet was going to create havoc and at the same time create new hope and opportunities.
Over these 14 years Ecademy's growth been so steady, no huge spikes, like a real family or community it has grown at people speed not 'investor speed'. The best thing is that people say to us "wow, you are still here' still providing a home for us all when we need it'.
There is no doubt in my mind that the journey of Ecademy has been an enormous challenge, we thought having 3 children would be hard work! But like our kids this has been the most amazing experience for us. A real family all over the world that has grown up together, shared problems, pains, joys, losses and gains.
Like our children, sometimes we (the collective we) don't hear from our members until they are hurting, that call or email or message that asks you advise and asks if you know anyone that can help them. At those moments the member is close to the community again, they re-energize, re-fuel and then go off again into the wilderness! Over 14 years we have seen many come, go and come back again.
Often I get asked 'is the Internet bringing people closer or isolating them more', my answer is 'that is up to you', it is up to you how you use the amazing connecting tools we have at our finger tips. My observation is that those who use is to engage and build business friendships may sometimes be alone, but they are never lonely. (just look at these Blogs that discuss 'loneliness -or not' on Ecademy).
Sometimes we take for granted the people right on our doorstep, help could be inside our family maybe in our close network and yet we seek new people and new thoughts. So often the solution, ideas and real unconditional love comes from those we could call, email, message or meet up with that have known us for years. The Internet creates for us all an opportunity to build the most phenomenal Social Capital, a type of capital that grows in momentum providing we feed, respect and value it, providing we truly connect and get to know, like and believe in one another.
This time of year always causes Thomas and I to reflect and this year we want to thank everyone for their loyalty and belief in Ecademy. Today we are celebrating lunch at a wonderful Private Business Club called Adam Street in London with many of them. 14 years is a long time, in a life cycle of a product we have been through many cycles. FaceBook is about to celebrate its 8th Birthday! How much change has happened even since then, yet we have been loving and sharing and supporting one another for 6 years before FaceBook (is that like 06BC or 06BF)
Thomas and I are heading toward our 50's now, with older children and different worries when we started we were babies of 33 with toddlers and babies ourselves, many of you have seen many of us grow, mature and learn, that is just so gorgeous, what a journey we have been on together. So many people have grown up with us, been our coach and mentors and allowed us to be theres.
Ecademy is very special, because of the people in it, this day belongs to the community and we love being part of it.
Happy Birthday Ecademy, your tenacity and care is what we all need in this world of change
Through Ecademy we just want to be your life-long friend, growing old together, sharing stories and knowledge on the Blogs and trusting each other with our dreams and fears. A constant place to call your 'Internet home', where 'everyone knows your name'!
Finally, if you can join us to celebrate more on the evening of the 25th February we would love to see you after the KPI Event I am speaking at to help you 'Become a Key Person of Influence', we will be back at Adam Street for drinks at 6pm.
Founder of Ecademy and Digital Youth Academy
Helping you build social capital in your business and life