2020 was a freakin' hard year

This is an excerpt from my speech at this year's Unacast digital Holiday party: "2020 was a freakin' hard year. For us, yes very much so, but still, for us on this digital Holiday party, we are all in all relatively lucky"

December 24, 2020

Share this article

People are dying. There’s a 911 every day in the US now. 1,65 million have died so far globally, and many millions more will die. This is a global crisis, and we have yet not seen the full economic effect - that will kill millions more again. 2021 will be the year of bankruptcies and millions and millions out of work as the companies directly impacted have survived so far on savings and government support.

Against that backdrop we have been lucky. We are safe health wise. Our company is filling a needed role in this new world and we have moved up several notches in relevance. We have strong investors. The nature of our company more easily allows for working at home, etc. etc.

We have been lucky.

But we have lost things too, and we have all felt the signs of depression creeping in as we are isolated in our apartments - many of us living alone. It's important that we both recognize that we are lucky, but still allow for us to be sad and down - and when down seek help from professionals or friends or colleagues when needed. We are in this together, and better days will come - together.

And when we together adjusted the budget and prepared for a different year than we planned for, we protected the company.

We did what was necessary - that is the trait of a mature company. I remember our investors told us, who have been part of the latest two financial crises, that companies that take the necessary steps in face of a crisis, typically emerge strong at the tailend - and will have the upper edge as they can invest and outpace the ones that did not adjust. That can be us, we are positioned well.

We have been lucky. Lucky AND skilled.

When the social distancing scoreboard craziness was at peak I remember saying to X that “she should cherish that moment in time”, as companies seldom experience that extreme focus that we did, and have since. And we did cherish that moment, and I believed it changed us and our company forever.

We learned:

  • We can adapt fast to anything that comes our way. VERY fast!
  • We have an key role to play - insights saves lives and build better societies
  • We build awesome technology - millions of people visited us and we were ready for it
  • Our data is trustable and of high integrity
  • Frontends and easily understandable insights is important (and we can do it)
  • And these are just a few examples, I’m sure you have many more from your perspective

So, what now?

Well, the vaccine is being rolled out, spring and summer is around the corner. We are on a path to break even. With some deals pending signature on the DaaS and PaaS side we are at XXm perhaps already early next year. Not many companies grew that much in 2020.

I believe we are at peak shit right now - and from January 2021 the world will start to make some sense again. I believe that.

But, 2020 was a freakin' hard year. And we have worked freakin' hard. And we should be freakin' proud of what we did this year. Thomas and I am.

Happy Holidays to you all, as per usual we will be giving our present to Givewell.org where the top charity right now is “Medicine to prevent malaria”. Again, we are lucky - most others aren’t that lucky.

I’m tired now. And it’s ok to be tired.

Let’s rest for a bit. All of us.

Thank you for 2020, all.