Five Year Cupcake

This morning, I walked into the office and the entire TaskUs Santa Monica team surprised me with a card, breakfast burritos and champagne. I was totally caught off guard. What was the special occasion?

According to our Articles of Incorporation, TaskUs was started five years ago today. Taleen, our office manager, looked this up (thanks to a bit of Dropbox espionage) and worked with our team to plan a surprise for Jaspar and me.

Unbelievable on so many levels.

After a burrito and a chat with the team, I settled down in my office and began reflecting on the past five years. I instantly remembered a quote from a Fred Wilson blog post I read at the end of our first year in business. It reads, “Things take longer in the short run but they happen faster in the long run.” That quote has always resonated with me, but never more than it did today.

Five years ago, Jaspar and I were sitting in the front room of my parents’ house, laptops mounted on a card table, strategizing about how we were going to change the way the world worked. We had invested $5,000 to build V1 of TaskUs – a virtual assistant service, aimed at busy professionals. We didn’t have any employees, zero revenue and had invested more than half of the total assets of our company into website development.

Today, Jaspar and I still work in the same office, but we have our own desks now. TaskUs has grown to over 500 employees in our Manila office, 15 employees in our Santa Monica office and a European office on the way. Our team provides back office services to over 100 of today’s most innovative and rapidly growing companies. This year, we were recognized as the 211th fastest-growing company in America by Inc. magazine, and our business continues to grow at nearly 100 percent a year.

In the past five years, we lived at our parents’ houses for over three years, built and rebuilt our team numerous times, changed our business model, lost quite a few big clients and got yelled at by more clients than I can recall. Conversely, we’re now surrounded by an amazing family of TaskUs teammates, work with some of the most impressive companies out there, have traveled nearly 1 million miles and love the taste of balut.

The past five years have gone by so fast, but this isn’t the end of the story. The challenges, crises and occasional triumphs continue. I dealt with all three today. In the moment, everything is magnified: close a big deal and you feel amazing, run into a challenge with a client and it feels like the end of the world. But looking back, the perspective of time weathers the jagged edges of daily emotion.

So, here’s to another five years.

 

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