What a wild and crazy journey the last five years have been.
When I started this blog in 2009, it was shortly after I had inked a deal with an angel investor and journeyed down the road with him and my other co-founder and established Alkami Technology. Against significant odds, this October marks the five year anniversary of a roller-coaster ride on up, which galvanized Alkami as the clear leader in the online banking space. Before jumping into this endeavor, I was no stranger to walking products from idealization to realization or running enterprise services in a SaaS model. But doing all that against the tremendous downside risks of the start-up world, as the new kid on the block among a world of established, very-well funded competitors has been challenging. Actually, it’s been brutal.
Reflecting on the past sixty months, I’ve started to pull together my notes from the early days, both before and after founding Alkami, and I will be commemorating this milestone with a series of blog posts on some company history – the why and how, as well as some valuable and hard-learned lessons along the way. No one, no company finds tremendous success spontaneously. While a Inc 500 splash piece on a company might portray success like a serendipitous fairy tale, only through a voracious appetite for risk, an iron stomach for failure, and a committed and skilled team does any great company find its footing. It’s a great feeling to walk into the office every week and see new, fantastic talent we’ve added to our team and forward-leaning designs and concepts in our flagship solution. It’s also a very satisfying one to know your personal efforts and sacrifices made that team and that company possible.
This series of posts will not be a beating of the chest or self-congratulatory account of our accolades. Our work is far from over, and I judge success on a much longer time horizon. But it will be a real account of our origin story, entrepreneurship, missteps and course correction, and moving from start-up to scale-out in a slow sales cycle, highly-regulated industry. It’s one thing to have a hip product idea you incubate through an accelerator and debut on a demo day. It’s a very different thing to bootstrap a firm and an entire platform where you have to answer a few hundred RFP questions to get a prospect to even talk with you, many other steps to get just one sale, and many sales to get that kind of investor attention.
Those pieces are now in place and solidifying every day as we take an aggressive product and technical vision to its successful conclusion. I’m honored to have found great working partners, worked (and still mostly continue to work) with some of the most committed and skilled people across a variety of disciplines along the way. As we look back in retrospect at five formative years, I’m eager to chronicle our story and to add others who will extend and craft our bright future. Stay tuned.