March 31 marks the completion of Catalyst’s first twenty-five years.
Naturally, as the company founder, I am quite proud of its longevity; after all, more than half of all small businesses expire within five years and less than a third make their tenth anniversary, so twenty-five is pretty significant.
As I look back over the twenty-five years that have elapsed, I find that I am not only shocked as to how quickly the time has passed, but also amazed as to the changes the business has gone through.
When Catalyst started there was barely an internet, cell phones were rare and email had just started to proliferate. We had to take out a five-figure bank loan to purchase our first Macintosh, retouching was done with paint brushes and 4×5 cromalins were the photographic medium of choice. Forrest Gump was the big movie of the year, long-distance phone charges were a significant business expense, and Apple stock sold for today’s equivalent of less than $1 per share.
We’ve all heard the expression “change is the only constant” in one form or another many times, and we’re sure to see more examples of it many more times over the rest of our lives. Change is important, and necessary for human evolution, but change is also disruptive, able to both create opportunities for those who embrace it while simultaneously devastating those who are unprepared.
Our first website in 1998.
How an organization deals with change is critical to its success; seizing opportunities as they present themselves can provide fulfilment and enrichment; failing to adapt to evolving environments can—and most likely will—result in a quick demise.
Over its history Catalyst has faced a variety of change-induced challenges, and while every challenge has been unique, each has been addressed with the same approach—a laser-like focus on what is best for our clients. Our culture is based on proactivity, not reactivity. We expect to get better at doing things every time we do them. We believe that organization, efficiency, intelligence and creativity are the best tools available to accomplish specific goals. And we believe that as long as we work together towards furthering our clients’ success, our own success can be assured, regardless of the changes still to come.
Our current website, updated in 2017.
I had mentioned earlier that I am proud of Catalyst’s longevity, but that pride pales in comparison to the excitement I feel about Catalyst’s future. In the 18 months since I stepped away from the agency’s day-to-day activities, I have been quite impressed watching Melissa and her team guide it through its next stage of development. I feel the company is well-positioned to take advantage of the changes to come and I have great confidence that it will continue to help its clients continue to have the successes to which they’ve grown accustomed. I’m looking forward to seeing what the next twenty-five years have to bring.