As a team, we value transparency, honesty, belly laughter and good old human feeling. Sharing our company story is important to us. We feel compelled to share our highs, our lows, our wins, our losses, and our learnings; we want to be a case study of our own, if you will. What's more, we want to share our story with you in real(ish) time through monthly instalments.
So, settle in and enjoy it!
Disclaimer: This first issue is about getting you up to speed, so we promise they won't always be this long, but we can guarantee they'll always be this good!
If 2020's purpose was to deliver a message, our interpretation of the said message is - ANYTHING is possible – – even the unimaginable! Turning the lens on ourselves, we would never imagine going into business with people we were yet to meet – is that even possible, moreover, is that even sensible?
But, as the adage instructs, when life gives you lemons, even the sour-tasting variety of 2020, you roll up your sleeves, you get busy, and make sweet, sweet lemonade!
Background check: Ryze was first established in 2016 by a group of digital wiz kids. Together with their complementary skill sets, they shared a vision of innovating how businesses across Aotearoa performed in the digital space. The team enjoyed success, cracked some great projects, had heaps of wins and sharpened their tools along the way. But not all great things are meant to last. By the end of March 2020, the team of four had become two.
Enter Ryze 2.0: With a couple of trusted contractors in the wings (Nicky and Nick), the remaining members of the founding team, James and Andrew, pondered a solution. A few leading questions later, the second chapter of the story started writing itself and Ryze 2.0 began to emerge!
Virtual progress - figuratively and virtually: From the confines of our respective abodes, we fired up the interweb and 'jumped on a Zoom' (#catchphrase2020) to flesh out what might be possible. It didn't take long before the potential developed a vibration and took on its own distinct rhythm. Mission statements, objectives, and values flowed smoothly, as did goals and concepts! The momentum was tangible, and the energy electric - did we just go into business with each other? Over Zoom? I think we did!
And then there were three: Working a full-time job, studying for his Masters, re-invigorating a business and tending to his exotic managery of farm animals and domestic pets, Andrew conceded that his cup was overflowing. Something had to take a backseat. With a heavy heart, he ejected himself from the Ryze team to focus on the non-negotiables. He still has a key to the back door, so watch this space.
Sharing the load: Eager to formalise our engagement and eliminate the grey area, we started to explore the mechanics of a Shareholder's Agreement, but first, we needed to decide a fair and equitable way to determine our shareholdings. We decided to calculate our value according to business skills and experience using a points system in the absence of capital investment. We tallied the points, ran them through a formula, and arrived at a split that satisfied us all. We engaged the services of a lawyer - jumping on yet another Zoom! - to walk us through the details of a formal agreement. As with everything to date, we quickly identified clauses that aligned with our shared values, and just like that, Nicky and Nick joined James as Directors of Ryze Digital Ltd.
Time to get real: With James in Whangarei, Nicky in Clevedon and Nick in central Auckland, a planned client meeting presented the perfect opportunity for a face to face encounter! So, we fished out our work wardrobes (the up until now, redundant waist down kit), stepped out from behind our computer screens and made the pilgrimage to our central meeting spot. As mentioned above, our shared values, compatible appetites for comedy, and natural sense of connectedness made our first 'real' meeting feel more like a reunion! Our client meeting hummed, confirming that we were onto something great, while a quick pub lunch, and a few side orders of candid chat, cemented EVERYTHING. We had found our people!
Whānau on tour: One of our very early goals was to create a new company website: something fresh, something dynamic, and something that reflected the new team. After months of working over Zoom and firing ideas and updates back and forth via our Slack channel, we decided to go 'old school' and spend a couple of days working together in the same place, under one postcode! James works out of a shared space in Whangarei, so it made sense for Nick and Nicky to hit the road and, as we like to say, smash out the task. The trip evolved to include all members of the Ryze whānau - wives, husbands and kids! While we toiled and enjoyed the buzz of working in the presence of each other's energy, our families spent time getting to know each other. After hours, we shared time as one BIG whānau - we had definitely found our people! As for the new website, well, that's still a work in progress - watch this space.
And that's a wrap: Aside from official team introductions, the unveiling of our new website, and one other exciting development, you're now up to date. Welcome to our Company Blog, Eyes on Ryze. We look forward to sharing our story with you - warts and all!