I am writing this blog post to reflect on what has certainly been one of the most memorable years of my life. Just before the new year, I turned 50—an age where you feel like you may understand this crazy thing called life and that by now you have “seen it all.” Well, we all know how that turned out.
The year 2020 has been an extremely sad one; we have lost 265,573 fellow citizens and 1,412,604 fellow humans as I write this on November 24th. The sheer numbers are staggering, dismal, and, at least to some degree, avoidable. Never have I seen a faster reconfiguration of institutions, communities, governments, religious rituals, social norms, and livelihoods. With this great strife as a backdrop, it may seem self-indulgent to recognize our own challenges and any accomplishments we might have had. After all, does anything matter compared to the scale and legacy of 2020?
My answer is yes—we should reflect on 2020, the good and the bad. It would be flippant to toss the year into the dustbin of history without recognizing not only what can be learned and improved, but also what can be celebrated. Below are some of the most impactful themes that the year 2020 has imprinted upon me as a family member, neighbor, citizen, employee, and leader.
The inequities that have existed in our country and others were magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic. Inequities manifested in job losses, business closings, and access to critical resources. Those with less suffered more, and this was at least part of the fuel for the massive social unrest we witnessed during the middle of 2020. The silver lining is that all of our eyes have been opened. Never have I seen more empathy, activism, and voice given to those who didn’t have a platform before. I believe our experience in 2020 will spur enduring change that will create a more just society for all.
While some suffered more than others, together we faced down COVID-19 at all levels—in our communities, schools, and as professionals. We all put a great focus on helping one another, especially our incredible healthcare professionals and public servants. Closer to home, we helped with a flood of private donations, dinner trains, food drives, GoFundMe campaigns, and more. We have shown that we can unite to face great challenges, knowing that we are all in this together.
You might expect a year-end summary to focus more on the company than on broader society, but our experience needed to be set into the proper context. With this context set, I want to recognize the incredible team of professionals that I work alongside here at Hyperproof. Earlier this year, in our mid-year update, I wrote the following:
“While the times have been incredibly challenging the Hyperproof team perseveres. Given all the challenges in the world around us we are not complaining. Rather, we remain satisfied with our progress, very excited by our mission and extremely focused in moving the company forward.”
Now at the end of the year, I can report that we did more than persevere. We have begun to thrive.
Our little corner of the world is growing and we are bringing people along with us—employees, shareholders, customers, and partners. Hyperproof is steadily achieving more recognition as a place that is great to work and a company that does things a little differently. Our customers love the product, and our partners love how we honor and support them. Prospects who are not yet customers are leaning in to see how Hyperproof can help them protect their organizations. Others are counting on us to bring some much needed relief to overtaxed teams who never before had technology to help. We are a mission-driven company that helps our community build trust—and our message is resonating!
I am very hopeful about our future. We have survived and begun to thrive in the most difficult year I can remember. We have learned how to work in challenging remote environments where we alternate between feeling crowded and isolated. We have listened to those around us and spent a difficult year building a product and company that will endure. We have learned to trust those who we may have never met but have been tasked to work with. We have created innovations and opened up minds to new ideas they are eager to implement.
With all that has gone on, I want you all to know how fortunate I feel. Our work together has given me purpose. The relationships we have built inside and outside Hyperproof have been incredibly gratifying. I look forward to better days where we can sneeze in public and joke together in private. In the meantime, we will rise beyond mere endurance and create a 2021 for ourselves that will stand in stark contrast to this year. Next year will usher in a new era for all of us, both personally and professionally. I look forward to continuing this incredible journey with you all and thank you for your support of our company and community!