FIVE? What does that mean to you? Just the number you get after 4 or the answer you get when you divide 10 by 2? Well done, genius. Both answers are correct and I know there are more ways to explain that through mathematics and what not. But today, five means something more. Vesess is five years old, and we’re here to remember the past. It’s a great moment for all of us. We’ve survived for FIVE complete years despite the ups and downs and kept our promise to our clients. We’re really happy that we could come through for those who had a lot of faith in our young team, especially during the first two years when we came out of nowhere. Whether you believe it or not, at the start we had just one machine (a second hand P IV desktop computer), a phone line, one table, FIVE chairs and a dial-up connection to check our mail from. I know this is quite common for most startups, but being a startup from a developing nation it was a lot harder compared to a startup in US. Prabhath wrote a great post about the third world designer during this time. We operated from a small room in Asantha’s house at Maharagama (a suburb situated 10KM away from the capital Colombo) and were battling really hard to get out of the chicken and egg scenario. To survive, we needed projects, and that meant new clients to work with. However, whenever we pitched to a potential client, always the first question was “Can I see some of the work you guys have done already?” We had a few samples ready to show how good we are at web design and graphics. But that was not enough in most cases as most people wanted to see real work. So, this cycle continued for a few months before we opened our account with the Institute of Human Rights, our very first client. A couple of weeks later, CD Labs hired us for their website revamp and things finally got going. So what? Did you know that prior to incorporating the company as Vesess we operated under the name FIVE for a couple of months? Yes, that was our first name. The founding team had FIVE members (Prabhath, Thiva, Venu, Asa and myself) , and we thought that it was the best name to go with. However, we soon realised the importance of having a name with a .com domain, especially since we always wanted to target international clients. Not to mention, .lk domains were three to four times as expensive as .com domains at the time, and saving cash was obviously a top priority.
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