2020 is a special year for Net Affinity.
This month, we’re celebrating our 20th year in business. I’m so proud of what we have achieved in those 20 years, but more importantly, I’m proud of who we are as a company.
The caliber of our staff and the moral fiber of our business has created a culture that lends itself to be tolerant and inclusive. An environment that opens its arms to all races and nationalities, where the common theme running through us all is the belief in talent and ability, which is given the freedom to flourish.
As we celebrate this milestone anniversary, it’s an opportune time to pause and reflect on the last 20 years, over which our business has ebbed and flowed with each economic cycle. This is particularly relevant at this moment in time, where we have just spent the last three months in national lock down to limit the spread of Covid-19.
This ‘social hibernation’ period has given us a fresh perspective on our world. There’s been a collective shift in mindset as to what’s really important to us on a personal level. We’ve had time to reflect the lives we live, and many of us are now seeking ways to live a more holistic life, in a better world, for the sake of ourselves and our families.
As consumers, our confidence has understandably been knocked. With the future still appearing foggy and our discretionary spend being reduced, our outlook and perspective has changed as a result. We now tread with much more caution in terms of how and where we spend our money.
We’ve lived through and risen above similar scenarios over the last 20 years – foot and mouth disease, 9-11 and the great recession of 2008 being a few.
Getting through these seemingly earth-shattering situations requires an ability to adapt and change quickly to ensure continued survival and success of business, particularly so in a highly competitive environment. We’ve always been at our best when our backs have been against the wall. The pressure to adapt, change, and to fix what needs fixing is ingrained in the DNA of our culture.
The key success factor of this survival is the people that work for and make up Net Affinity. I’ve never lost sight of this fact, and it has been my guiding light in every decision I’ve made regarding the business.
We constantly strive to ensure that we’re ahead of the curve. We’re acutely aware of the risks of taking our eye off the ball, even for a second – so much so that we’re obsessively paranoid. Paranoid about ensuring we get the right balance between meeting the needs of our customers, our staff, and our business. As we push ourselves forward, we want to bring our customers and staff along this journey with us.
I myself find it interesting that things never stay the same for very long. I guess it’s fair to say that change has been constant – what’s striking is the pace of that change. The pace has certainly picked up. I can palpably feel how fast things are changing, and that the rate of that change is accelerating. The underlying and most significant factor that’s driving this pace of change is software, and the computational power underpinning it.
Marc Andreessen famously quoted in 2011 that ‘software is eating our lunch’. Marc is a serial investor in some the most successful software companies and makes this comment with an acute perspective. What he means is that software and software companies will disrupt every aspect of what we would view as the traditional forms of distribution and doing business. He went on to say that companies in every industry need to assume that a software revolution is coming. This is particularly true for our industry.
At Net Affinity, we’re acutely aware of Andreessen’s maxim and we continually choose to invest heavily in our systems and processes. Particularly so for our core products, where we’ve made significant investment in our booking technology designed to future proof our business. It’s all designed to simplify the lives of hoteliers, by providing the absolute best breed of technology built on an open API philosophy, along with excellent client service. All of this is packaged up for easy access.
We want to become one the top three leading providers of booking engine technology to the accommodation industry in Europe.
What an exciting future ahead.
Here’s to the next 20 years.