27 May 2014

Founder’s story – how it all got started

1979 – Entered the world. Use of forceps could explain a lot.

1985 – Mum informs me that you can’t freeze white bread – best grab the wholemeal loaf.

1988 – String of impressive awards. Most ‘consistent’ hockey player (most consistently only ‘scoring’ in the competitor’s goal), under 12’s girls crab walking champion, and fourth place in an athletics carnival 10 metre sprint (there were only five people in the race and the girl who came fifth had chronic asthma – I can still feel her ragged breath on the back of my neck – gaining on me).

1990 – Last year of primary school before entering high school. Parents suffer amnesia, forgetting how hard high school can be and how cruel kids are (especially in light of my previously listed achievements), and ensure I have a full set of braces for day one (there may have also been a pesto sandwich).

1997 – I try my hand at rebellion. Get my nose pierced, worried what my teachers will think of me, I take it out, put it back in, take it out…end up with an infected nose. Leave high school with my slightly swollen head held high though with a first in Biology and Visual Arts (equally useful). Parent’s think about their retirement as it sets in they have a ‘creative’ child.

1999 – Start studying psychology. In a lab coat about to dissect a sheep’s brain, decide to share with my peers that you can’t freeze white bread (turns out that while mum’s clearly care about our health, they can’t be trusted).

2005 – Joined St George Bank. Became a business analyst (still not 100% on what they do). Highlight is Gail Kelly popping by the kitchen while I was making a cup of tea – cursed out loud.

2006 – Quarter life crisis begins. Started in my very first e-learning role. Realised I wasn’t great with grammar but a bit of a doyen at spending my writing time coming up with puntastic names (bakery owner: Ryan Grains).

2007 – Got poached by a client and tried my hand at corporate life. Started my Masters Adult Education (online learning). Realised that if you work for an insurance company – you only get to create learning about insurance.

2008 – Got poached by a client (ok it was the same one who had moved on to a small US owned company) to set up a new e-learning team. 12 months later, HR flies in – one by one each director (6 in a company of 12) was ‘let go’. SEEK crashes.

2009 – Joined another vendor as an instructional designer, moved to senior instructional designer, then e-learning manager. Realised as the youngest leader in the company – running a profitable team, I was regularly addressed as if I was a hamster. Ponder the injustice of this. Nocturnal teeth grinding begins.

2011 – Return from two months backpacking overseas (three-eighths life crisis?) My bestie pours me a glass of wine and explains to me the ‘number of cats to crazy single lady’ ratio. We create an online dating profile for me pronto. I organise my first date with a fellow whose profile picture has him holding tiny ice-creams. I hope he’s not a serial killer.

2011 – Despite all my good judgement (I know, not a lot of evidence of that so far), I resign from my job. I’m so terrified of telling my boss that I write it all in a nice letter, walk into his office and wordlessly slide the slightly sweaty envelope across the desk. It’s done. I’m unemployed. I mean a sole trader.

2012 – Business as a sole trader is going gangbusters. I’m MissScriptID! I’m awesome! I’m the king of the world! I’m working from home – why doesn’t everyone work from home!?

2013 – I’m lonely. Cats are terrible company (did you know they meow when you’re on the phone because they think you are talking to THEM!)

I start a company and call it The ID Crowd, I move into my very first office space in Newtown and immediately consider getting tattoos to 60% of my body. In this year I also win a LearnX Award for Best Instructional Designer (I’m humbled but also annoyed that they stop serving wine during the presentation of the awards – eh-hem, Rob…). I hire my first official employee, a junior learning designer.

2014 – The terror of running a new company has settled into a manageable hum of underlying anxiety, but I just dance it out (jazz hands solve everything). We begin working with the clients that align with our principles and the projects that interest us the most. This year I also marry the man with the tiny ice-creams.

2015  This year we entered the ‘terrible twos’, a turbulent year of finding one’s feet in small business. We continued to shape learning working with various contract learning designers and partners. This year I also get started on making the tattoo thing a reality, getting my very first tattoo (see my LinkedIn profile pic #noregrets)

2016 – This year we turned 3 years old! We were still in the throws of finding equilibrium (I’ve ground my way through my third mouthguard). The team continues to evolve with some talent leaving to pursue other avenues, and fabulous new people coming onboard – permanent part-time this time and I start to feel the Crowd really forming (I discover we are never short of interest when we put out a job ad). This year I finally found out why my right-hand gal Jane hadn’t come over to work with me before (the answer is ‘because I never asked’).

2017  Turning 4 years old had some interesting turn of events.  We won the biggest project to date in epic ‘David and Goliath’ proportions (beating a provider with just a few lazy billion dollara-doos in revenue). This spurned a really big shift in the Crowd, our team needing a boost and extending again to include another super-experienced and talented learning designer – we are now a team of 4! I often sit at my desk and stare in admiration around the room at the team (until they tell me to quit it, and stop being so creepy).

2018 – You will just have to wait and see! Contact us to line up a chat with me over a ‘coffee/gin/whisky/cold pressed fruit juice’ about what you want to achieve this year, we’ve got your back.