As one of Story of AMS' core values goes: always bring the champagne. Well, 2021 is no exception, because Story of AMS turns 5!
However, this value symbolizes much more than popping a nice bottle of bubbly every now and again, it’s a mindset. A mindset of perseverance and optimism, and one that has brought Story of AMS and its ever-growing team to where it is today.
In honor of our 5th birthday, Story of AMS founder Coen van Hees sits down to reflect on the milestones, the setbacks, and every memorable moment in between. He reflects on the lessons that defined each year, and what each of them signifies today. After all, it is our ability to recognize champagne-worthy moments that write our Story.
A Story we’d like to share with you!
2016 was the year in which our founders Coen and Doeke officially entered the digital landscape as Story of AMS. Within a short period of time, Story of AMS had moved from a cozy ‘home office’ to its very own incubator. What used to be a clientele of friends and family had now become one of funded startups and other businesses that recognized our potential. The first big pitch was in the bag as we marked our 6th month. How? By daring to say yes to things, anticipating the inevitable hiccup, and topping it off with a good scoop of confidence.
Say hello to the very first Story of AMS office - and a whole lot more responsibility. As the portfolio grew, so did the AMS team and the pressure to keep up with this growth. 2017 was our launchpad. A strong foundation from which to build on in the upcoming years. Since we’ve already taken on this much responsibility, why not take on some more?
A peek of our offices throughout the years:
Ask (read: work hard) and you shall receive. Story of AMS had more on its plate than ever before. Ambitions grew, along with opportunities. For Coen and Doeke, this meant leaving some responsibility in the hands of others.
How do you make sure projects continue to run smoothly and successfully? While Story of AMS prides itself on its young talent, 2018 taught us the value of experience within our teams, and the importance of finding the right balance.
On another note, there is a certain saying you might be familiar with: work hard, play hard. As we are firm believers of this, we went on a very special first company trip. Story of AMS Takes Tokyo. This trip turned out to be memorable for more than its beautiful sights, sushi and sake. It was during this very trip we landed our first big client: INTERSPORT. An achievement that really got the ball rolling.
Two words: Seven figures. We know, it’s not the sole yardstick for success, but it sure is a sweet milestone. Like any company experiencing such growth, there’s still a lot of learning to be done, systems to be put in place and working methods to be optimized. This meant reinventing the wheel and finding out what does and doesn’t work - sometimes the hard way.
The highlights? Jetting off to sunny Lisbon, Portugal, to continue our tradition of company trips, for one. This time around, our team had grown so much, we occupied half the plane! On a professional level we saw some incredible highs, too. We landed none other than Lucas Bols as a client after a long pitch process.
We were able to dedicate ourselves entirely to doing what we do best: taking digital environments to the next level. And, it paid off.
This year needs no introduction.
The whole project landscape had changed, and none of it within our control. While the previous years were filled with learning opportunities, this one was the real test, both personally and professionally.
However, we wouldn’t be Story of AMS without our ability to see the bright side of things, even in a year clouded by a global crisis. In fact, 2020 still had a lot to offer. We were joined by many new faces, (re)entered the podcast game, took our vlogs to another level, moved to an amazing new office, continued to produce great work for great clients, and got some serious recognition for it!
One of the most valuable achievements of this year, however, is that we (re)discovered our focus: creating e-commerce experiences. A focus that needed a bit of resharpening after 4 years. It showed us that while much of what happened in 2020 was out of our hands, creating clarity and improving the company from within - that was entirely up to us.
What’s up next? 2020 was a year in which we truly reminded ourselves that we are specialists in our field; experts in e-commerce experiences. In 2021, our goal is to take full advantage of our newfound focus. As we are onboarding many new clients and have launched our very own e-commerce-focused production company STUDIO, we are happy to say that things are headed in the right direction.
The lessons have yet to be confirmed, but one thing is certain: we are just getting started.