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Dropsolid has a new CEO and CTO

Posted by: 
Dominique De Cooman

This was the beginning of 2021:

2021 started with a happy CEO

That we cannot predict anything with certainty and that everything comes and goes ...

 

My words were not quite cold yet or I experienced them first hand. In May, I was out due to a medical incident. What seemed to be a very simple intervention escalated to a point where it was no longer possible for me to function. It's the first time I've ever experienced anything like this. And that really gets to a person's core.

 

Fortunately, I had little to worry about at Dropsolid. Steven, Anneleen and the whole team delivered a top performance in 2021. More than 20% revenue growth, the growth of our team to 90 people, an improvement in profits, new investments in branding, the operational functioning and our product Dropsolid Experience Cloud. Actually, we were doing even better than ever.

 

When you experience something like this that makes you think if it's going to be okay, it makes you think in a different way. All kinds of things have been going through my head for the past 10 months. It took five months before there was light at the end of the tunnel for me. Things have been going better and better for the last five months thanks to good care from the right doctors and a lot of people I was lucky enough to be able to fall back on. Nevertheless, we made a decision at the end of 2021 when it became clear that I would not recover in a few months and be able to return to my job as CEO just like that.

 

The good news is that Anneleen became our new CEO. Anneleen did so well as interim CEO that this was a logical choice. I still see myself as recovering and therefore do not want to take on the role of CEO anymore. Together with the board of directors, we decided to pass on this role to Anneleen, and I am extremely happy about that. Over the past few years, she has proven that she can lead our team, that she has a vision and that she can get results. It's the honest truth, I really think she can do it better. 

 

A friend in need is a friend indeed. Having had Steven as co-founder & COO there next to Anneleen was instrumental to the succes of 2021. Knowing Steven was there next to Anneleen to watch our life's work was for me a great reassuarrance that she had maximum chances to succeed. In this dark period Steven was an enourmous support for me. Being able to talk to Steven about anything and trusting him with anything helped greatly with recovering. Being in a business is together is like being married. The good days and the bad days. I can trust Steven with anything.

 

So what’s next?

Nick Veenhof got an offer he couldn't refuse. He continues his career as Director of Communities at Gitlab. I am extremely grateful to Nick for the last five years. Without him, we would never have been able to build our digital experience platform with Dropsolid, never have been able to attract such talent, and never have built such a reference in the Drupal ecosystem. I enjoyed working with Nick and a beautiful friendship came out of it as well. Nick will be on our - yet to be established - advisory board as one of our advisors for technology, Drupal, and the growth of Dropsolid Experience Cloud.

 

With Nick leaving the company, the position of CTO becomes available. Before Nick filled this role five years ago, this was one of my roles in the still young Dropsolid of 2017. Of course, a lot has changed during that time. The CTO now also has a whole team of senior colleagues to fall back on and it is currently primarily a role in which working out the vision is important. Therefore, we decided that I will fill the position of CTO starting in May.

 

I've loved being CEO of Dropsolid, especially in the early years. Honestly? The years 2018-2019 were a little less fun because I had to be more a manager and less an entrepreneur. Since the arrival of Anneleen as Managing Director and Peter as Sales Director in early 2020, I was able to focus more on being an entrepreneur and visionary again. That really made me happy again. After what happened mid 2021, it is time to pass on this role. From the board of directors, as founder, owner of Dropsolid, and now CTO, I can assist Anneleen in shaping her vision and continuing the direction.

 

Good? Bad? Who knows…

Actually, it turned out even better than expected for Dropsolid and me. It reminds me of “the good bad who knows-story

 

Spoiler alert:

 

***

 

So yes, losing a finger is bad. But when you don't get eaten by cannibals because you're not perfect with your 9 fingers... That's a good thing! :-)

 

***

 

You never really know in life whether something is completely good or bad. When something happens to you that you think is bad, you are not sure if it really is. There are always things that turn out better as a result. They may not be immediately obvious but they create an opportunity for something new. And maybe even something better. 

 

For me, this has already given life a more spiritual dimension. I have been fortunate to be able to ask questions of the person telling the story in the video, among others. This has given me new insights that I probably wouldn't have had without going through this. Insights that are worth more than anything else.

 

It is therefore clear to me what I still want to do with my life. I hope to still be able to contribute to Dropsolid, to Drupal, to open source, and to the community with full awareness. Right now it's at Dropsolid in the role of CTO. Who knows how that will evolve?

 

I realise even more now, that every day may be your last and that you get the most satisfaction from being able to contribute, whatever your role.

 

***

 

PS:

To people I wasn’t able to respond to over the past ten months via phone, email, Linkedin, Twitter, or anywhere else, forgive me. You now know why. If you want to catch up or know more, feel free to send me a message. 

 

Be well.

 

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