A tale of a slow-coding superhero
By: Götz Thümecke
Imagine you’re a clever South African born in 1979, who started your digital journey by fiddling with a Commodore 64, and who is now 25 years later gaining global recognition as lead developer of the Eventerprise digital platform. Fortunately, you don’t have the huge ego of Steve Jobs and others who have been there, done that and got plenty of T-shirts. Please allow me to introduce you to our head of development, Anthony van Beek and relate the story of how we met three years ago and are still working together, almost day and night.
When my business partner, Charlie, and I conceived the idea of Eventerprise we spent lots of time fine tuning the business case and trying to envision the gap in the market which could be filled by our expertise. After a few weeks this crystallised into our ongoing mission to solve the lack of connection between hosts and event suppliers. We realised that there was huge potential in defining the business case from the get-go as a scalable digital experience dedicated to liberating the global events industry, not only from the dark ages of static directories and print advertising, but also from getting 34,000,000 results when searching Google for ‘event manager’.
Long before we learned that our idea was part of the fastest growing digital trends, such as the platform revolution, subscription-based businesses and programmatic advertising, we started searching for a top developer. The objective was to get technology, entrepreneurship and marketing perfectly aligned, so our ambitions could transform into real results.
A comprehensive German style brief was compiled and we went through endless talks with experts before we received a ‘proposal’ that followed a referral by a trusted source. The ‘proposal’ was a remarkable two sentence email with the following information:
Dear Götz & Charlie, this is a very interesting project. I have started coding the site. [note: no one had asked him for this!] If you like what you see I would love to join this project. If you decide to develop the site with someone else – no problem at all – please keep the code as open source and feel free to use it.
Anthony’s approach was so unusual and since he had lots of relevant experience and came highly recommended by a trusted source, we decided to fly up to Durban immediately to get to know this guy over a weekend workshop. This resulted in the first of many hectic night shifts, with bits of sleep grabbed in a small guest house in Uvongo, a seaside village on South Africa’s northeast coast.
Since then not much has changed and we still play work-work every day of the week to get this platform beast into top shape. As serial entrepreneurs, who have all pulled some tough stunts over the years, we are committed to this project to get it 100% right. Over the past two years we have broken a few interesting records, e.g. possibly the longest ever Skype conference call (14 hours), changed our supplier profile page more than 30 times and many more.
But I don’t want to bore you with blood, sweat and a few tears stuff and would rather share what makes this journey so interesting to me. I have come to realise how important it is to work with dedicated, professional and smart people in order to score big. Anthony has consistently performed beyond expectations and proven that he is one of the smartest, most humble professionals (plus a great sense of humor) I have met and worked with thus far. His only shortcomings are that he does not want to write about his great work (hence I have to do it) and that he loves pizza just like me – which is not doing our diets any good, especially after yet another eighteen-hour shift.
Do some more slow coding Ant – we have not even started our venture fully. The whole Eventerprise T.E.A.M. is proudly associated with you and your family. All three your boys (8, 9 and 14-years old) are welcome to join the T.E.A.M whenever they want to, because they have your genes and that is a good zing.
So, now you’ve met our ‘slow coder’, but guess what? We have a few more of these hidden superhero talents in our T.E.A.M, all made out of the same unstoppable material.