It’s been four years since I started Foxbox Digital. I wanted to share a breakdown of each year, mainly to help those who are looking to start a business and want a glimpse of what it’s like.
Year 0 (idea stage): I thought to myself, “I’m a great software developer/CTO. I could do this for clients.”
The only rule: I wanted to scale the business, so that meant I couldn’t be the core software developer. This was a little unnerving for me since I’ve been the one responsible for building the tech all of my life.
Year 1: Started as a purely “React Native for Less” company. We made great initial traction and grabbed a few small clients. Felt very positive about the direction, but something was missing.
Year 2: I felt like I figured it out! Turns out, fast and cheap isn't the best business model. We re-focused on delivering with purpose: high-quality digital products. I hired some key people, and the success seemed repeatable. We had some modest growth. We grabbed more clients, and project sizes were getting bigger! Toward the end of year 2, we closed our first Fortune 500 client.
Year 3: The pandemic arrived, and that was very much a struggle bus. I never had so much uncertainty in my business than in March 2020. When our clients are uncertain, we’re for sure uncertain. This was still honestly a blur to me. But my confidence that we could make this work was still high. I didn’t know how much the struggle would continue.
Year 4: Stars are starting to align. The need for digital work goes to an all-time high.
All companies at once decided they needed to work on their digital presence. But this introduces new challenges and tests my leadership style most. I was under pressure. We lost a few key hires due to mismanagement, and on the flip side, we gained two executive new hires and are now at 100 people.
I continue to work with my business coach, and every day, I’m learning more about my own work preferences, my style, and how I can bring more of an “authentic self” to work.
Rob Volk is Foxbox Digital’s founder and CEO. Prior to starting Foxbox, Rob helped Fortune 100 clients, including Pfizer, USPS, and Morgan Stanley build and scale enterprise apps. He was the CTO of Beyond Diet and implemented technology that scaled to over 350k+ customers, and was the CTO and Co-Founder of Detective (detective.io), a venture-backed intelligence platform that amassed 200k+ users in a short time frame. Read more