Now it finally happened: The turbulent year 2020 has come to an end. Entrepreneurially, socially and privately, this year has been a very transformative experience. Everyone has his or her personal story to tell about 2020. All experiences have in common that this year has left a lasting mark and will be remembered by all of us.
Even before Corona, we at tapio philosophized that our world will change, that many things will run differently in the future. These discussions were mostly based on the idea that technology will bring change and will disrupt our world. However, Corona has now actually started the ball rolling. The lockdowns have made it essential to think about how things could be "different". In addition to all the negative aspects that Corona has brought us in business and our private lives, this crisis has significantly fueled the wood industry's transformation. Once again, it became clear that external factors are the strongest drivers of change because inertia is probably too great to initiate change on a broad scale preventively.
It was certainly not an easy year for tapio. Like many others, canceled trade fairs and the economic uncertainty brought new difficulties. However, as a small software company, our agility has proven itself, and working from home was not a new thing to our tapio team. Of course, we also had to find ways to keep the team spirit high and to continue to discuss ideas spontaneously, but I feel that worked out quite well.
Despite all these challenges, 2020 has shown that our ecosystem idea is the right path to follow: partners build their app worlds. Others are integrating into existing digital solutions and driving the ecosystem forward with their data. Besides, tapio is now available in more than 30 countries and is enjoying brisk demand. This clearly shows that we are actively taking the ecosystem idea into further implementation. Therefore, we couldn't be happier.
These pandemic times have provided a lot of space to address more fundamental issues and set directions away from an otherwise hectic day-to-day business. Our strategy focus (see blogpost here) has proven its worth and shows the firstfruits, which we can continue to transfer into practice this year.
The teams within tapio have already started 2021 with great strides. However, we have also learned from 2020 and optimized ourselves once again. A new, more agile structure now allows us to focus better and further reduce internal discussion rounds.
As a result, we have become "island dwellers" and enjoy working life on topic-based islands - at least for a while, because nothing is more certain than change. Somehow this also tastes like a round trip, just virtually traveling to a team and topic island. We will all get to know different topics within the year and take a trip to our islands.
For the first quarter, exciting topics are on our schedule, especially around tools and materials. We will also open up a new field where strong partners already support us.
I was particularly pleased to see that the entire tapio team coped excellently with 2020. By that, I don't just mean health-wise. Although we luckily got through the year quite well, the team spirit and the team's independent work were always in line with our vision.
It's great that others increasingly recognize us and that promising new collaborations are emerging in 2021. Therefore, I am very confident that we will take the next big step in 2021 and bring the ecosystem more and more to life.
Since one thing is certain: The transformation of the industry will not stop. Corona has fueled it and accelerated it by years. Many customers and tapio partners have thought about it and see tapio as a central part of the solution.
Let's hope that the hardships of 2020 will ultimately be good for our industry and that we will emerge stronger - with new ideas, with old habits cut short, and with new courage.