As 2016 comes to a close...
To our friends, clients and fans of Launchpad,
It was just five short years ago that I would sign on for the first time here at Launchpad, etching out the very first ideas for what is now known as our Liftoff e-commerce and web-to-print platform. At the time it was just an extremely ambitious project with no clients and a supporting team of just one person. Fast forward to today, we have countless numbers of happy customers, a dedicated customer care and technical support staff, a professional services team and a growing platform development team that continues to evolve Liftoff towards pushing the boundaries of e-commerce.
The Launchpad / Liftoff Team
I’d be remiss to say that this was a story about the platform or my personal journey, but rather it is the story about the absolutely professional group of people that took my idea and turned it into something better than I could have imagined on my own. These past five years have really been about the team and the efforts they’ve put forth. It takes a very special set of people to accept a crazy idea, and believe in it enough to work it into the fabric of their lives.
Doing the math on what the team has put into this effort is staggering. With 52 weeks in a year, there are roughly 260 working days, give or take holidays. With a team of 13 pulling minimum 40 hour weeks, that’s 135,000 hours over just 5 years. That doesn’t include weekends and holidays spent chasing down the next great feature or supporting customers into the early morning hours. That’s an incredible amount of effort that has gone into building this company and platform; an effort that isn’t remotely close to slowing down.
While nobody can accurately predict the future, it’s safe to say that the next five years will continue to yield incredible successes for our clients and our team. Our imaginative group is already busy on industry changing ideas that will soon see light. We’ve also been listening to you, our most valuable resource. The ideas you feed us that are important to your business are driving the next generation of our platform.
Our most valued resource
That brings us to you, our customer and life-blood. Every building block that is in place today is because you gave us valuable feedback on what you needed out of an e-commerce platform. Our team is a huge fan of the mantra “there is no such thing as a crazy idea”. An idea is an idea and there’s always merit regardless of the foundation for that idea. While every concept presented to us doesn’t make the cutting room floor, we maintain a healthy backlog of these requests in the event we see that these ideas may someday prove useful to the Liftoff community.
Looking into 2017, we’re going to continue our focus on platform enhancements to ensure Liftoff stays on the leading edge. Below is a short list of features slated for 2017:
- Scores and scores of new site themes to choose from, featuring rich home page designs
- Manually configurable shipping components
- Liftoff Payments – rather than bringing your own payment gateway such as Authorize.Net or PayPal, you’ll be able to connect your existing bank account directly to Liftoff for a very simple payment setup process
- “Headless” e-commerce – we’ll begin the rollout of API features that can be consumed by other applications and services
- Customizable reporting
- Grid based ordering
- Plug and play product catalogs and offerings from respected vendors.
- Improved product variant management
- The addition of many great new trusted vendors and suppliers to our fulfilment capabilities
President, Launchpad Intelligent Software