Want to know what life was like before smartphones, high-speed internet, and Wi-Fi?
Flip phones. 56k modems. CD-ROM magazines. Waiting 12 minutes to download a song. Waiting 16 seconds for a web page to load.
Back in 2002, we sat at fat, box-like CRT monitors, in a physical office, with a desk phone plugged into a jack. We designed websites for 800 x 600 screen resolution. We developed interactive experiences with Flash for PDAs.
So much has changed in 20 years. (Bet you had to look up what a PDA is.)
What happened on the way to making websites…
In 2002, only about 48% of American adults used the internet. There were only 39 million websites on the World Wide Web. eCommerce was essentially nonexistent compared to traditional retail. Amazon was just seven years old.
UI/UX standards? None! Designing for mobile first? Didn’t exist. It was the Wild West of web development. Any way you could get the site up was fine. And man, can you tell when you look at those websites. Some of those early sites were… special.
However, what’s amazing is that what most people thought was “cool to have” back in 2002 has become critical infrastructure. Websites are THE sales and marketing mechanism for the largest brands in the world. They also level the playing field somewhat to enable small businesses to thrive.
There are 1.88 billion websites today and more than 80% of people around the globe shop online. And as we know – accelerated by the pandemic – retail spending has shifted to eCommerce. For example, compared to $14.3 billion in US eCommerce sales in Q4 2002 (about 90 days), in just 3 days, during Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2021, Shopify stores did more than $6 billion. Total global eCommerce sales for 2021 were $4.9 trillion! That’s trillion with a “t.” How incredible.
This shift in importance – for the global economy, for people’s livelihoods – makes the work we do at eHouse Studio more profound.
On the 20-year milestone
eHouse Studio has been in business for 20 years and that’s amazing. Building and sustaining a small business is not an easy task. Only about 30% of new businesses are still around after 10 years.
I think our longevity hinges, in part, on our perspective. We have a motto at eHouse: “go little by little, then all at once.” In other words, you don’t have to have it all figured out to move forward. The effort of going bit by bit is what compounds and builds momentum that leads to success.
The other critical ingredients to our success are, of course, the talented people who work at eHouse and our amazing clients. We can’t do what we do without them.
Live to fight another day
If we’ve learned anything useful over 20 years of owning a business, it’s this: the decision you make today gives you more time to make more decisions tomorrow. It comes down to working and fighting every day to stay in business long enough to figure out the next “right” decision. You do your best each and every day – and then when you look up, 20 years have gone by! But in the meantime, you’ve created something to be really proud of that has not only generated the opportunity you were striving for, but opportunities for others as well.
A big thanks
To close, we would like to say a huge “thank you” to everyone who has been a part of eHouse Studio and worked with us over the last 20 years. We are so grateful for your support and partnership.