Five years ago, I sat at my desk at Yellowbook (now Hibu) and began to conceptualize the beginnings of a business model for Anikto. Increased attention to web accessibility had dictated a new form of advocacy, one that I suspected would eventually germinate into mature opportunity. I knew it wouldn’t be enough to simply offer coding services to companies; a stronger commercial play was clearly needed.
Later in 2008, I accepted a position with Euro RSCG Life (now Havas Life—what’s with all these companies changing names?) and experienced unprecedented personal growth in skill competency and confidence. Although I had previously told myself that I would never again work in a healthcare communications agency, I was fortunate to work for two of the best mentors I’ve ever had in my professional career. When I finally left in late 2012, it was with the solemn acknowledgment that I needed to stretch out and challenge myself.
Fast forward to today. Anikto has built its currency on the strength of smart marketing and thought leadership activities, while occasional projects have helped the company maintain financial solvency. I love what the brand has become and really appreciate all the folks who have supported its endeavors. But as its five-year anniversary approached, I knew that something was missing from the arsenal: nothing had been built. Anikto needed a product.
With that in mind, work has been underway to secure funding and drive efforts towards the creation of not one, but two unique digital product offerings for 2013. One of them is very close to completion and will be announced this March at SXSW; the other is still in early stages and will show itself later in the year. Both involve the participation of partnering companies and dedicated colleagues who are committed to Anikto’s mission: the creation of barrier-free technologies to support evergreen innovation and achieve a greater social purpose.
Has Anikto accomplished what it set out to do in 2008? Not exactly, but that’s the point—entrepreneurship is a constantly fluctuating landscape of pivots and hunches. I will say with all honesty that Anikto is in a better place than I could have ever forecasted, and I look forward to extending its reach over the next five years.