What do the following things have in common?
1. Google was founded
2. The iMac
3. The MP3 player (and MP3 files)
4. Titanic (the movie)
6. Harry Potter in the US
7. Justin Timberlake
8. Game Boy in Color
9. Armageddon (the movie)
The answer is they all launched in 1998, which was 20 years ago. I wrote in a blog post a few months ago about how I couldn’t believe it has been 4 years since we lit the fuse on Project “Liberty” and the self-disruption of Xtiva. To now be talking about a 20 year anniversary is absolutely mind-blowing. That’s right, it’s been 20 years since our founding. I can’t believe it.
A good friend and former partner were founding investors, but William Lieberman, James Iacabucci and Bruce Keppler were the true founders of the company. They didn’t exactly start in a garage; they started in James’s apartment, and yours truly was their first customer. We even have the requisite “idea napkin” to prove our authenticity! It’s been an incredible journey and although the founders are not “officially” with the company anymore, they are some of our biggest cheerleaders.
Of course there have been many people through these doors and so many to thank for keeping us relevant and at the top of our game for 20 years. On that list is the existing crew and the ones who have helped us achieve “Liberty” over the last 4 years. The remaking of Xtiva has given me so much perspective, not only on the work we do today but the work we have always done in the service of the client.
It’s incredible to see the evolution of “digital”. When we started 20 years ago, that meant sending out a diskette (yes, that’s right, we did that). Today the things that are happening in FinTech and specifically the wealth business are things we would have had trouble even dreaming up. The best part about that (certainly with a little luck) is that with the foundation laid by our “founders” and the work done over the last 4 years, Xtiva is in position to help our clients take advantage of these opportunities in the market, and help them build better businesses. There has been so much written on this blog and hundreds of others on the transformation of the advice business so I won’t belabour it here, but we have positioned ourselves to be an enabler of that for our customers and it’s an incredible position to be in.
Since our roots are in compensation, we had, from day 1, the “tension” of it always having to be right. 20 years ago, that meant building a calculation engine that always got it right. And that mind-set is threaded through the entire organization and has carried through multiple major versions of our application, including our newest Xtiva-on-Demand. We’ve been lucky enough to have people here that take it to a level of obsession, and I know how much our clients have appreciated that over the last two decades.
I can tell you first-hand that great service 20 years ago meant being able to talk to James and Bruce when an issue came up. And I’m talking all hours of the day and night. Always on. Always there. Always helpful. Today we have an entire staff of folks dedicated to service and more specifically obsessed about our customer’s success. This is a rare breed these people. I think they are born that way. Taking on others issues as if they are their own, and bringing it to resolution. A foundation built 20 years ago that has been taken to new heights in 2018.
So Happy 20th Birthday Xtiva – dare I say, here is to 20 more.