Viget23: Assuredly Steadfast
Celebrating Viget's 23 years (and counting)
Last week, our team traveled from 21 different states in the U.S. to our two original office locations – Falls Church, VA (just outside of Washington, DC) and Durham, NC. On Wednesday morning, everyone voyaged to the coastal town of Irvington, Virginia for two nights at The Tides Inn. Nestled along Carter’s Creek, the resort offered a beautiful setting for a nautical-inspired annual spring retreat.
We call our retreats TTT – Third Third Thursday – and they’ve been a steady quarterly tradition since our founding in 1999. The spring TTT is our big one each year. We celebrate the company’s spiritual “birthday” marking the years since we committed to Viget full-time. In 2010 we had our first overnight and calling it Viget10 started the tradition of branding the spring TTT with the year.
Viget15 was the most epic, and I especially loved references to Viget’s “awkward teenage years” as a 15-year old company at that point. Each stage of growth at Viget has come with new challenges, adjustments to be made, and the satisfaction that comes with resilience, durability, and longevity.
I kick off each retreat with a mix of reflection on the recent past, thoughts on present conditions, and ideas for where we’re headed. Last week, I embraced our coastal location and dipped into my own nautical past for inspiration.
My grandfather, Bruce Rankin, was a sailor and professor at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. My siblings, cousins, and I spent many summer days learning to sail and working on boats under his tutelage. Relevant to Viget, he was a solver of unique and difficult problems. Where we solve problems with digital design and code, my grandpa solved problems with his often greasy hands, sometimes underwater, usually surrounded by difficult conditions.
My grandfather had an air of confidence about him. Whether it was working out the long-hand math to calculate the measurements of a boat repair, or safely sailing his Alberg 30 through a storm with his grandchildren serving as crew, he always seemed to know how to navigate a challenging situation with clarity. He was reliable and dependable. He was assuredly steadfast.
This felt like a good metaphor for what we’ve tried to build Viget into. A steady, durable business navigating the ever unpredictable waters of our industry, solving unique and challenging problems along the way. Given the changes our industry has gone through in recent years – from the Covid shutdowns to the tech boom and now bust and to the looming uncertainty of what comes next – it’s reassuring to know we’ve built a resilient team, culture, and company.
Our resilience comes from our team. Our quarterly gatherings are a chance to build stronger relationships, align on current conditions, and strengthen our ability to address challenges collaboratively. We share and discuss key metrics every quarter, whether they’re good or bad. When everything is up, the metrics segment is fun and energizing. When the metrics reveal challenges, the segment provides clarity, focus, and resolve. We know our team can not only handle the details, but will be more effective in our collective response when provided with accurate data.
The majority of what we discussed at our retreat – from industry trends to the results of recent client projects to the evolution of our services – came from prepared talks from the team. Almost a third of our company presented in some capacity, and nearly everyone submitted input in advance to shape the topics we discussed.
It’s not all metrics and work – a big part of TTTs is the fun. We celebrate new hires in the morning and long-timers in the evening. We share talents, play games, goof off, and socialize late into the night. We spend time together in meaningful ways, and the result is a more enjoyable career tied to more impactful relationships.
Viget23 was a great reminder that building a lasting business that’s more than just a company is a team effort. I look forward to working with this growing team for years to come.