12 Years of Success, Failure, and Lessons: What We've Learned

By Marty Fukuda Aug 02, 2016

With 12 years of N2 under our belts now, we’ve learned some things about business, about success, and about failure. We’ve certainly come a long way from where we started, and that means we have some pretty valuable (also sometimes hilarious) experience in what it’s like to build a company up from nothing. But we still have a long way to go, so we’re always looking at how we can improve so we can become better tomorrow than we are today.

So, on behalf of N2, I’d like to share some truths that we absolutely believe:  

  • Yes, culture does eat strategy for lunch. Everyone at N2 is here, in part, because they fit our culture. We are incredibly intentional about who we bring on board, and when you’re surrounded by positive people, the positive culture follows. But “positive” is still too small a goal. Yes, N2 is a great place to work, but no, we won’t settle for that. We will strive to better our culture year after year.
  • You can get bigger and better. Each year, we’ve grown in publications and sales. But just as important, we’ve taken stock of lessons learned from previous experiences to position ourselves for continued growth moving forward. No matter how much we grow, we will never be too big or successful to own our mistakes and grow from them. 
  • The model works. With over 900 publications in print nationwide and growing, the neighborhood publications business model is not only flourishing but is continuing to expand rapidly. We strive to always have a start-up mindset, but we have to be honest: our product isn’t in startup phase anymore. We spent the initial years testing our product and our business model, and now, we know those things are here to stay.
  • The opportunity does get better as we evolve. Each year, our Area Director team pushes the limits of what we previously thought could be accomplished with sales records and new benchmarks. N2 is paving the way through a new market, and that means the sky is the limit for what we can achieve. 
  • The Home Office team is amazing. Their team spirit and commitment to supporting the field is unmatched by any headquarters team I’ve ever seen. Their skill and drive mean that the Field can focus on what they do best so we can all experience more success together.
  • There will be more opportunities. Our Culture Deck outlines that we have a bias towards promoting from within, and, as we bring more people on our team, we’ll need more people to step into leadership roles. It’s our hope that everyone who joins our team knows that they have abundant opportunities to grow in whatever ways are important to them.
  • We must not rest on our laurels, take for granted our success or allow for arrogance to creep into the culture. As a company, our founders and leaders have never allowed that sort of thinking to be entertained nor will they moving forward. Now is the time to continue the charge towards capturing market share, continue our focus on improvement and stay humble
  • We have plenty of room for growth. We have smart, business savvy people on our team. We’re always looking towards ways we can grow our business, so N2 doesn’t plan on slowing down any time soon. And with that much prowess ahead, we’ll always have room for more people to join our team in new ways.

Time will keep moving. Our team will keep having great ideas. N2 will continue to grow and change as an organization. And while that means that many things will be different tomorrow than they are today, I’m excited to say that the foundational beliefs of N2 will always be the same.

Think you'd like to work for N2? Check out open opportunities here.

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