The success rate for startup companies is extremely low. By some accounts, as many as 90% of new businesses do not survive.
So, you can imagine how proud we were last week to announce that not only have we made it to our 25th anniversary, but we did it in record setting fashion.
Given that the odds of us surviving this long are so low, I think it is worth considering what we did right in order to hit this milestone:
- Solve a specific set of problems for a well-defined market segment. Going back to the very beginning, Paragon's origin story, our founders saw an opportunity to help organizations improve the way that they set-up and configure ATMs. And while the payment industry and our company have both changed a lot in 25 years, we are still intensely focused on providing the highest quality testing solutions to the payments industry. It’s all we do.
- Focus on our customers. No company can succeed without customers and we are passionate about providing the best products and the highest levels of customer service possible. We partner with our clients to provide the features, functionality and flexibility they need to be successful in their own businesses. As testament to these efforts, we have a number of customers who have been using Paragon solutions for more than 20 years.
- Innovate. Our first products were based on the standard (for the time) PC desktop architecture. This approach worked well back in 1994, but the IT environment is much different today. Most organizations now have staff spread out all over the country or even across the globe and are much more reliant on the cloud and virtualization. Our Web FASTest and VirtualATM solutions provide the capabilities and control required by today’s complex enterprises.
- Work hard and play hard. It has certainly taken a lot of long hours, hard work and dedication from our entire team to get this far. And while we recognize that the company operates in a complex and rapidly changing environment that requires this type of commitment, we also appreciate that family and community are critically important as well. We enjoy what we do and focus on continuous improvement.
We have beat some pretty long odds to make it to our 25th anniversary, but we believe that there is still significant opportunity ahead. The payments industry continues to grow and evolve in ways that we could not imagine back in 1994 or can predict even 5 years into the future. We understand that nothing will be given to us and that in order to make it to our 50th anniversary we must continue to focus on serving our customers, providing real value and getting better every day.