Have you heard the parable that the start-up company is very much like a rollercoaster – when the train goes down you shout in horror, and when it flies up you fill with joy and adrenaline. The same is true for the daily routine of a startup company – every day is a new emotion. Why am I telling you that? Today 356labs has a birthday and is 3 years old and I’m talking with Boris – our founder, who is recalling the past 3 years. Three years, filled with emotions, and lots of challenges and obstacles to overcome. On such days, we recall the years that have passed and weigh ourselves up. I’d like to share part of the emotional conversation we had.

Like every rollercoaster, the beginning of 356labs is a downwards spiral.

No one of sound mind will ever believe what Boris told me. The company had a single order, followed by 6 months of absolutely nothing. Yet, Bobby believed that a presentation agency has a future.

During these six months, Boris did his best so that this first order will not remain the only one. He worked hard on the company’s marketing, writing over 250 articles for the company’s blog, and presented at all kinds of events. But most of all, he realized that the market was not ready for his product. And he changed that.

The logical question is – how do you show people that they need something when they do not yet feel the need for it?

He told me that the difficulty in front of 356labs precisely that this type of matter is subjective. Everyone is presenting in one form or another. And the solution he find is that you have to show people very clearly that there is a difference between what they do and what they should be doing. And that the way they present now might potentially cost them major benefits. That’s when Boris begins doing what he does best – he presents. He presents at hundreds of events and begins to share his knowledge. And finally succeeds – the second deal is done! 356labs needs to make a presentation for Deutsche Telecom, which later opens many doors for the start-up.

The only way is up.

Bobby’s and 356labs’ team’s efforts changed the market. According to Boris, the eco system is changing and there is already a clear understanding from the market that presentations are critical to businesses. That there is a lot of work behind each presentation, that there is science in presentations so that each one can produce the desired results. Boris even says, that already there are companies like Kaufland and Westernacher Solutions, who understand how critical presentations are and are now looking to even hire people who they call in their job description “Presentation Expert”. This was unheard of 3 years ago and so is the fact that there are companies to whom we act as a presentation agency helping them prepare and deliver all of their talks.

And here’s how we started climbing up after the deal with Deutsche Telekom.

For 3 years we’ve been working with companies like Microsoft, Roche, KPMG, Societe Generale, Renault, adidas and many others. And for them we did many different things that looking back we seem unreal. For example: We helped Jamba to win investment from Bill Clinton in Boston, and Gradus, which won and raised 82+ million Bulgarian levas (42+ million Euro) investment during its IPO. When you are given such highly scrutinized projects you realize that the change has happened.

As I have already said, we are now 3 years old and during them we learned a lot!

We have learned how to unleash the potential – ours and of the presentations we make. We have learned to enjoy both the victories and the difficulties that develop us as professionals. But the most important lesson we have learned during these 3 years is that we are growing together! We thank all of you for the vote of confidence – the companies we work with, the people we have trained and those that just encourage us. Thank you!

It is time to look towards the future and wish for something before we blow the candles on top of the cake.

What we wish for is for us to continue to develop the eco system. That’s why our next adventure is about creating the 356labs Academy, where we hope you will find a lot of value because we’ve tried to pass on our knowledge in a series of online courses. This is our next adventure. Because we have already proven that presentations matter and we want to share their magic with you!