A Year of Love and Two Years of Honesty

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Honesty's first office. In a corner cupboard in my apartment.

When I founded Honesty AB on Valentine’s Day 2009, I had just started on a brand new relationship with an amazing girl. It’s somewhat telling I guess that I am now, two years later, celebrating Valentines Day on my own with tacos and a movie. I don’t want to blame it on work, but there is something about entrepreneurship that just consumes you, and I can understand if that’s something that can be a pain to be around sometimes.

I am also celebrating Honesty’s 2-year anniversary alone. Not really because I would have had to perhaps, we are fifteen people working at the office today after all, of which five are partners, but I somehow feel that this particular anniversary only applies to me. The first partners after me came in when I had been working on Honesty alone for 7,5 months and for them, that date (somewhere in October) is when it all started. I’m sure they will want to celebrate Honesty’s 2-year anniversary then instead, and I can understand that.

But still, this date, February 14 2009, will remain in my heart as one of the most important dates of my life. It’s the date when I took a pretty scary leap of faith, when I said to myself that no, I won’t go for that safe employment, and no, I’m not sure I’ll be able to support myself financially or even keep my apartment.

Still, I went for it, and even though it has cost me a lot personally, it has also completely changed my perception of what I believe to be possible. Starting an ad agency from scratch, without a single cent in financing, was something that I wasn’t sure was possible, at least not if you want to become a large agency and be eligible for the larger accounts, but today, two years into the game (or 16 months if you ask my partners) we are indeed up there competing for the biggies, and winning. Considering our current size, this is pretty amazing. I’ve launched many projects before Honesty, but this is the first one that I would consider strikingly successful, not only as a start up, but as a company. It’s the first one, but I don’t intend it to be the last.

So will I celebrate next year’s Valentine’s Day alone once again? There is no way of telling. But I do feel that Honesty is not in it’s infancy anymore, and that there are now many other amazing people that I share the responsibility of entrepreneurship with. So who knows. Maybe this year will also be one of love. Not only of Honesty.

About the Blog

This blog is written by Walter Naeslund and has been around since 2007. The blog is about the journey of starting an advertising agency and a sneak peek behind the scenes of what goes on at the Honesty HQ in SoFo, Södermalm. It is also a blog about communication & technology. The blog has gathered almost a thousand posts over the years with several longer and shorter breaks. Welcome and enjoy.
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