debt ceiling: ok, but what about the roof?
The US Debt Ceiling crisis has created no shortage of drama over the last several months. Whether in government or in business, one simply has to pay out less than what is taken in order to stay financially solvent. Fortunately, Welocalize has not had this problem. Our revenue in the first half of 2011 increased 44% over 2010, and our earnings continued to grow and remain healthy. But like any other business or government, we have had to make tough choices. There is never enough time or money to accomplish everything on the wish list. The decision making challenge is in prioritization, and the goal should be an enduring structure with not only a stable ceiling but also a sound roof to keep out leaks. This is the kind of business we are building here at Welocalize.
High growth creates great opportunities, but growth also creates structural challenges. As an example, Ireland has endured through the perils of both. After reaching an historical high of 5.47 percent GDP growth in March of 2007, Ireland fell to a record low of -4.47 percent in December of 2008. The cause of the decline, as we all know, was a systemic failure in the financial system, and not only in Ireland. Debt knew no ceiling throughout the world; the growth was not built upon a scalable foundation and the roof caved in.
Learning from this example and others over the past 14 years, it has been my priority to make sure that Welocalize continues to grow upon a scalable and reliable foundation. We have made significant investments to ensure this. We have added over 100 staff in the past 12 months giving us a current total of 500 worldwide, and we will invest nearly $4 million this year in our technology products and infrastructure. At the core of our growth will remain our 4-Pillars: Customer Service, Quality, Innovation and Teamwork. We regularly ask our clients to measure us in our 4-Pillars, and we also use them to measure ourselves.
Entering the second half of the year, I feel very fortunate and optimistic. Economic challenges still persist around the world, but all signs are pointing to 2011 being a great year for Welocalize. I want to thank our clients, staff and vendors. Our industry is changing, and I plan on Welocalize being a leader in that change. As President Herbert Hoover once said, “About the time we can make the ends meet, somebody moves the ends.”