We can’t believe it’s already been three years since we started Gibbon as a side project. The idea was simple: Allow people to share knowledge by creating playlists with the best stuff from the web. We came up with the idea because this is how we learned ourselves and it was the foundation for our agency. The simple lists soon became a more serious endeavor and we decided to focus on Gibbon full-time.
We had to fund the first part of this amazing journey ourselves, slowly chipping away from the savings of our agency. Luckily, several great angels believed in our mission and made it possible to further accelerate the company.
This allowed us to grow the team with incredibly talented people that gave it their all to make Gibbon succeed. Thank you so much for everything, Wout Laban, Thomas Offinga, Wijnand van Deutekom, Mark de Leeuw, Steven Otto, Menno Wildeboer and Jan-Jaap Verhoeve.
Although we started with the typical Silicon Valley model (get big fast and don’t worry about the revenue), we couldn’t shake the nagging feeling that we weren’t a business if we weren’t making money. We agreed with our investors that it was time to find a business model.
After a pilot with paid closed playlists we discovered that companies were willing to pay for Gibbon if we gave them the opportunity to create their own closed learning environment. An environment where employees could learn from each other.
While first targeting small businesses, we soon discovered the product market fit was with big enterprises. Yay for finding product-market fit! However, this meant we had to go from a product focused consumer company to a sales driven B2B company. A challenge for product focused people like ourselves.
Around this time we also came into contact with a company with the same mission: Degreed. After some flirting we decided to explore if it would make sense for us to join forces. Degreed experienced enormous growth in a very short time and have an exceptionally great sales force. With Gibbon we had a great product, but still needed to proof we could become good in sales. Was this a match made in heaven?
After many meetings on- and off-line we felt a great personal click with the Degreed team. We shared the same vision, company culture and — not unimportantly — bad sense of humor. It wasn’t long before we agreed on the combined potential of a merger; a company with Degreed’s sales power and Gibbon’s product focus. By joining forces we feel our shared mission of making the world a smarter place becoming one step closer to reality.
Finally, we want to thank our users and investors for the amazing journey, and we hope to see you all soon at Degreed.