#WeAre10. 10 years ago Michal Kalousek and Petr Šídlo decided to bring an entirely new type of business to the Czech Republic and founded the first innovation agency here.
Since then Direct People has grown by two more partners – Ondřej Moravec and Josef Dvořák – hundreds of clients and dozens of products. We also managed to move twice and enter foreign markets. But most importantly we have grown from 2 brave ones into a team of more than 50 amazing people who do a job that is meaningful and impactful. It’s not always form tale to tale and happily ever after, but it’s always worth it. So how time went by with Direct People?
Michal Kalousek and Petr Šídlo found the company. At first we are The Direct People but we soon change it to Direct People – just like Facebook. And we jump right into it with a project for Česká pojišťovna.
It’s six of us. And we start our cooperation on innovations with 3M, one of the most innovative companies in the world, which then lasts many years.
Two years and first moving. We started in Holešovice and so we stay loyal and move to Holport.
We grow. Not only in terms of employees but we also expand our partner base. Ondřej Moravec joins the party as partner and we thus have 3 chiefs. And we do a huge project for Herbadent. Inovační jednohubky (= innovative canapes) premiers this year. It is a great success, everyone came, so we host one more edition by the end of the year. So far we have hosted 12 editions.
We prototype and finish our own project Levná tramvajenka which offers annual public transportation passes in installments. We test Česká spořitelna’s polystyrene branch offices designed by the world renowned designer Dominika Nell Appllová. 2014 is literally the year of banks for us – we do large projects for Airbank and Česká spořitelna.
We are 5 and it’s 15 of us. And we start our largest project so far. Together with LMC we launch Prace za rohem – revolutionary service that becomes the third largest job searching portal in just one year.
We grow to 23 so we have to move again. But Holešovice are too close to our heart so we only get closer to the Vltava river. We successfully prototype loan offers for T-Mobile and we also test what other financial products are missing on the market.
This year is a roller coaster ride – the best one. We enter the Polish market and open a branch in Warsaw. By the end of the year we also add the Slovak market. We buy 50% in an IT company Viable One, which allows us to control the digital part of our projects and be even more agile. By the end of the year there are almost 40 Direct People.
Práce za rohem expands to Poland. For IBM we work on expanding HarveyX, a platform that substitutes human work in processing large quantities of structured and unstructured data, to foreign markets. With partners we publish Circular Czechia – compiling examples of good practice in circular economy. We reward ourselves with teambuilding at Lago di Garda in Italy, starting another amazing tradition.
Over the course of just 6 months we launch Linet’s alarm system SafetyMonitor in the European market. And then start preparing it for the US and Asian markets. With Albatros Media we launch StoryMe app – a smaller version of Netflix for books. We founded a content agency called CoverStory , started our Healthcare platform and published the second volume of Circular Czechia.
We are 10, it’s more than 50 of us and our products are in 34 markets around the world. Our plans to celebrate are scrapped by coronavirus but we don’t let it stop us. We get our fourth chief – Josef Dvořák. And we keep on going. While still in quarantine we launch three new products and head to the new markets with Linet.
10 years of transforming ideas into thoughtful innovations. It’s been a ride and a heart matter at the same time. Thanks for enjoying it with us.