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Last year / this year

Somehow it is February already and we still haven’t written the traditional ‘looking backwards’ / ‘looking forwards’ post. So, after an extremely busy start to 2011 (summarised below), here it is…

2010 – Turning a concept into a working reality

At the beginning of last year Escape the City was just a free WordPress blog which we used to communicate our idea.

In January (despite the fact that our website would only come online in March!), we organised a 600-person launch party in central London.

On March 6th the first version of the website went online.

By the end of the year we had 20,000 people signed up, we had listed hundreds of exciting opportunities, and – most importantly – we had actually helped dozens of people to ‘do something different’.

Last year was essentially a pilot. We tested our concept, built the beginnings of a community, and introduced our first revenue streams.

The experience we gained was invaluable: we surveyed our early users, spoke to masses of employers and evolved our thinking.

We took stock at the end of 2010 to assess where we were, what we had built so far, and to understand how we could take the concept to the next level…

2011 – Kicking on to the next level

We now have a really good understanding of what people want from our website (take our survey if you have a moment).

We also know what steps we we need to take to get to the next level…

So we have hired our first full-time employee (Ollie Judge – web architect extraordinaire), we’ve moved into some new offices in Kings Cross (210 Pentonville Road – come and say hi), we had another big ‘Esc winter’ party at Guanabara and we made a pretty exciting plan for 2011.

Our focus areas for 2011:

  • Build a world-class platform around our concept – PLATFORM
  • Attract the right members and give them what they want – MEMBERS
  • Attract the right organisations & sell them relevant services – EMPLOYERS
  • Build an efficient, progressive, and sustainable business – BUSINESS

Our specific objectives:

  • Build and launch our new website: personalised, international, and extremely user-friendly
  • Run our ‘Start Something You Love’ campaign - a huge party and 365 bits of advice
  • Have +50,000 users by the end of the year and be helping masses of people find escapes that are right for them

Our vision:

“Our vision is for the Escape the City community to become the default global destination for high-flying professionals who are looking for exciting alternatives to their corporate jobs.”

….WATCH THIS SPACE!

Photo credit: www.gapingvoid.com