Yesterday I realized that this New Year's Eve is Mana's 4th. It's crazy to think that the time has flown by so fast. When it occurred to me, I started to relive everything we've done so far. Like most good things, it's been challenging, yet rewarding.
2014 – When our company was nearly 1 year old, our office was only 100 m2. It was our first hired space, but it felt like the Four Seasons. Day and night, we did everything we could to keep ourselves focused. We were like Jason and his Argonauts tirelessly searching for the Golden Fleece. Elon Musk got it right when he compared starting a company to chewing glass and staring into the abyss. In other words: it's possible, but not without a fight. We didn't recognize it at the time, but we now refer to December 2014 as "that December."
2015 – In our second year, we had to start walking before we could even crawl. Logistics and production were a nightmare for us because we were unable to respond appropriately to the huge fluctuations in demand. Claims in all departments increased dramatically, and we had to start building a more resilient business structure. We jumped one hurdle after another until we finally adapted our production and logistics, bought the right machines, and began making all the necessary packaging and accessories. In March 2015, we released our Mark 1 powder, an official departure from our "beta" version. 3 months later, we released our Mark 2 powder, which we are still very proud of today. This was a milestone for us given that we were such a small company. We also upgraded our production line and increased our output 10-fold. And if that wasn't enough, we announced our efforts towards the release of Mana in the form of a ready-made drink, which we decided to call SuperMana.
2016 – We continued our efforts in the next year, but the question remained: "How in the world are we going to make this into a ready-made drink?" We began to realize that we had been a little naive, and that it wouldn't be as easy as we had imagined. We racked our brains for another 10 months before we finally figured it out. No one before us had made such a product in Europe, so nobody had any experience to draw from. But we did it, and the drink too began to sell. That same year, we also released our Mark 3 powder thanks to several innovations we achieved while developing the drink. Another big step forward was our improved customer support, whose hours we expanded from 8 am to 8 pm daily.
2017 – 2017 has been characterized by maintenance and optimization of all our wild processes, as well as preparation for global expansion, which we are currently giving everything we've got. We started by establishing a new corporation: Heaven Labs DACH GmbH. Then, after about 4 months of localization – and with the support of a local German team headed by Bitcoin king Ricardo Ferrer Rivero – we began selling in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. This was a huge lesson for us on how to merge 2 companies to the benefit of each. We estimate that in the worst-case scenario, our DACH operations will be larger than our entire company is now within the next 6 months. To top it all off, we released our amazing Mark 4 powder just a few days ago.
We also have our foot in the door to the US market, where we have already laid the administrative groundwork, and are set to begin production in Q1 2018. This is a great unknown for us, but we are driven to grow into a truly global brand with excellent products. However, we are aware that building a global team is not a game, and we approach the matter in a sensitive and respectful way. We are extremely grateful that those around us share our views and beliefs, and that we have the opportunity to implement them together. We certainly appreciate your support!
In the new year, we will be launching a campaign that our whole team has been working on for over three months. We hope you'll enjoy it just as much as we do and can't wait to hear what you think. Moreover, we're already cooking up our next bag of goodies. In fact, our products are undergoing such a major change, that food will never be the same again. Thanks for changing with us and keep your eyes peeled!
So, to all our friends, fans, customers, partners, competitors, and the Mana team – may your new year be full of joy, happiness, and new and exciting challenges, just like ours!