As we approach the end of the year it’s worth looking back at what we’ve accomplished in that time. A lot of change can take place in 12 months, all of which present learning opportunities. This was no different for us.
At the start of 2016 our journey looked to be a long, hard slog through uncertain waters. One of our founders had recently become a parent after a complex pregnancy and premature birth, with the other soon to follow. Several key contributors had stepped back, each for different reasons, leaving us with critical gaps in our skill set as a team. On top of that, none of our fundraising efforts produced any return.
We started 2016 with some issues that racked up large bills, which would have crippled our operations to pay. Since we’d also learned the app needed to be significantly rebuilt, even though there were a few positive glimmers the number of possibly fatal issues facing us at times looked insurmountable.
But as the saying goes, “the harder you work the luckier you get”. Our team continued to work long and hard on our efforts to create this tool to heighten legal situational awareness, often without pay and on top of other jobs which covered their bills, and eventually secured enough funding to get the first version of ATLAS live.
Getting to that point was a significant milestone which presented new challenges. New feedback from the community at large revealed changes we needed to make, some more involved than others, which were turning off sizable groups of potential users. We listened and acted to address them all.
Over this time our marketing and outreach efforts grew substantially as well. As we further developed the app we continued to tailor our social and legacy media activity to respond to feedback and address trending issues. We saw several posts go viral, reaching tens of thousands of people, and had some very positive discussions with reporters at multiple outlets.
We watched a lot of laws change as well. Halfway through the year over a thousand laws we track had already needed to be updated. As we compile the updates for the end/start of the year that number looks to be equally large starting in January.
A collection of new seat belt laws, changing penalties for underage alcohol possession, updated requirements for carrying firearms, additional taxes, wholesale changes in the legal status of marijuana and more are occurring in almost every state. While some changes are minor, some are major which people in those states need to know about.
It was a challenging year for everyone, but here we are. 2017 is shaping up to be an interesting year full of change, and we’ll be here keeping you informed!