A word from Nick Veenhof, Dropsolid's new CTO

Nick Veenhof

My reasons for joining Dropsolid

For those who weren’t aware, or maybe don’t care (which is fine): I recently quit my job as Principal Software Engineer at Acquia to start at a much smaller company called Dropsolid as their CTO. I must admit that it took me a while before I crossed the bridge. Acquia is on the right track, working for top-notch, large-scale customers and has the freedom to create quality products by making the right investments to achieve a great solution for high-end enterprises. Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? And I have to say that it is indeed. The only problem I had is that I didn’t feel that any of all that had a noticeable impact on the businesses in Belgium. I wondered why that was.

High-level vs local impact

Let’s take a look at the Belgian market. Looking at the be.stat website of the federal Belgian government, there are currently 107.828 active enterprises registered in Flanders. I excluded the freelancers or businesses without employees from that figure. Looking a bit closer, 107.017 of those businesses have between 1 and 250 employees. If we take a look at Belgium in its entirety, this comes down to approximately 182.188 enterprises. All of these enterprises will have to go digital in some form to be able to survive and thrive. Now, what does this have to do with me changing jobs? Nearly everything, actually.

At Acquia I was helping Drupal grow, which I loved. I was helping out building great products, which I loved. I was also helping large companies prosper. The one thing I did not see, is an effect on the Belgian market. I had built an extensive network in Belgium - as a matter of fact, Drupal even originated in Belgium 17 years ago. And yet, the digital needle was hardly shifting. Acquia’s priorities were, and rightfully so, focused on helping larger businesses thrive digitally. At Dropsolid I noticed the opportunity to make a difference in the Belgian market - and I got excited about it: a focus on these small to medium businesses and a very different market with very different demographics and different demands.

Helping local businesses

At the end of the day, you are not only motivated by what you are doing but also why you are doing what you are doing. And most importantly, you have to support this vision of your company. I strongly believe that Dropsolid has the right vision and is focusing on the right market to make a difference in how businesses will interact with their digital assets. Building websites is no longer the key requirement. Getting engagement from your digital visitors is crucial. Building a digital platform where interactions can happen is crucial. Being independent and free in this digital world is crucial. Helping and empowering these businesses to make their difference themselves by using products that we are building and the rock-solid foundation of Drupal as the tool to build these experiences with is exciting and necessary.

I might not contribute as much to Drupal code anymore in my current position, but I’m sure I’ll be able to contribute to its ecosystem by engaging and working with our team and by rooting for doing the right thing. I feel strongly that I’m able to have an impact to the society that is near and dear to my heart with technology that is near and dear to my heart. Isn’t that what matters in the end?

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