This December 11th, MikroE has turned 17. To mark the occasion, we took upon us to reflect on all the things that made us what we are today. What is the story of success? It is certainly not the mere chronological order of events which shaped the company. What it took to be successful is something beyond that, including courage in decision making, hard work even when the positive outcome is not imminent, luck, and above all, being able to hold the most ambitious, smart people as our employees.
When a vision becomes a reality
How did we start? Before the company we know today, our CEO and owner, Mr. Nebojsa Matic was the founder of a magazine devoted to electronics, called Mikroelektronika. Being an ambitious young man, he’d recognized the gap in the market and realized there was no specialized magazine for engineers which would help inform people about the latest achievements in the business. After a few years of running the magazine, Neb decided to take on something much more exciting. The company that would produce hardware and software tools for developing embedded systems was born.
Consistency on a road to success
The road to success, was, of course, bumpy at times. But it took a lot of faith, courage, and wisdom to keep pushing until the results came. That’s something one might argue is key. Consistent efforts and not losing faith. When you know you’re working on something great, and that you absolutely CAN deliver what you’ve envisioned, you don’t stop until you see it happen. No matter what the prognosis is, or what your financial prospects for the year look like.
How do you make consistency? How do you endure those bumpy, formative years? Well, one element is the vision. Very early on, the vision of MikroE became crystal clear to our CEO. All the efforts the company invested in developing software and hardware tools were at the end of the day, serving the sole function: saving developers’ time. The vision we’re still on today, and which guides all of our continuous efforts.
Adapting to ever-changing conditions
We’ve asked recently one of our senior chiefs, Mr. Ivan Rajkovic, the Head of Software, how did he feel about 15 years at MikroE. His here just 2 years short of the company founding, so his perspective is quite important to learn. “To me, it’s important to be happy with what you do, and whom you work with. 15 years at the company means many memorable moments – such as the release of the first ever compiler and the first purchase. I remember it was someone from Hungary buying the mikroPascal. Also, the famous compiling and debugging of an example for ETH – when we dropped the time from 15 minutes to under 1 second! So many adrenaline driven moments.” But talking about what it takes for a company to become successful, Rajkovic said “The ability to adapt to changing conditions and a high delivery rate of even higher set goals, while building the system and infrastructure of the company simultaneously”.
Growth and building support system
So, these two important points indeed go hand in hand. Ambitious particular successes cannot sustain a company if you don’t invest a lot of thought and energy into building a sustainable business model and if you don’t invest into people who make the company what it is.
Getting the moves right and delivering ambitious ideas is in part luck, but most of all enormous effort and hard work. Essentially, in this line of business (the embedded industry), there is no mumbo-jumbo-instant success due to flickering market demands. Products you put out have to be proven as necessary, meticulously designed and produced, and worth investing in the long run.
Speaking of breakthroughs
One of the major breakthroughs was the invention of the mikroBUS™ standard in 2014. Basically, going back to the predecessor of today’s Click boards™ which was an add-on board serving its function well. But it lacked a standardized size and unified design. Following a great intuition and potential of the idea, MikroE has invested into creating a standard for these clicks. The core idea was to choose the least number of pins on the board while covering as many peripherals as possible. From the user’s end, we’ve enabled an easy, clean hardware development. No soldering, no wires, our standardized Click boards™ were, from that point on, ready to use.
We became the first company in the world to create its own standard! Today, we are so proud that the standard has been recognized and adopted globally. In our arsenal, we got over 550 Click boards™, and counting!
On the other hand, the whole idea is like a marathon, as opposed to a short distance race. What we are working on has a long span, stretching far into the future. We rely on our employees, counting on each and every member of the team. From CEO, through the hardware and software departments, all the way to the building maintenance department, all the employees are to thank for MikroE’s continuous success.
The invention doesn’t ever stop
The invention is the core goal at MikroE – and with the right people capable to follow their intuition and investing their rich minds into it, we are constantly producing improved embedded tools.
One of the breakthroughs from the software department of MikroE was the Visual TFT integration into the compilers in 2016. As our software engineers realized that designing the graphics on TFT manually is the unnecessary nuisance, design to code was the idea which was at first tested on a prototype hardware as large as A4 paper. Today, we shrank it to slick 2,8 inches.
The community at the core
Our users make significant contributors to our learning process. With a thriving community on Libstock, we are grateful for having such devoted participants in this journey. Over 40,000 people are registered on our forum, helping to shape our software products by expressing their wishes in polls. We are proud to be able to implement the suggested changes bi-annually.
….So here’s to you!
The story of success never ends. As we celebrate our 17 birthday, we look forward to the future filled with great inventions, brave decisions, long-lasting relationships with our employees and our community. Thank you for being a part of it!