''This morning we released the 2012 Annual Report. Here’s an excerpt:
- 2012 was a year of stability above all else. Our entire staff remained unchanged throughout the year. Our revenue and costs remained roughly stable through the course of the year. It seems that Somaliland was also experiencing a similar course to us. Although there were local counsel elections during 2012, there were not so many changes in the political sphere. As the private sector continues to steadily grow, the job market increases alongside foreign, diaspora, and local investors find Somaliland an increasingly attractive destination.
After the tumultuous first eighteen months of Watershed’s history with many ups and downs, it was refreshing to have a year with little other than steady progress. There was basically no drama within the firm or with our clients (other than the normal amount). I for one welcomed this. Steady progress, the kind that we experienced in 2012, is much more sustainable than quick progress.
For one, as a legal services company our main product is our minds (our secondary product is our fingers to type reports and our mouths to argue cases). Because minds do not develop so quickly, and because we are practicing law at a level above par for Somaliland, we were never going to be able to grow our business incredibly quickly.
Another aspect where stability came into play was that all of the Members of Watershed struggled with the balance between work and life. It is hard enough for us human beings to understand that life is not a sprint, but for lawyers — especially hardworking lawyers — this is not an easy lesson to internalize. However, we each in our own ways started to find solutions to the paradigmatic problem of people like us. Also as all of our systems have coagulated, and as our team has solidified, we became much more efficient. This efficiency led to our ability to have a better balance of work and life.
Upon reviewing the data below there is not much that jumps out at me when I compare it to 2010 and 2011. That is nice. We still have a long road ahead of us. There are a few glaring (to me) holes in our systems that need to get filled but overall we are very much on the track I hoped we would be by this point.
Eighteen months ago I was meeting with a potential client and he told me at that time that although he was unsure whether we would survive that long he was certain that within three years we would have an extremely viable business. We have beaten his expectations as we have built a viable business at this point and we have nowhere to go but up.
Sometimes in our daily existence we forget to take a longer view and compare where we are with where we were. These Annual Reports are my opportunity to take that longer view. From my perspective we have achieved an incredible amount.