I wrote this poem for our 2017 kick off annual team retreat. In 2016 we shipped a new version of the Ushahidi platform (Mustang) and the first version of TenFour (Rollcall). We had been working on these products for more than 2 years and getting them out the door was a huge accomplishment. It was us working together as a team that helped us to overcome the obstacles and birth more years of impact at Ushahidi.

Ship ship Shipped

Ship ship shipped

Ship ship shipped

Ship ship shipped

This year we shipped it

2016 we kicked it, ripped it, flipped it

We got on our horse and rode that Mustang

Right out the door while we yelled Bangorang

This year we stand here proud and tall

Because when I say shipped, you can say Ushahidi and Rollcall

Rollcalling this whole team, Linda, Charlie, Jason, Brandon,

and all the rest who put their hand in

What a team of Dreams

DREAMS, we landed that grant

All 1.76 million, don’t let anyone say you can’t

Because before you know it we’ll have iOS and Android apps

And we are no longer rolling the dice like a game of craps

We’re thinking smart, looking ahead

Finding that competitive advantage so we can make our bread

We have a world of cred

30,000 page views a month without trying, brush your shoulder off David

Don’t just listen to what I said

Look at the data for yourself my friend Declan,

With just two weeks of preparation

We managed to get hella attention

For all those victims of hate post the US election

Think about the impression

Here we are a group from over eight nations

Starting our tenth year since inception

A decade of being more than just the next app trying to grab your mindless attention

We use these truly awesome powers to create something from nothing

Not to make investors wealthy or to just to keep that paycheck coming

But because we want to build something that means something

Something of worth, integrity, and full of loving

At first they never thought a tech company could come from Africa

Then they never thought an African tech product could be used from the US to Antartica

Now they say we can’t serve those who need it most,

while making enough money to keep our lives afloat

I say, I can’t wait to see their faces when we are in the black and raising our toasts

Now, we all know we still have a ways to go

That our tools are not perfect, that our coffers are sometimes low

But you all should know that this thing we are doing is hard, and that’s the only way we grow

This is a place for those who like a challenge,

because 2017 is going to push your heart and talent

This year we are going to play like we leave it all spent

This is our moment, our time, our present

Because it’s up to each one of us as a part of this unit

Our tribe, our crew, our team because we choose it

And if you are not ready to sweat, there is the door, no hurt feelings, your time was well spent

Because if it goes sour each one of us should know in our heart it didn’t fail because of me

We couldn’t have done any more, don’t you see

That way when it goes gangbusters of the rails, we’ll know in our hearts that it wasn’t just because of me

It was the team that made the dream

I will not let you down, and that’s not just a meme

I have seen you all be there for each other too when things get lean

So close your eyes and visualize the future you perceive

Breathe in, Breath out, see the joy on your colleagues faces as you tell them what you have achieved

And now lets go about making it reality, so when we look back the collective voice screams “We did it, because we believed.”