Since Arcurve started 15 years ago, the founders have made many memories: some better than others. So, I thought it would be a good idea to interview each of them and learn about some of their favourite and least favourite moments at the company throughout their Arcurve journey.
Many of Mike Bauer’s early Arcurve memories are rooted in the excitement and uncertainty of the first year. Arcurve started off with just four guys in a coffee shop. Their first “office” was a Calgary Starbucks. Obviously, this was not a permanent solution, so the founders eventually moved on to a place of their own – a church basement that was nice enough to allow them to use the space. They didn’t get too comfortable and moved to a variety of locations – seven in that first year to be exact. Mike remembers how good they got at moving: how they could pack everything up in someone’s family minivan and have a new space up and running that same day. The spot that brought Mike the most memories was their space in a building on Penny Lane.
Not everything at Penny Lane was great. The move demanded a hefty clean up, as the previous tenant had a party and trashed the space. There was also the time someone slept – and left a “mess” – in front of their door, but they also left a homemade shiv, which Mike keeps in his desk to this day. Mike said this speaks to the company’s Community Social Responsibility now, as they witnessed firsthand the help the community needed. The company had grown to a point where they could no longer pack and leave in a day, and so it was a struggle when they got a call on a Wednesday that they had to move out bySaturday. All of these memories stand out for Mike, because you do not realize how many additional things happen and need to be accounted for outside of the core business.
Jay’s best Arcurve memories are generally surrounding the people within the company. He remembers all the different people that have come through the company and the relationships he still has with them. He remembers seeing the kids of the team grow up as a part of Arcurve. He held them when they were babies then watched them grow up. It’s not just the staff at Arcurve that standout to Jay, but the clients as well, who have become more than just clients, and have become friends. Another fond memory for Jay is “Treat Day” – an event where the people of Arcurve would pick a snack and bring it in for everybody. It became quite elaborate, and the“Bratwurst Battle” and “Poutine Day” were both huge productions.
As for bad times, Jay says he finds they are fleeting. Obviously, the pandemic isn’t a good memory, but has ended up with a positive outcome. The same went for the other economic downturns, which were bad at the time, but he looks back on them in a positive light because Arcurve made it through them.
Mike’s highlights at Arcurve generally surround firsts. He remembers getting Arcurve’s first real office – with the name on the door. He still remembers their first client and their first cheque – which everyone had to go on a field trip to deposit together. These stand out to Mike because they are the first major pieces of work which allowed them to grow. The growth aspect was very incremental, and these things were all the chips at the block to shape the sculpture of Arcurve. Along with these serious pieces, Mike remembers the fun things he was a part of along the way. Like watching Jay andMike Bauer code and bicker. Whenever Jay made a mistake, he had to buy Mike a baclava. Mike also laughs recalling the game they used to play where the founders would choose a word from a dictionary prior to a meeting with a client and whoever used that word meaningfully in a sentence would win. This was a fun game until they drew the word “Clesmar”, a Jewish folk instrument. Needless to say, the guys all failed miserably at using that one.
Mike finds it difficult to think of anything particularly negative. He mentioned obstacles they had to overcome, such as the market collapse of 2008, an office flood, the energy collapse of 2015, and the current pandemic. Of course, these weren’t good at the time, but he chooses to remember them as challenges that Arcurve has had to react to and overcome.
Stuart has seen the ups and downs of the Arcurve journey as two side of the same coin. He would mark many of these things as the ebbs and flows of business. Of course, economic downturns in 2008, 2014, and now the pandemic have all been difficult, as well as dealing with the evolution of the technology industry. Stuart recalls Arcurve always being ahead of the curve, which is of course a good thing, but at the time Arcurve started, it was a difficult proposition. That being said, Stuart’s fondest memories of the company have been getting through these storms. These have showed the adaptability of the people – both staff and clients and proven the strength of the company.
From interviewing the founders and learning their stories, I found that although the company has come a long way, its values have not changed a bit. During my internship, I have seen how much Arcurve is about the people within the company and how tight knit a group it is. Additionally, I have been a part of Arcurve’s commitment to Community Social Responsibility with a project selling Kombucha for the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter. Finally, like the founders struggled to find many negative memories in their time here, I don’t have any negative memories of my internship, but one of my best memories has been this opportunity to interview all the founders and reminisce with them.