On September 22, 2008, dreams were born as two friends started TaskUs, a virtual personal assistant company, in the remote province of Cavite. The journey was no small feat for this young startup. Fast forward ten years to the present, the progression and growth of TaskUs is quite impressive. From one tiny room above a mechanic shop in Cavite, TaskUs now boasts eight sites in the Philippines. We’ve also expanded globally, opening new sites in San Antonio, New Braunfels, Tijuana, and Taipei, with much more on the horizon. As our tenth anniversary draws near, we asked our founders to take a look back at some of their early years and the journey they’ve taken to get TaskUs to where we are now.
When you were first starting TaskUs, what was the dream?
Jaspar: TaskUs first started as a virtual assistant company. The dream was to build out a massive network of employees across the globe of virtual assistants, with stateside account management.
Bryce: When we started TaskUs in 2008, Jaspar and I both wrote our five-year visions for us and the company. They would be hilarious to read now – like how I thought I’d be splitting my time between Miami and Buenos Aires, and that there would be a bidding war for TaskUs.
Looking back, did you ever predict that the company would grow to such scale?
Jaspar: Ten years ago it would be hard to imagine having the scale we do today. If you asked five years ago, maybe it would’ve been easier to imagine, but it’s still hard to think we could grow at the pace we have. As we attract and retain better leaders and people in all aspects of the organization, we believe more and more that anything is possible.
If your current self was able to meet Bryce and Jaspar from the past who were just about to start a business, what’s the best advice you’d give them?
Jaspar: Stretch more, invest in Apple stock, and appreciate your time living at home with your parents. For business advice, it would be to trust your instincts and develop a leadership style that is uniquely your own and plays to your strengths.
Bryce: Smile and laugh more. Relax, it all works out in the end. From typhoon floods, to power and internet outages, to NBI raids, there were countless moments when I thought it was all over – TaskUs was finished. There is no question that if the Bryce of every one of those very stressful moments could see us now, he would break down and cry tears of joy and relief.
Any dream client/company you’d like to work with?
Jaspar: We’re lucky to have so many amazing brands we support today. There are some iconic tech brands we’d love to support like Google, Netflix and Airbnb.
Bryce: Google, USAA and LimeBike. ????
Where do you see TaskUs in ten more years?
Bryce: We are going global and going beyond. Ten years from now TaskUs will be the world’s leading provider of tech-enabled business services for high-growth companies. We will have operations on every continent. We will be the world’s social media police force, the world’s leading provider of content annotation solutions for machine learning and have the best customer experience consulting and outsourcing services for dynamic companies that invest in a premium support experience. Most importantly we will have proven that having the happiest employees leads to having the most satisfied clients.
Anything you want to say to your TaskUs employees?
Jaspar: We love you! We have so much gratitude to every single person, especially our front line teammates who bring their passion and hard work every day into creating ridiculously good customer experiences. The greatest gift of the past decade is getting to work with, and be inspired by, so many amazing people.
Bryce: When Jaspar and I started TaskUs we thought we would build a big business, get rich and then ride off into the sunset. For the first 8 years in this business, I came back to that dream every time things got challenging. Keep working because one day you’ll make a bunch of money, retire and be blissful. The last two years I have started to question this line of thinking and in the past six months, I have realized just how wrong I was. Bliss is not a destination. Bliss is the journey itself. Bliss is waking up at 2 am in the Philippines, calls from angry customers, lawsuits from disgruntled former employees and the food poisoning that I got every single one of my first 15 trips to Manila. Bliss is also the handwritten “Thank You” note from a six-year-old whose schooling TaskUs paid for, TaskUs Christmas parties, interviewing Jamie Siminoff at our CX Summit, and being proven wrong by Robert Hayes.
So when things suck, embrace the suck and remember this Mark Twain quote: “At the end of the journey you’ll see that it is the journey that matters in the end.”