Azam Marketing’s Founder and CEO, Nadeem Azam, muses on a remarkable anniversary, one that is exceptionally rare for companies in the cut-throat and fast-moving internet space to survive long enough to mark.

A week is a long time in online business and a hundred is an eternity in an arena in which my colleagues and I experience more changes in our day-to-day work in a year than people in professions such as accountancy, dentistry, legal work, teaching, plumbing, high street retailing, hospitality and many others will go through in their respective trades in a decade.

For Azam Marketing to have been alive and kicking as of this week for not a hundred but an extraordinary 1,096 weeks is something that, on the one hand, flabbergasts me and, on the other, makes me feel blessed. In case you’re wondering why 1,096 weeks is worthy of penning this eulogy, it’s 11,047,680 minutes… or… to employ a unit of measuring time that will elucidate where we stand more clearly… 21 years. Mais oui, Medames et Messieurs, the 4th of August 2018 sees us mark our 21st anniversary!

The internet was a different country back on the 4th August, 1997 when a naive, raw and enthusiastic incarnation of Nadeem, half my current age, seated himself in front of a Power Macintosh 5260 to formally launched his assault on cyberspace by going live with his first website on the free web hosting platform Angelfire. The web browser of choice towards the curtain call of that millennium was Netscape Navigator. Most people used dial-up internet connections with blazing speeds ranging from 28.8Kbps to 33.6Kbps and were salivating at the prospect of having 56Kbps.

Google did not exist in 1997. Three years earlier “Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web” had been renamed to something more catchy, “Yahoo!”, and a sizeable portion of the planet’s 121 million internet users would use the portal to find what they were looking for from the 1,117,255 websites in existence.

Here’s what Yahoo looked like on the day after the birth of Azam Marketing:

From those embryonic days leap into a time machine, enter a date 21 years into the future to August 2018 and we crashland into a world in which there are 1,902,145,187 websites, and c. 4,456,932,140 people, more than 55% of the planet’s population of 7,730,758,428, make use of the internet. Yahoo has long since been kicked into the gutter by the leviathan Google that it gave birth to by allowing it to become the sole search engine provider on its platform, and has plummeted to a miserly 2.21% of the search engine market share; in June 2017 it sold to Verizon for a pittance of its former value.

As for Azam Marketing during that 21 year time travel, while we obviously haven’t enjoyed anything like the growth trajectories of the Googles of this world, thankfully we have gone in the same direction of today’s all-dominant dotcom behemoths rather than that of Yahoo and the vast majority of our peers from the mid-to-late 1990s. The latter typically did not even last for five years beyond the dotcom crash, nevermind ten or twenty or 21.

Where is Azam Marketing now? People often ask me what our boffins are working on. Unlike in years gone by, these days I seldom have the time to blog about our activities, give talks at conferences, or enter award ceremonies – arising not from taking my foot off the pedal, as most of my fellow middle-aged tech geeks have done, but I suppose what should be defined as a delightful problem in us having too many clients and projects I’m working for and on.

Well, you’ll pleased – I hope! – to hear my sensational colleague, Amy, has conducted an interview with me that gives an insight into the inner-workings of Azam Marketing past and present, the clients we have, what we beaver away on day-in day-out, and much more besides. In the interview I will also have some very special news to share. I am pleased to report we will be publishing it in this blog in a few day’s time. So subscribe to our updates and you’ll be notified when it goes live very shortly.

Until then I will leave you to enjoy a new, updated version of our birthday showreel video, in which we showcase 21 highlights from Azam Marketing over the last 21 years: