This is a bit of a story, a bit of a history, a bit of a documentary, and hopefully a lot of entertainment and theatre about Shadowcat Systems.
We are ten years old and to celebrate that fact this is the third of ten unique posts about Shadowcat that hold as a memory of our first ten years and a celebration of that decade done.
Last chapter I spoke about the Shadowcat Alumni, all those brave souls who have worked with or alongside us over the last ten years. In this chapter I am going to mention some other people, not quite Alumni they are those who I would love to call the extended family.
Who are the Extended Family?
Well that's a good question so I am glad I posed it. When I think of Shadowcat's extended family I am thinking of the many friends and family that we collect around us. These are the people who support us emotionally, but they often go a little further than that, they are advocates and evangelists of the company, the staff and our projects. In that manner they become a small, unpaid, marketing team with the highest of personal reference and regard.
They are also the people who jump in to lend a hand when you need it, either physically or mentally. They are a support and a strength. As we have grown over the years so the relationship with them has changed and matured. However, their influence does not diminish as they are a pillar of strength in their ongoing positive support.
I think all companies, at some point, have these people around them. As a company detaches itself from micro-business becoming small- to medium enterprise I think their impact is felt less and maybe they even fall by the wayside. That seems sad to me. Certainly when I consider that when companies become super-sized, most multi-nationals, it is this component that seems lacking in them. Perhaps they make up the soul of an organisation, they ground it in an emotional reality where it is more about the cares of people and the wider communities they exist within than the production of profit.
So Who Actually Are They?
Oh you mean names... I could turn this into a list now and then I would likely end up kicking myself as I miss people out. There have been so many of these people. There are families and friends, some of whom I only know through the people I work with, some of whom have become close over time.
But as I am writing this I am thinking of people close by like Chuck or Nathan, Helen and the irascible force that is Nick without whom we would not have done such daring things. I think of the other Nick, Wendy, Safron whose living spaces we invaded.
Then there are those who are much further away but to whom there is no less a great debt, of Dyana (I will get to Singapore one day) Ros, James (x2), Jamie (there's several of those, two are wonderful American gals who I am greatly honoured to count as friends). Then there is Jas, Doc, Dorward - I could go on with the list for some time, these are just the first group that sprang to mind.
Some of you reading this might think that your name would fit on this list, and to be honest with you if you are thinking that, then it probably does.
Of those that went away…
When I think of the Shadowcat extended family I am also prone to a touch of melancholy borne out of genuine sadness. We have known loss as well, that of friends distant, of idols such as Ritchie or Pratchett, and of close family.
I wish that two of our greatest supporters would have been with us to see this ten year event. They would have been the first in the bar and the most proud. I still miss you Sandra and Adrian, your genius and wise words return to me often, as does the fond memories of every glass we raised in each others company.
So to my extended family, all of you, I would like to thank you. Matt and I would not have made it through these ten years without each and every one of you. The company would not be what it is without you.
-exunt mdk (with a moist eye).
 For no greater good, or lesser extent, than any of the many others I could have mentioned here whom we have come to know, respect and hold dear.