The short history of KAAOS
Written by Sami Askolin.
Kaaos Unlimited Oy was founded in summer 2012 and for me it was the result of a year-and-a-half long period of self-reflection.
I had worked as a software developer since 2001 and even though I mostly enjoyed my work, I realized that I also wanted to be in a position where I could participate in building a company.
While still employed, I presented the idea of starting a company to Jaakko Wallo, a colleague of mine. At the time he was contemplating his options for the future, as the regional office he was working at was going to be closed by the end of 2012, forcing him to either relocate or find another employment.
Both of us had multiple years of experience in software development, shared an interest in audio/video productions and believed that using those skills we would be able to make a living.
So we founded Kaaos Unlimited Oy.
The humble beginnings (2012)
The year 2012 was nothing much to write home about. We did some work for filmsourcing.com’s (currently de-activated) web platform using the Django framework and gave a helping hand in a couple of small video productions.
When it rains, it pours (2013)
The year 2013 begun with getting our first ‘real’ customer and a longer software project in which we worked as a subcontractor in the Finnish defense industry.
While still working with the aforementioned project, another opportunity arose when we were presented the possibility to take over an existing SaaS product along with an existing customer base. This product in question was the ‘Artist Recruiting System’, referred from this point on as just ‘Artist’.
The age of Artist (2013 - 2018)
So we acquired Artist and the first customer was migrated to our servers in May of 2013.
How exactly did we come across such an opportunity? There were three reasons.
First, the previous owner had made the decision to drop Artist from their SaaS portfolio within a year. Nevertheless, they wanted to offer contingency for their customers who could not migrate to any other recruitment service in the given time frame.
Second, the previous owner was the former employer of my co-founder and naturally knew that we had founded a company by ourselves.
Third, we knew Artist quite intimately. My co-founder had worked with Artist since 2008 and I had a couple of years of insight to Artist’s codebase as Artist’s development had been outsourced to my former employer somewhere around 2010.
For those reasons we had the confidence that we could run the service, aiming to serve customers even better than they had been served in the past, hiring necessary personnel as we go along.
The wind of change (2016-2017)
A major change happened in spring 2016 when my co-founder expressed that he needed to reduce his commitment regarding our company. This naturally shifted most responsibilities to me, as finding a replacement for the founding member proved to be impossible. Eventually, in the fall of 2017, I became the majority shareholder.
An end of an era (October 2018)
When we took over Artist in the May of 2013, it was clear to us that the software powering the service would be our biggest liability. A major rewrite would be needed if we wished to establish a long-term presence in the recruitment SaaS marketplace.
Ultimately, we did not succeed.
Therefore in March 2018 we made an decision to terminate all of our Artist service agreements and the service was shut down in October 2018.
KAAOS today (2019 - )
Currently I’m the sole owner of Kaaos Unlimited Oy and looking for new opportunities as a software consultant.
I have had the privilege to be able to hire and to work with people, whose contributions to our company and to our customers made me proud.
I strive to achieve that privilege again, either through Kaaos Unlimited Oy or by other means.