Eyeo is 7!
Celebrate good times.
7 years in Cologne (and Berlin, and the world)!
Back in 2011, Tim Schumacher and Till Faida joined forces with Wladimir Palant to form eyeo, with the twin aims of making a fair ad blocker and revolutionizing the way that the online advertising industry works.
By taking the ad industry head on, they very quickly made both waves and enemies. Lots of people wanted to destroy eyeo, there were (and still are) legal challenges and in certain cases things got very personal indeed.
“These ad blocking companies are little piss ants,” he said. “They are run by a handful of people with silly titles and funny walks who are individually irrelevant” – Randall Rothenburg
The team successfully navigated these rocky shoals, and kept growing eyeo as a company, while scaling up Adblock Plus to serve the ever-increasing amount of users. Today, seven years later, eyeo GmbH is home to 126 employees, in Cologne, Berlin and scattered liberally around the world.
How did we get here?
Part of eyeo’s success over the last seven years has been the values and standards that we hold ourselves to. Our products have always been stable, we’ve always championed user rights, and we’ve mostly been restrained and professional when faced with competitors or enemies who wanted to take us down.
We can also thank the team. All internal surveys strongly state that the team is the best thing we have at eyeo – the amazing culture, the bonds between us and the talent, professionalism and dedication our team show every day have made us a force to be reckoned with (if you’re reading this and fancy working with us, check out the jobs page).
Finally we have to thank our partners. The forward-thinking members of the ad-tech industry realized a change was coming and decided to work with us, rather than against us, and helped us develop products and services that are as useful for publishers as they are for internet users.
The here and now
In seven years we’ve gone from 3 people to 126. We’ve faced down and won seven (nice synchronicity) heavy legal challenges and kept ad blocking legal in Germany. We’re watching tech giants come up with their own versions of ad blocking. Publishers are realizing that, in the words of Bob Dylan, the times they are a-changing.
Leaving those barriers in the past, we’re forging forwards. Of course, it helps that people don’t personally insult us that often any more.
We’ve always been, and always will be, passionate about user rights and the freedom to choose how you see the web. We may be bigger, we may have been validated, but we’re still in the fight for what we believe is right.
To be honest, even after the journey of the last seven years, it feels like we’re just getting started. The team we’ve assembled is pulling together in ways we never thought possible, constantly coming up with new ideas, new products and services and new ways of working.
We can see that the ad-tech industry landscape is changing for the better before our eyes and we can only hope that this trend continues. We’re going to keep lobbying, challenging the status quo and fighting for user rights wherever and whenever we can.
We’re going to keep updating our products and we might even release a few new ones!
As a teaser, why not check out Trusted News, an extension that highlights the trustworthiness of news websites. We hope to grow Trusted News from an MVP to a fully-fledged product in the next months.
We’ve got plenty more surprises in store, but for now, excuse us while we go tuck into some birthday cake! Here’s to the next seven years!