/ 22 September 2020 / 4apps
4apps will continue to act as four, no matter what
At 4apps, we take a rather rational approach when it comes to doing business and maintaining our business relations. Having postponed our intention to open ourselves up several times in the past, we take this blog as an opportunity to start ‘cleaning up our act’. Against the background of the tragedies 2020 has brought us so far, this turned out to be quite a challenge.
The odd man out
Almost 20 years ago, we, Frank Laarhoven, Laurens Voogt and Diederick Bosman founded 4apps Group and have been in charge ever since. Being complementary to each other and despite significant differences in personality and personal approach, this decision really hit home. And although our open and direct approach to challenge and improve each other may have felt like fights to others, we were comfortable with it and always treated our mutual opinions with respect. Attracted by this sense of unity, Marc Plug joined the management team as Sales Manager for our Business Intelligence operations in 2008. Being outgoing, direct and more decisive than the others, Marc was the odd man out but really added something to our team that made us stronger and more decisive.
In the years that followed, the four of us had our share of ups and downs. Just when we thought we had been through it all, tragedy struck. Several months after being diagnosed with acute leukemia, Marc passed away on January 17, 2020. When COVID-19 hit two months later, leaving us little time to mourn, we knew going into crisis mode would immediately make us stronger and determined to survive, bearing respect to Marc. Feeling the responsibility towards our colleagues on one hand and our customers on the other to continue the business, we focused on the most urgent tasks and decided to work even harder in Marc’s spirit. And to make him proud in a way. At the same time, COVID-19 gave us the opportunity to give innovation a significant boost.
Due to our successful response to COVID-19, we don’t feel any corona-related stress and managed to stay focused without losing sight of having fun, both at the office and after working hours. Marc’s death has changed the three of us in more than one way. After Marc’s loss Laurens realized that life is more about how you can help others instead of pursuing your own happiness. From that perspective he committed himself to keep visiting Marc’s wife and children on a regular basis, even though this is only a modest contribution in the whole process of helping them get through these sad circumstances. In his daily work too he is even more motivated than ever before.
Diederick in turn (who has experienced the fragility of life in the past due to health conditions himself) has become more decisive. That is Marc’s legacy that he will always bear with him, every single day. Although he believes he cannot match Marc’s energetic approach and directness, he will make sure Marc’s spirit will forever live on at 4apps. In that respect, the trophy for the yearly 4apps pubquiz will always bear Marc’s name. Frank in his turn is determined to maintain a healthy balance between hard work and having fun while doing it. In this context he is only too happy knowing that the hunger for fast growth of the early days has been replaced by steady growth and a healthy risk diversification.
We all agree that although Marc is no longer among us, he is still with us and always will be!