In YellowDog's 2018 review, CEO and Founder Gareth uses a 'retrospective' technique to share some of his highlights from the last 12 months and looks ahead to 2019.

At YellowDog, we use retrospectives. They help us to improve by looking back on what went well and what didn’t go so well after the last customer implementation, the last two-week software delivery sprint or some other project. I thought I’d use a modified version of the output of a retrospective for this review of 2019. So, without further ado:


What went well in 2018

We’ve started working with more amazing rendering customers including:


Rendering their feature film

Ecstasy of Gold

Helping them to scale


Rendering to critical deadlines

Picture This / M2Animation

Delivering crazy amounts of GPU rendering

Corgan Medialab

Providing quality support


  • We rendered the CG animations and sponsored an award at the BFX Festival 
  • We are now ISO 27001 Certified. 
  • We’ve helped deliver our first films including: Show Dogs, Troll: The Tale of a Tail, and The Blues Crab


Financial Services

  • We launched our financial services proposition and have our first customer: Fulcrum Asset Management. 
  • We’ve pitched at three fintech events: Fintech Talents, New Statesman Fintech Summit, Finovate.
  • We’ve delivered projects into a couple of other financial services customers; the projects were described as ‘transformational’. 
  • We took part in PwC’s Scale and EY’s Accelerating Entrepreneurs programmes. 
  • We have our first customers using YellowDog On Premise to harness their underutilised servers and workstations they already have for rendering.
  • We’ve continued to build on our strong partnerships including with RE[DESIGN], Foundry, Chaos Group, Oracle and Alibaba.
  • We’ve added a bunch of very talented and lovely people to our team.
  • We’ve moved offices. 
  • We won the UK National New Business Award for Business Innovation. 
  • We’ve started to develop our proposition for aerospace. 
  • I spent some time in November and December on billboards all over London, Paris, Dubai and Sydney as part of an Oracle Cloud campaign.

What could have gone better in 2018

  • We haven’t made the progress we wanted to with some of the top tier studios for rendering. 
  • Doing business in India has proved to be more challenging than we expected it would be this time last year. 
  • We had some Platform instability during the summer as we were so very busy and the load on the Platform was extreme. Many improvements have now been made which means that those problems won’t happen again.

Looking forward to 2019

2019 is going to be all about “more”: 

  •  More rendering customers delivering more amazing animations and visual effects, especially animated features and films. 
  • More work internationally, especially on the West Coast of North America.
  • More financial services clients – we have a great pipeline of projects that will keep us very busy throughout the year. 
  • We will have our aerospace minimum viable product by the end of the year. 
  • Our team will continue to grow – adding more technologists, sales and marketing, and operations people.   
  • We’ll continue to help people do more, create more, innovate more; unleashed from limited computing power.

Behind closed doors

This year, I’ve also been inspired, entertained, stimulated, and moved by a number of books and some incredible music. My highlights have been: 


First Aid Kit, Ruins  

Joan As A Police Woman, Damned Devotion  

Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas, Murray Perahia  

Julie Byrne, Not Even Happiness

Young Fathers, Cocoa Sugar  

Janelle Monae, Dirty Computer  

Gaz Coombes, World Strongest Man

Jon Hopkins, Singularity

Goat Girl, Goat Girl

Lump, Lump

Hamilton (the musical).

Florence + The Machine, High as Hope  

Mitski, Be the Cowboy  

Maribou State, Kingdoms in Colour  

Beak>, >>>  

John Grant, Love is Magic,  

Robyn, Honey  

Cosmo Sheldrake, This Much Much How How and I  

Portugal, The Man; Woodstock  

Idles, Joy as An Act of Resistance


Vlad Taltos Series, Steven Brust  

Three Body Problem Trilogy, Cixin Lee  

Ultimate Questions, Bryan Magee  

Predictably Irrational, Dan Ariely  

Behave, Robert M Sapolsky  

Blitzscaling, Reid Hoffman and Chris Yeh  

From me and all of us at YellowDog, Happy New Year.

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