Today, 17th April 2021, marks the ending of a 25 year trip into the business community of Cyprus in particular and a presence in the World Wide Web in general. It also marks the beginning of a new era with a whole new set of challenges. I am taking this opportunity, to enumerate some of the very special “moments” of CyLife as well as mention those individuals that on particular occasions defined our direction.
It all started back in 1995 when with an IRC friend of mine, named Doros Agathaggelou aka MADSEKTOR, toyed with the idea of going into the net. The guy was only 15 or 16 years old, but a real smart whiz kid. So, he somehow pushed the registration of a domain name which would connect CYBER and GEOGRAPHICAL location. Thus, the name was born, CYLIFE, which meant either Cyprus Life or Cyber Life. It was so hard back then to sit down and write manually the code in pure HTML, but we somehow managed to finish it in a couple of months and upload it in …geocities.
By 1996, we were on line and we started picking up clients, offering them a new way of promotion. It somehow must have been appealing since we got more than 50 clients by the end of the 1st month.
At the time, I was working as a copywriter and later as an account executive at T&P/BBDO. Everybody was extremely helpful and even promoted a client of ours, Mike Hajimike, producing his 2nd CD. These were extremely interesting times, since the net scene was moving so fast that we couldn’t even keep up with the new software that was coming out. From Messenger of Outlook Express to IRC, then on to ICQ, Netscape being the only browser around, then IExplorer comes out and so on so forth. Not to mention Flash, which pushed the boundaries even further by replacing the importance of GIFs. In essence, we were trying so hard to keep up with trends and it finally paid off!
Meantime we were publishing articles in different local magazines and newspapers, to promote the "future internet possibilities".
In 1999, we launched, as CYLIFE, our biggest client, Messrs GROHE Middle East and Africa, who entrusted us with the production of an online catalogue of all their products and explicitly requested Flash technology! They also commissioned us with the production of their Middle East region website. The rest is history. The name GROHE attracted lots of clients that felt we could deliver exactly what they needed. Special thanks must go here to Mr Arjan Van Jaaren, that without his company’s help and especially Mathew’s graphics, the Grohe site would have never seen the light of day.
Around early 2003, we felt the “upcoming” expansion of global telecommunications, we embarked in a search of our next move. We associated with Messrs Mercury a small but innovative telephone company which used a prefix before the dialed number so the calls would be transmitted via VOIP, at a lesser cost. They were reluctant to expand, thus we decided to associate with Messrs Callsat, a super modern and fast evolving telecommunication company. Our collaboration lasted for over 10 years, until they were acquired by another company. We managed to get clients like AEGEAN Airlines in Greece, Millionaire Minds in the UK, LINDE Group in Cyprus and so many others. Our respect to Mr Marios Vlahos, CEO of Callsat and a personal friend of mine, for his support and trust in us.
Meantime, we were also focusing in the “infant” stage of social media. The growth was inevitable so we tried to somehow get involved in the game. Messrs Novatex, provided us with CPANEL platforms to manage bulk client accounts. Again, I have to stop for a second and personally thank Mr George Georgiou for his endless patience providing support while calling him from very-very bad connection lines in Ukraine and Russia. He was always there providing support 24-7.
I need to make a small pause at this point, to mention a very special person who re-organised CYLIFE in 2011.
A person, who restructured our whole system, fixing our accounting system and acted as an managing partner for over 8 years.
Ms Christine Korneliou, who cleared the waters and helped us pave our future success, by strengthening the infrastructure of the firm.
2015 was a game changer. Just some of that year’s highlights:
In 2019, new blood arrived. A person of Serbian and Swedish origin with tons of fresh ideas and insight, with a massive energy for work. Credits to Ms Katarina Radojkovic, currently the editor in chief of CYLIFE News. Her input into the ongoing upgrades of our print and electronic media, has proven priceless.
In 2020 we associated with Blind Dog studios, who also own the internet station Blind God Radio. Currently, all Neptune TV productions are co-produced with Blind Dog studios. Around the end of the year we also established our own Label, MADSEKTOR, to be fully deployed by end 2021.
Future plans? Move hosting servers to Malta and UK, create stronger alliances, publish new alternative magazines, grow the music label and a few more surprises that we will talk about in due course.
Prior to closing, I would like to mention few other individuaals that at one point or another, helped us to continue-regroup-focus and survive. Christos of SPIDERNET in 1998, A. Christofides of CYLINK in 1997, L. Koshis in 2000, Veronica Michaelides 1997-1999, Telia & Pavla 1997-1999, Petros Fanaris, Koullis Azas 2004, Mr Kolios & Theodorides of AEGEAN airlines, George Zampartas of Millionaire Minds UK, Mr Sokratis Hasikos of TELEPASSPORT and cable channel ALFA, Mr Tasos Xinaris of LTV, Mr Markides of LAYS Cyprus, Mr Marios Christofides CEO of ACM C/des, M. Kampanellas of CTC and so many others. Above all to Mr Nicos Kouvaras, for the mental and financial support.
Recapitulating, we promise to all our dear associates, friends, clients and collaborators, that we shall continue to do our best to serve your business needs with our utmost respect and professionalism.
Onto the next Quadranscentennial…
Konstantinos Nicolas Kouvaras
A gallery of memoirs