When you’re building something you’re passionate about, it’s easy to be consumed by the what— what images go in your portfolio, what wood makes the best table, what espresso makes the best cappuccino, what social media you should be engaged in.

Building a product like Virb is no different. We’ve been working on this website builder for almost four years, adding new features and integrations, refining our themes, simplifying  processes, rebuilding things, and planning a whole new slate of whats for this new year. But before our team got into all of that, we wanted to revisit why—why we build this product, why we want people to use it, and why it matters to our team of nine people scattered across the continental U.S.

It would be easy to keep this all tucked away in our brains or print it on a motivational poster for our walls, but I wanted to share it with all of you—Virb customers, peers, and friends—because these are the beliefs that guide everything we do, and will continue to guide us in 2014 and beyond. There’s power in passion that’s guided by purpose, and we’d like to share ours. So why do we do what we do?

Because we love building beautiful things on the Internet.

We’re a team of designers, developers, engineers, and support staff that care about building the best websites and applications on the Internet. We day-dream in HTML, and we design new themes while mowing the grass. Making Virb is a part of who we are—and we love it. We’re constantly looking to craft creative solutions to the problems we’ve noticed with website building. We care about everything from the spacing of gallery items to the framework that displays your site on mobile devices to the infrastructure that makes your content load lightning-fast anytime, anywhere.

Because you should focus on doing what you love.

I would wager that you’re as passionate about what you do as we are about  websites. If we could build a product to put more hours in the day we’d do that, but instead, we’re determined to make sure you don’t spend your hours slaving away at a computer, learning HTML and CSS, or managing some complicated hosting plan. Because we are taking all the (tech) work out of website building, you can get back to doing what you really love—taking photos, running your business, making your new album, spending some quality time with your family—and not worry about whether your site will show off your content beautifully when someone visits it (or when you get linked to on Reddit or end up on The Today Show).

Because we want to help.

We’ve worked at agencies building websites for Fortune 100 companies, but none of them were as fulfilling as helping design and build that site for our friend’s new indie film, or that blog for our editor-friend, or the store for our wife’s craft projects. The idea for Virb was born a long time ago after helping countless creative friends get their portfolios and projects online with one-off sites, and that is the same goal that drives us today. And we also knew there was a way to make website building easy and affordable—you shouldn’t have to sell hundreds of prints or freelance for a few months to pay for a custom-built site.

Because we love our community.

We love being a part of a growing community that’s dedicated to making great things—products, paintings, websites, albums, articles—and sharing them with the world. It’s a community full of talented people who have passion and drive, and aren’t content to let things come to them but instead strike out and create their own path. We want to see that creative community grow and flourish. We’re proud to be content creators, creatives, and makers, and to showcase others who are the same.

In light of that, we’d like to know what you’re making. We’re working on a lot of new things here at Virb, and one of them is a new goal for our blog. We’re tired of talking about ourselves—instead we’re turning it into an avenue for you to share what you’re doing with the rest of the world. We’re also looking for customers to feature, and guest contributors, so send us an email or shoot us a tweet. We’d love to know what you’re passionate about.

Thank you all for making Virb what it is today, and for joining us as we continue to craft what it will be in the future. Stay tuned—it’s going to be a big year.

Ryan & The Virb Team