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Happy 20th Birthday to us – and to some very special friends!

XLN turns 20 this year and it turns out that we share our 20th birthday with some pretty amazing brands, companies and inventions. And many of them use highly advanced technology, like XLN does, to improve the lives of their customers. Here are some of our favourite birthday companions that were also born in 2002:

Let’s start with the Ferrari Enzo, the only Ferrari sports car named after the company’s founder Enzo Ferrari. This highly sought-after car was developed in 2002 using Formula One technology such as a carbon fibre body, F1-style automated-shift manual transmission and carbon-ceramic composite disc brakes. A Ferrari Enzo cost £450,000 to buy when it was launched in 2002 but is now worth between £1.5 million and £2 million.

We also share our birthday with SpaceX, the company which was founded in 2002 by entrepreneur Elon Musk to revolutionize space technology. SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft and is the only private company capable of returning a spacecraft from orbit. While most rockets are designed to burn up on re-entry, SpaceX rockets can not only withstand re-entry but can also successfully land back on Earth and re-fly again. In 2012 its Dragon spacecraft became the first commercial spacecraft to deliver cargo to and from the International Space Station and in 2020, SpaceX became the first private company to take humans there as well.

Another great example of technology that we share our 20th birthday with is the GoPro, an action camera that has transformed the way that high-action sports activities can be recorded and is responsible for many iconic videos on YouTube. The company was set up to manufacture action cameras in 2002 by Nick Woodman, a surfer, skier and motorsports enthusiast who wanted to find a better way of filming himself and his friends surfing. He started out experimenting with a 35mm camera and a wrist strap made from old wetsuits and plastic scraps, and from those early beginnings has created an international company that has sold over 26 million GoPro cameras so far in more than 100 countries.

Camera technology is also responsible for the creation of our next birthday companion – the Selfie. Selfies are self-portrait photos taken with a smartphone, typically held at arms’ length, and the word selfie was first used in 2002, the same year that the first digital phone with a built-in camera – the Sanyo SCP-5300 – was launched in the US. By 2013 the term selfie had become so widely used that it was included in the Oxford English Dictionary. Technology can be used in many different ways to improve customers’ lives and we also share our birthday with Crocs, the brightly coloured clogs made from foam resin seen on the feet of children – and adults – everywhere. Originally designed as a boating shoe, Crocs were launched 20 years ago by Lyndon “Duke” Hanson, and George Boedecker Jr in Colorado and have since sold more than 300 pairs worldwide. In 2020 the company offered healthcare workers a free pair of Crocs in response to the Covid 19 pandemic and also sent 100,000 pairs of shoes to hospitals to be distributed to staff.

We can’t end without giving a special mention to technology on the big screen the shape of the first Spiderman movie, which also shares our 20th birthday. The original Spiderman comic books have been around since the 1960s but it took until 2002 after nearly 25 years stuck in development for the story to reach cinema screens. Spiderman tells the story of Peter Parker, a teenage high school student from Queens who is bitten by a radioactive spider and is given the abilities of a spider including the ability to cling to surfaces, superhuman strength and agility, and detecting danger with his “spider-sense.” He also builds wrist-mounted web-shooter devices that can shoot artificial spider webs. Spider-man was the first film to reach $100 million in a single weekend and became the most successful film based on a comic book at the time as well as the third highest-grossing film of 2002.

As you can see, XLN is in great company and you can be too. XLN was started in 2002 to provide small businesses with cheaper phone lines and calls, and soon expanded to provide them with business broadband, card payments and mobile data too. We have been helping small businesses for the past 20 years so if you would like to know more about how we can help your business please do give us a call on 0344 880 7777.

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