The other day, someone said to me ?You guys are growing like a weed? Now it was a competitor, so I?m assuming he meant the type of weed that will eventually choke them out and absorb the best of them and process the rest, but the metaphor was not lost on me. Much of my graduate career was not focused on companies that were leading the pack, but on companies that missed the boat. There are some critical things that are consistent when you look at the firms that fail to hold market share, grow appropriately and see organic increases in market cap and profitability.
Many firms miss the boat because they see a lot of opportunity and rush out and hire a bunch of untested, unproven resources and throw them against the demand. These resources are not trained, not supported and left to fail and many of them do. Then the firm gets into a high turnover process repeating it?s mistake and this will ultimately lead to failure and lack of credibility in the business community.
Other firms balance this and hire more slowly but do not focus strategically on skills and opportunities. Skills of the folks we?re looking for at any time are matched to the specific business pipeline we see increasing. These are real projects we?re working with people on. Our goal is to always bring folks on where they can become productive for the firm in under 4 weeks. This includes a strict onboarding process (which we?re constantly re-evaluating for effectiveness as we grow). This is how we avoid significant impact during our scale up periods.
Other firms notice their dock, but not the rest of the marina and stay too focused on small opportunities that will not give them the opportunities to grow the way they would like. Folks in these firms often toil without the opportunities that larger clients and partnerships will bring to the team. These firms need to manage their risk more effectively and not run from new opportunities. We are leveraging partnerships with clients and industry heavy weights to develop and deliver the coolest and most exciting offerings around. Offerings focused on delivering value right away and doing so cost effectively.
We have been growing rapidly. I came in the other day and thought we were being robbed by a guy in clothes from the GAP. I got ready to slap him and then someone told me that was a new developer. Whew, dodged that lawsuit, but it?s true, the growth has been exciting all around the company, and while it can seem like we?re getting bigger, at the same time these new folks are helping us do what we?ve always done, only better. Some of them you?ve already seen on webinars, user group meetings and read their blogs. This growth is exciting since it helps us keep our commitment to our team to not make them travel more than is absolutely necessary, to give them the time for community and not impact that whenever possible and to reach new customers with fun problems to solve.
So if you wonder what I?ve been doing the past couple of months, this is it. My priority is managing our growth and ensuring the folks we send out are equipped, confident and prepared for what you?ll be throwing at them. It?s part drill sergeant, part manager, part therapist and part punching bag. I wouldn?t trade it for anything in the world. Now I?m moving into planning our first two quarter goals and improving our own internal forecasting tools and analysis capabilities. Yes we dog food this stuff too! Thank you all for your support the past couple of months as we grow. We are still looking for great senior level BI folks and our expanded DBA team is tackling some of the coolest challenges out there. BIG Data!
I was at a meeting today for industry movers and shakers in Redmond and I asked how many of them had never heard of us, expecting to tell them the story of Pragmatic Works and to even my surprise they had ALL heard something about us. So I filled in the gaps and answered questions for over an hour as to how we can help them make their businesses and clients more intelligent.
This is what we do. We?re Pragmatic Works. I heard a great advertisement this week and this is NOT original to me, but was so funny I had to share. ?Go make business your b*tch?. Pretty good stuff. So when I think about us growing like a weed. I turn it around and think, if we?re only growing like 1 weed, we?re underachieving!
See you out there! Check me out on twitter at @Adam_Jorgensen.
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