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Eating Dogfood

Today is my first full day of dog fooding Iotum’s software.  I’m going to crow a little bit!  I’m pretty excited to be writing this, and for all kinds of reasons.

The first is the obvious reason.  Our product is one step closer to being ready for the market.  It’s been a long route to get here, but every day I’m seeing significant progress.  Soon, you’ll be able to try it too!

The second reason for crowing is our team — the guys who are bringing you this software.  I’m going to single out Noam, because he’s the most recent, but by no means the only, example of what I am talking about.  Noam is a newly minted software grad from McGill.  Yesterday he watched over my shoulder while I installed our software for the first time.  There were some problems. Problems that would stop a customer dead in their tracks.  Problems that would result in lengthy tech suport calls if we let the software go out like that. 

Thirty minutes later, Noam was back in my office.  "If we don’t nail setup, nobody is going to use our stuff", he said.  "I talked to the team, and this is what we’re going to do."  And then he proceeded to tell me what the development team had decided to do, proactively, to address the issues I encountered, and to smoke out any new problems. 

The remarkable thing about this is that Noam is the most junior developer on our team.  He saw a problem, and chose to act.  No hierarchies, no asking permission, no waiting to be told.  Just go fix the problem.  Along the way, he enrolled the rest of the team in solving the problem too. 

We actively cultivate an environment where people feel empowered to just do what needs doing.  During our hiring process we reject a lot of candidates, most often because we don’t think they’re action-oriented enough.  Yesterday I saw tangible evidence of the value of creating and fostering that culture.

{ 4 comments… add one }

  • Jim Courtney September 16, 2005, 9:49 am

    And you managed to see this accomplishment happen without even the need for a Chief No Officer.

  • Randy Charles Morin September 16, 2005, 9:50 am

    So, is your dog food better than Montana's ribs?

  • Alec September 16, 2005, 2:06 pm

    More filling too!

  • Jim Galley September 18, 2005, 1:16 am

    Well, better to eat dog food rather than eating crow!!

    Good to hear that things are working!

    Jim
    ———————
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