Posted: 27 Feb 2008
There are some certain difficult issues we, at ITBrix US office, are dealing with lately, which have made me think and try to explain the reasons why things get done so successfully inside ITBrix.
Why things happen?
This question is as philosophical as it is practical. I will try to answer and look at it from my micro economical tower called ITBrix/ConsultCommerce. For me the question is more like “Why things happen in ConsultCommerce and ITBrix?” or “Why we have results?” or “Why people like and use what we produce and maintain?”
I always try to break the more complicated things into smaller and simple elements. I always try to solve big problems by breaking them into smaller ones, so that easier and simpler solutions are required to solve big problems.
So, looking at the question above – why things happen? ; and adding the portion “in ConsultCommerce” to it, again gives me the opportunity to answer this question easily and precisely.
We started building our company with several important things in mind 13 years ago. We had to present a good product to our US customers, we had to maintain this product during the years to come, and we had to make the people doing all those things happy. We also did not create the company with the idea to sell it for millions to bigger guys. Against all odds and all VC books, recommendations and rules – not to invest in companies run by married couples, Tanya and I, together with our Best Man, started building a team, a product line and a more productive life basically. So with those things in mind, we started and managed to do a lot of things.
We are still working under that credo even now – not to sell the company, not to make the great millions quickly or not to just take the customer’s money. No. Everything we do is planned, coordinated and a product of team effort. Everything is done under the simple rules that it has to be a great product or service, that we will be taking a good care for it through the years and that the people making it should be satisfied and happy because of what they have done. Simple. What we do and live is a marathon, not a sprint.
These simple rules maintained the perfect team of developers together, a perfect team of people, real people. People that you can always trust and rely on. Darn hardworking and clever chaps. We have been through thick and thin, through good and bad with those guys – they never complained. As long as the goal set was the right one, the proper one – the guys and gals in the office never had a rest till they actually saw the proper results. This, my friends, usually never meant 9 till 5 working time.
The team in our Plovdiv office is what Tanya and I can consider as our most valuable business achievement ever.
It is very difficult to explain to some people here in the States why and how we achieve certain things. Even if we try – the message does not seem to get through. At the same time, a lot of our US colleagues, customers and partners get this in the very first moments of interaction with our company. But this is normal – different people, different worlds.
Our guys have never been lazy; our guys have never looked for the easy way out. They always searched for the proper way and this is how they live and work – the proper way – without the concern how much more difficult that way might be. That is the credo – the proper way…. and you totally learn how to take responsibility. For better or for worse, you stand up and you are responsible for what you have done. Somebody else’s fault will never get the job done nor will make a customer happy!
I was recently asked how we managed to do a certain portion of the new WordFrame Help section for such a short time. I looked at the calendar then, and I said – the time was not short at all, like 45 days since end of November … the days were too short actually, the time was not short at all. How come? Easy, you set the proper task, have a team in Bulgaria work about 12-13 hours a day and have the same size team from Colorado on the task, and “voila” – you actually see the result – complete set of user manuals for WordFrame, FAQs, Partner tutorials and Administration Guides. Music in the ears and feast for the eyes of our sales partners.
Weeell, no weekends bro’ , no skiing in Breckenridge or Vail although a few hours’ drive away, a little shorter on the Christmas shopping tours too, short on the sleep but you had a goal ahead, the proper goal. Interestingly enough, our tenacious efforts were contagious. Some of our partners started helping us with the website preparation and some of the help sections, the Web 2.0 Glossary for example. So again – our simple rules, especially the one about the team efforts, proved very very right! So you see - it is easy.
Why things happen in ConsultCommerce and ITBrix? Easy answer – they happen because we get them done. You sit on your butt and get the darn thing done in such a way that you actually like what is produced. Noting happens when there is no effort involved. When there is a problem, we do not point fingers – we get the things done. That is why the things in ITBrix and WordFrame are going well. That is why our customers can sleep well – they know we will take care of them the proper way.