“Software is a great combination between artistry and engineering.”
– Bill Gates
I am happy to be able to write all of you this week, the last couple of weeks have been tough for me. Thank you for your condolences, it means a lot to me.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how we run our accounts and I want to share a thought I had about Tahzoo.
I worked with a guy in Microsoft Research and Development named Tom Barclay who worked for Jim Gray:
Tom is one of the smartest people I have ever worked with. Not only is he an extremely talented architect/engineer, but he is also very good at working with all the project stakeholders to make sure that objectives are being achieved. I worked with Tom on several projects, one of my favorites was called the Terraserver. The first online geospatial mapping database, the original version of what everyone knows as Google or Apple maps was created by Microsoft as part of a cooperative research and development project with the Department of Interior and Agriculture. It was a very interesting project in terms of technology challenges and executive oversight.
Tom would start every project kick-off meeting by sharing the parable of The chicken and the pig at breakfast. To make breakfast a chicken is involved but the pig is the bacon and therefore fully committed. He would then make a funny joke about how he only wants to work with pigs. To be successful, everyone must be committed to project goals and charter. Tom’s projects always seemed to go better than everyone else’s because we worked as a team. I have good memories of the work, it was really hard, satisfying, and I made some good friends.
Research and Development projects are inherently very difficult, so are the accounts and projects at Tahzoo. We do the same kind of projects that Tom used to run, usually very high client visibility, on a new technology, something that hasn’t been done before and the work includes many different workstreams and skillsets. That is Tahzoo all day long. We’ve tackled some really difficult business and technology problems for some very sophisticated clients.
Matt is going to be restructuring the Account 360 call to individual account team calls. We need to talk openly and substantially about how we are going to do better for our clients. I’d like to see all Tahzoo, spend less time internally focused and spend more time on the work we do for our clients. We have a brand promise – “You’ll like working with us, we’ll like working with you and together we will do great things”. The key to creating great accounts and projects is improving the quality and the strength of relationships within the Tahzoo team. How could we possibly be a successful company if we don’t actively work on improving our teamwork? When the Tahzoo teamwork is good the client feels it and good things start happening. Let’s focus on improving our communication and working as a team.
Now back to Tom’s favorite question “Are you a chicken or a pig?” because I (Brad) only want to work with pigs.
Let’s go be great,