15 Things We've Learned in 15 Years
By Marc Reifenrath on March 17, 2015 in Digital Marketing
Fifteen years ago Adam, Cory, and I started Spinutech while attending the University of Northern Iowa. I'd love to be able to go back and remind myself everything that's happened over the past fifteen years but, until I can get my hands on a flux capacitor I don't think that is possible. Yet, we thought it would be fun to have each founding partner share with you five things we've learned in fifteen years. We've had a lot of fun, and learned a lot more...and pretty quickly realized narrowing a list down to just fifteen things would be a difficult task. Hopefully the list below has an item or two that resonates with you...
1. Focus on the customer
One of the reasons we had early success was because we always wanted to make the customer happy. Maintaining an importance of happy customers allowed us to build a genuine customer-focused culture with every hire.
2. Everyone wants feedback
Praises, corrections, guidance, etc., doesn't matter, everyone wants to hear from the 'boss' and wants to know how they are doing within the overall larger organization.
3. Go with your gut
You don't always have all the information - make a decision and move on.
4. Celebrate big and small achievements
Enjoying the moment refuels everyone's motivation for the tasks ahead.
5. Don't hire the resume
Personality traits like professionalism, humility, easy demeanor, self-motivator, desire to learn, high energy are often times better indicators for how they will join the team and be successful than what is on the resume.
6. Not every project is a good fit
Just like getting into a personal relationship, you have to be selective as you may not be compatible.
7. Keep it simple
With any project, don't let "features" get in the way of accomplishing objectives; your users will appreciate it!
8. You can't be the expert at everything
Play to your strengths and master them (ie. we don't build native apps).
9. It's all about the team
When you have a great team, things have a tendency to work themselves out...and the team gets stronger.
10. Having fun at work should always be a priority
We spend way too many hours working to not enjoy it!
11. Hire based on the culture fit, not talent alone
We've built a very talented team and culture over the years and pure talent won't cut it. A great culture requires careful consideration to every new team member and how they fit.
12. Say "No" often
While it may be hard to do at first, saying "no" to projects that aren't a great fit is better in the long run. Often times we still get referrals from clients we've said "no" to.
13. Don't worry about competition
Focus on what you can control and being the best and what you do. By doing this we are putting our best in all that we do which is best for the client.
14. Remove emotion from decision making
Focus on the issue/problem at hand and what is the best and fairest way to solve it. Leaving emotion out of the equation gives you a well thought out plan that isn't diluted with other motives (like egos).
15. Never become complacent
Never allow yourself to become complacent or feel as though you've made it. Complacency is the start of a very slow death for any company.
My hope for the next fifteen years is that we all continue to learn, we never want to stop getting better at what we do.
Here's to the next fifteen years!