Well I’ve kept this relatively quiet long enough, but since Jon Galloway
I might as well mention it. I am no longer an independent consultant.
Yep, I am rejoining the corporate rat race as an employee complete with
W2…but with a twist. I have accepted a position as Chief Technology
Officer of VelocIT (pronounced the same as “Velocity”). The twist is
that I am also a co-founder and part owner of VelocIT, so it makes the
idea of being an employee again much more palatable. ;)
I was hoping to save the announcement till we had a real website, but
that could take a long time with the sheer amount of work we have
already. So until then, I’ll just make my blog the unofficial de facto
This has been a dream of mine for a long time now. It’s a chance to
conduct a grand experiment in how my business partner Micah and I think
a company should be run. For example, I am a big fan of transparency and
open book accounting. I just don’t see how restricting the information
your employees have access to helps them perform better.
I am also a big fan of the ideas in Growing a
by Paul Hawken.
If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. One of his main points is
that simply following a standard generic business model does nothing to
distinguish a business from the hundreds of other carbon copies.
Instead, a good business should reflect the values and personality of
its founders. It should be as individual as you are. Think Ben & Jerrys
and you start to get the picture.
He also talks a lot about trusting your employees. For a long time I
have seen many companies make the mistake of not trusting and
empowering their employees to make
decisions. Now I have
a chance to really put my money where my mouth is and attempt to push
responsibility and trust down and see what happens. Obviously this
requires that we make a great effort to hire people deserving of trust
and capable of handling responsibility.
We have already identified one of those people in Jon
Galloway who will be working with us
as a contractor and who we hope to eventually hire on as an employee.
I’ve read his blog for a while and he is obviously a top-notch developer
and a pretty decent fella as well.
VelocIT is at its core, a consulting shop, but we are focusing on being
Solution Architects. When I described VelocIT to my former CEO (and
current client), he remarked, “Oh. So you’re like a portable CTO.” That
hit it right on the mark. Although we can handle any point in the
technology project lifecycle, our strong point is partnering as a
portable CTO. As such, we constantly seek the most cost effective
solution for our clients. Custom software development will usually be
the option of last resort, and usually only to tie together and
integrate various systems. If custom development is needed, well you
found the right people.
If you’ve read my blog for a while, you’ll know that I am a big fan of
open source software. I am a firm believer that there are viable
business models with open source software. Just take a look at chapter 1
of this pdf book, Open Source Development with
to get some ideas.
In the short term, my involvement with such OS projects as RSS Bandit
and Subtext will suffer a bit (But don’t worry
Torsten, I’ll get that Help thing
done soon). But in the long term since we plan to leverage open source
software such as Subtext,
DotNetNuke, Blue Whale
CRM, etc… in projects where they
provide the most value to our clients, I foresee making more
contributions to them in the future. We just need to staff up and free
me up to remain more high level than the day to day coding I am doing
now. Don’t get me wrong, I love writing code, but I prefer writing open
So in the meanwhile, wish us luck and send me an email if you need our
services haacked at gmail dot com.