New Job

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Well I’ve kept this relatively quiet long enough, but since Jon Galloway spilled the beans, 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 VelocIT website.

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 Business 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 CVS 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 Dare and 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 source code.

So in the meanwhile, wish us luck and send me an email if you need our services haacked at gmail dot com.

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11 responses

  1. Avatar for Dimitri Glazkov
    Dimitri Glazkov September 12th, 2005

    Good luck! I still think Phoogle would've been a better name. Or maybe Haackle? :)

  2. Avatar for Scott C. Reynolds
    Scott C. Reynolds September 12th, 2005

    Gratz Phil! Keep us posted on how it's's a much different feeling to have this level of involvement rather than being "just an employee" isn't it?

  3. Avatar for Haacked
    Haacked September 12th, 2005

    Scott: Definitely. But it is also daunting.

    Dimitri: Phoogle? Just what we need, a lawyer from Google at our doorstep. ;)

  4. Avatar for Tom O
    Tom O September 13th, 2005

    Congratulations! I hope this doesn't slow down your great blogs!

  5. Avatar for Walt
    Walt September 13th, 2005

    Congratualations Phil, now you are literally "your own boss" (Phil as Shareholder is boss over Phil as CTO).

  6. Avatar for Chris Serjak
    Chris Serjak September 13th, 2005

    Congrats! Like Tom says, just don't neglect your blog audience!

  7. Avatar for Haacked
    Haacked September 14th, 2005

    No worries, I may slow don a bit, but I'll keep spreading my wrath upon the world via this blog. Chris, what about you man? What happened with your blog?

  8. Avatar for Niels Hansen
    Niels Hansen September 16th, 2005

    Congrats Phil. How all goes well and I can't wait to see the corporate site!

  9. Avatar for Josh
    Josh September 26th, 2005

    Good luck on your new venture! I've read Growing a Business once already and am getting ready to start it a second time. Brilliant advice inside. All aspiring entrepreneurs should read it.

  10. Avatar for you've been HAACKED
    you've been HAACKED May 11th, 2007

    My Last Day Before Starting A New Career

  11. Avatar for Community Blogs
    Community Blogs May 11th, 2007

    Today is my last day of work as a VelocIT employee, a company I helped start and had (and still have