Why external perspective matters

Events
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Not external perception, external perspective. You have relatively little control over the opinion people have of you, and even if you’re just the nicest guy on earth people will still hate your guts (see Tim Tebow) and find great reasons to.

Few years ago when we were having issues I turned to my friends/clients and asked why they worked with us. Two comments from my buddies Wayne Small and Dean Calvert stick with me to the present day:

“This isn’t a date, this is a marriage.”

Getting everyone in an organization to understand the level of dependence that clients have on us, the level of trust they extend, and in bad times – the level of personal stake they have on the product choice they use to solve problems – is incredible. How do you build that? My personal answer to this is under a press embargo and NDA for a little while, but I can offer you some insight

Autotask ________ Conference

Last week we were invited to Autotask HQ for a ______ conference. As you can guess, literally everything is NDA at this point and in the event that even the company name is NDA, consider this a lovely event I had behind a dumpster doing heroin with my imaginary friends.

First thing they did at 9 AM was to let the CEO lay out the next 2 years worth of the roadmap, with the first year of it clearly spelled out – from vision to agenda to the end game.

The next 6-7 hours was basically spending time with some of the smartest people around and the key executives, developers, support, etc going over the details, suggestions, ideas and implementations.

The final hour was the CEO again, basically saying “Here is a list of places where you make money.”

Note to Self

First of all, I don’t know anyone that does this. The closest thing I’ve seen to this type of event is what Microsoft used to put on back when they had a partner program – back before the CEO would stroll into a keynote looking like he just left a BBQ and the program itself looked less like a time share sales training seminar.

Second, shame on me for not doing this for our partners. I talk to thousands of people each year, I’ve got a bunch of people in my company that talk to far more and we talk to each other every Thursday and Friday. Why we’re not sharing this collective knowledge (that most of you probably get on Vladville in between profanities) is embarrassing.

Third, shame on you for not doing the same for your community.

On To The Next One

I’ve made no secret over what I’ve been doing for the past year.

After we damn near rewrote our process, support, billing and half the products I dedicated myself to a new job – that of the PSA strategy. About a month ago I took a leave of absence to take care of some other business projects that just needed to become rock solid before I took the helm of OWN again.

In about a week or so, I am coming back to the helm of ExchangeDefender. And my first goal is to make sure we let our partners benefit from everything we know about where the money is.

I don’t think I’ve been this excited about what we do in at least 4 years.

8 Responses to Why external perspective matters

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  4. Vlad, we have learned the importance of this during our HTG meetings. Each year Arlin invites his vendor partners in for their annual planning meeting and also we learned to the importance of inviting the best and the worst clients into our office for honest feedback. You know something, those bad clients turn out to be really good clients.

    This is a great idea.

    Thanks for sharing

    Scott

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  7. Andrew Moon says:

    Vlad,

    Great idea! As always, thanks for sharing your insights. Our “marriage” has been a bit rocky to start, but I think we have ironed things out. Looking forward to what’s in store for the future.

    Andrew

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