May 1st marks 17 years in business for Smart Dolphins. Boom!
17 years ago, I was simply hoping to build a “bona fide business”. Fresh out of school, the challenge ahead was large and exciting. There wasn’t an exact goal defined here, but at some point in the past 17 years, Smart Dolphins indeed became a “real” business to my eye. I feel extremely lucky to have had a childhood dream come true.
It’s interesting to reflect on how our goals and expectations have changed. We are building a company that isn’t just sustainable, but exists to make a very substantial impact on the world. We have a very special opportunity here. The work we do is so critical for our Customers (we call them “Allies”) and their businesses. These organizations do so much for the world and we enable this in so many ways. The future also promises many opportunities to continue to build value and depth into what we deliver that far exceeds the basic firefighting typically expected from our industry.
The heart of this challenge is really building something that is beyond any person or people (not to say people aren’t critical – who else would do the building?). The Pod often talks about how we can take the heroics out of our line of work. It’s a wonderful feeling to be a hero from time to time, but we see the bigger opportunity to build a heroic company. To the end, we’re trying to tame this chaotic beast of an industry (IT Support) through the methodical and consistent building of process, structure, automation, best practices, standards, etc. It is a paradox that all this stuff sounds so incredibly boring, but is also so awesome in its power, at the same time.
So, with 17 years of existence, in some ways, you could say Smart Dolphins has “made it”. In many ways, we’ve only just begun. That is how I view the day ahead when I show up at the office. There is so much more to build. So many more potential-customer-businesses to improve. So many more great Dolphins to find and grow. So many more ways we can deliver value to the business that make our awesome communities function and thrive. I often think I’m one of the luckiest guys around to have this opportunity.
17 years and still building…