Years ago (that seems kind of funny to say after my seven years in business) when Niall Durham was working with me, we used to talk about spending an afternoon here and there building cool new apps just to test new frameworks, languages, or ideas. But on the planned day, we’d get slammed with phone calls or new business, and our ideas sat on the shelf. For all our planning, we just never got these brainstorm/build sessions started.
Two weeks ago we mapped out a new strategy. Fridays are “fun days.” If support questions or sales calls come in, we’ll temporarily focus our energies on that item. But at the moment the phone call is finished or our client leaves the office, we get back in step with our team project.
Years ago (and this time, I’m talking 20 of them), I worked for an insurance company. The manager, Tom Lindberg, used to instruct us to “Pay yourself first.” This directive referenced putting money into your own savings before you spent on the immediately gratifying things in life. Thunder Data builds software for clients and for our own products, services, and uses. TDS is going to take Tom’s advice these 20 years later and pay ourselves first.
Our dividends will come in a myriad of ways. These are great teambuilding events where we can get excited about bringing an idea to fruition. Implementing new APIs or testing theories in web applications introduces concepts that may take root in other projects. The cool stuff we build may have the wow factor that wins over a new client. And finally, we are creating applications that will add to our bottom line.
With SXSW formally kicking off this Friday night and running through next Tuesday, our old mindset would have placed our creative scheduling on the back burner. Now, we’ll look at the day as an opportunity to gear up for the conference.