Tuesday, January 28, 2014

When Your Customers' Customers Sell For You


Yesterday, one of Gnip's (a social media company) sales people forwarded an excerpt from a prospect to our internal all-company alias. In it, the prospect was reaching out to us because their customers/prospects were asking that they use Gnip's services. This has happened several times over the past year or two, but the email reminded me of how important this moment is.

These customers of our prospect want reliability, sustainability, and full-coverage in social data, and they believe (correctly) that they can only get if the tools they are considering buying are using our stuff. So cool!

When your customers' customers demand that your product be used by them, you are winning. It's a moment in time when the value you have created is so pervasive, that downstream customers a) know you exist (a challenge for a "powered by" play) and b) want you being leveraged by the products they want to buy.

It took Gnip awhile (a few years at least) to get to this place, but, we're here (realistically have been for awhile now).

It feels so good.

Thanks for forwarding that along Tommy!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Day In Pictures: Another (Awesome) Tuesday

Today was full of great interactions. The evolution of this "day in pictures" thing has been interesting. People are falling into a few categories (to be expected).

  • People I know who are fine with their picture being taken (or at least tolerate it with a smile on).
  • People I know who are growing weary of this thing I do. I'm trying to key into this and will eventually stop taking pics of them even though they're not able to tell me "no."
  • People I know who have never been comfortable with me taking their picture. I still ask these folks anyway though... someday I'll get a picture!
  • People I know who want me to take their picture with them throwing me the bird. I sometimes do this, but it just winds up looking silly and cliché, so I tend not to publish these. Sometimes it's cute though.
  • People I don't know who are fine with it.
  • People I don't know who are clearly not fine with it, but don't tell me "no." This is an interesting scenario. When it's _really_ clear they're not comfortable I come up with some gentle way of bowing out. When they're on the edge, I give them multiple opportunities to kindly tell me "no."
I always ask someone's permission before taking their picture.

Started my day with these monkeys. Today was their first day back after a long winter break. Made them the usual  breakfast, April pulled lunches together, and they diligently got themselves together without any fuss. Great start to the day!

Tuesday meditation led by the one and only Shannon. Pic taken 30 seconds after a 20 minute sitting. Still dazed.

Greg runs Engineering at Gnip. Awesome spirit in this guy. 30 seconds after meditation. Still in the zone!

Anne writes software at Gnip. She joined us for meditation today. Giggly and still in the zone in this shot.

Josh immediately following meditation. He does science-y things on the dataz at Gnip.
Nick applies his big brain on the software engineering side of Gnip's house. Felt like we spent half the day together. 
Chris H. is one of Gnip's longest running employees (software engineering). He's one of the people that won't allow his picture to be taken. Something about witness protection program or some BS like that.
Fred runs Sales at Gnip. As you can tell from this picture, he enjoys ensuring every quarter is better than the last. See that look in his eye!? Everyone else enjoys this too. Today we talked about partnerships.

I don't know what Seth does at Gnip anymore. His role changes too frequently for me to track. We ask him to help on something hard... he does so... establishes the beach-head, then we ask him to do it all over again somewhere else. Rinse-repeat... good things happen.

Kavika represents all things German for us at Gnip. He can stand up software with lots of moving parts really quickly. He lives in a co-housing community in Boulder; something I've always wanted to do.

Anthony from our San Francisco office joined us for a huge partnership opportunity conversation.

Scott. I took this shot, and one in which he was laughing and smiling. I gave him the option of "the grumpy one" or the "smiley one." "My wife says I'm grumpy, let's go with that one." We don't pay him enough. He makes all the data centers and hardware work perfectly. You wish he was on your team.

Shannon M. writes software with Gnip. In this meeting we talked about pair-programming. She's a bright light with awesome energy.

Brooke is a fellow Nine Inch Nails fan. He and I are brothers from another lifetime. He writes software like he's on a mission from God.

Eric keeps the trains running on time. He's an engineering manager at Gnip. We somehow got him to put his keyboard down to help us herd cats, and everything is better as a result.

Spent at least half the day with Greg. Here he is carefully listening to Brooke talk about pair-programming, and how he's generally not a fan :).

Katie W. is figuring out how to help our customers be all they can be with Social Data. She's spearheading our training curriculum.

Andrew and I are going to help Katie W. deploy the training material. It sounds like most folks will travel to Boulder for this. This is good because I'm scared to death of being on the road with this guy. I think the two of us on the road equals trouble.
Becky at Amante Coffee who pulled my afternoon cappuccino together.

Longtime friend and colleague Scott H. He runs the Data Science house at Gnip and is someone I trust with anything.

Sam R. just moved to Boulder and he's helping us out with some perspective on high-volume streaming technology stacks. Smart kid with great energy.

Myatt with Goldman Sachs. He knows how money works.

Katie with Goldman Sachs. These two came up from Dallas to spend time with their Colorado folks. She knows how money works too.

The Kendra Current. Broke my body down at put it back together at the end of a long day.

Kathleen at Jax Fishhouse got Kyle and myself going for happy hour. She's one of Big Red F's (and Jax in particular) longest running waitresses. She always brings a great vibe. Always feels like home when she's on-shift.

Kyle couldn't settle into Jax so we went to where I eat nearly every other meal; Rio Grande. David here brought "the usual" over for dinner.

Kyle happy because we got food at Rio (his favorite).

Lizzie helped us at Kitchen Upstairs with digestifs. She's an artist. While everyone else thinks Kyle and I are a gay couple, she doesn't buy it even when we try to convince her we are.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Bridge

After years of driving by this mysteriously elaborate concrete bridge just off of Boulder Canyon (Highway 119), I finally had a chance to shoot it today. My good friend Kyle was willing to drive me down to it after skiing. Everything shot at 17mm with aperture around 5.6.