Monday, January 7, 2013

Living vicariously through clients

Going solo was a great move for me.  I love it.  But there is one big drawback, I don't really build anything.  I consult, broker, and advise - all valuable actions - but as a one man show in a pure services model there is nothing tangible for me to point to.  So I tend to live vicariously though the products my clients build, and get oddly giddy when those products overlap with everyday life.

Last summer, CustomInk did an amazing job on Tshirts for our family beach trip.  And when I purchase a LivingSocial deal, I'll typically share it on social media using AddThis, thus completing a complex multi-client maneuver.   My contribution to these companies is minuscule compared to heavy lifting done daily by their teams, but I take pride in having had some small impact on products that, in return, make a positive impact on my life as well.  That's why I'm so excited to be starting a consulting assignment with a company solving a problem that is a significant part of my personal life right now.

In November, I chose to have a long overdue operation to repair my right shoulder.   Even with an amazing Orthopedic surgeon in a top flight hospital, going under the knife was still a scary proposition for me.   Thanks to the wonderful team which executed my surgery, everything went flawlessly.  But the reality is that adverse events do happen in healthcare, and when they do, the impact can be devastating.

DC-based Pascal Metrics builds technology that identifies, prevents and reduces adverse events in healthcare.  Pascal's clients share stories where their technology has literally saved lives.  Amazing. How many early stage tech companies can say that?

Pascal is a really interesting client for a number of reasons, including true Big Data applications, a progressive tech stack, ridiculously smart people, and a Double Barreled Ping Pong Robot at HQ.  I'm genuinely excited to be hiring engineers, operations, product management, and marketing roles for them - Pascal is definitely worth checking out for anyone seeking a high impact job.

But what is really exciting to me is to be able to impact, through hiring, a company that is improving patient safety and healthcare across the globe for millions of people - including me and my family.

That's cool.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Fluidhire Turns 4!

Starting out in the midst of a brutal recession in January '09, I honestly didn't know if I’d make it four months, let alone four years. 

Officially, Fluidhire is a sole proprietorship, but that’s a wildly misleading label. My business would not exist without the professional ecosystem that surrounds it.    

It’s impossible to thank everyone who has  helped along the way, but I’d like to say Thank You to a few people who have made it all possible.

  • My wife, for supporting and staying with me during that first year.  Business was ugly in 09, as so was I at many times.
  • Vern McDonald, for goading me into becoming a recruiter in the first place
  • Brad Thornton, for teaching me how to achieve long term success in this business and how to keep things in proper perspective
  • Rob Eubank, Jon Olin, Jeff Harris and Brian Deblitz for giving me the opportunity to prove I could build something from the ground up
  • Hunter McElfish, for busting his tail and making Ettain Group’s DC office a success
  • Hooman Radfar and Jay Rappaport for giving me the opportunity to fall in love with the start up space
  • Liam Darmody, for being smart and ignoring my bad advice.  Your strong moves opened up big opportunities for both of us.
  • Stewart Allen, Will Meyer  and the Clearspring/AddThis engineering team for teaching me what it takes to hire truly elite engineering talent
  • Ted Leonsis, Steve Case, Revolution Growth, NEA, Grotech,  Novak Biddle and the other investors supporting the DC start up community   
  • LivingSocial, CustomInk, Resonate Insights, Opower, and the many other clients who've allowed me the opportunity to support their efforts in building world class teams  
  • All the candidates who've put their trust in me to help advance their careers and find positions where they can thrive by building amazing products
Thank you to all who've supported me along the way, I hope I can return the favor at some point down the road.  Best wishes to all for a happy, healthy and successful 2013!