Doing the Happy Dance

After a review with SomaSe last week in which we demoed what I'll just call "our stuff" (though the credit belongs to Adam Nathan, who really needs to update his blog), we went yesterday to present to Bob Muglia. The last time I presented to Bob in any way, shape, or form, I was a director of marketing and the conversation was about branding. This time, the conversation was about technology and opportunity and truthfully, up to about five minutes into the meeting I didn't know what Bob was going to say. He kept looking at the projection screen where Adam was setting up to do the demo and I kept saying, "Pay no attention to what's on the screen. We'll get to that." But by about the third bullet on the first slide, we had him. I often forget how folks like Bob come alive when they're presented with an interesting problem space, but Bob got precisely what we were talking about incredibly quickly. By the time we got to the demo, it was ours to lose and Adam pulled a few rabbits out of his hat (adding features that weren't there the night before) and by the end, Bob was asking, "How did you do that? Can you do this? When can you launch?"

In the grand scheme of things, a good exec review isn't like solving world hunger, but getting positive feedback on your work always feels good, especially when you're a small startup team that seems to be challenging a lot of conventional wisdom.

Next up: more VPs and some customer councils to get feedback.

Comments (6)
  1. loc says:

    YAY! This news got me excited. I can guess what "our stuff" is, and I can’t wait to use it. I hope Bob Muglia is pushing your team very hard.

    So what conventional wisdom is your team challenging?

  2. johnmont says:

    A lot, actually — about what needs to be done on the web vs. on windows, about what it means to be in a developer community, about what it means to be a developer, in fact. I’m being really vague — sorry. I’m hoping that in a few weeks we can start to show customers more about what we’re doing and then I should be able to say a bit more, but that’s going to be up to our marketing team also.

  3. mheller says:

    Congrats, John!

  4. loc says:

    I gave NPT some more thought experiment, and I still didn’t see it challening conventional wisdom. If any, it will influence a lot of conventional wisdom. I see endless possibilities for NPT. Convenient and inexpensive real-time collaboration. Fun challenges and advices from anyone, for anyone. Open source projects hosting and wiki-able code. Annual competition and awards. QnA (free and paid). Organized developer communities: anyone can recruit other members ("buddies") to form a team and compete against other teams. Now that’s a better game than fantasy sports! Self expression. Great tools for K12 teachers. More new perspective, more new innovation.

  5. monkchips says:

    shame niall kennedy of technorati fame didn’t know how to play the game like you. he left before he could get things done.

  6. johnmont says:

    I don’t really think there’s a "game," or maybe there is and nobody’s told me. I’m lucky to be paired with a really hotshot dev who can crank out interesting ideas very quickly and to be working on an interesting problem space.

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