I run a Tech Company? Huh?
So I was sitting at a meeting a couple of weeks back and someone asked me about my insight running a tech business. For a second I looked across the table at someone else who was at the meeting, but soon realized that the individual was talking to me. I asked him, “me? Run a tech company….? No I just do business plans and and we just happen to use technology tools to automate the business planning process”.
I was met by a “well what are you if you are not a tech company”? This question made me sit back and think about what actually defines tech start-ups. Being labelled a “tech company” does not really change anything—we are still working through the tech bugs with our developers–and I am realizing that good developers need far longer to work through problems, than I think they ought to. In fact, one of the best Developers I have met, Tony Curcio, at Si TechGroup, often tells me “stop trying to play developer”. It is a lesson that I am slowly learning–I am a type A by nature–although having kids has significantly worn down these A type tendencies.
I have had the opportunity to get to know some amazing developers, (Tony and his crew) who are intuitive and anal about the work they do. Would I go through this process again? Yes. Would I do it differently? Yes, Definitely.
So, as I gathered my thoughts, sat back and answered “I guess I am a tech company”, I started to reflect on this stereotype of “running” a tech company and what it means. When I think tech company, I imagine an early 20 something working out of his parents basement (definitely a ‘he”), up at all hours of the day coding programs/apps/web programs, eating ramen, and living in the same change of clothes as he hacks government files in his spare time for fun.
While this image is far removed (remember I was a child of the 80′s and any good hacker I knew spent at least a bit of time trying to crack government files), I started to consider how I fit this stereotype First and foremost, I am a woman. Second I am married, in my mid-thirties with two young kids. I do not program–please there are times I still have to have my husband show me where the C drive is on the computer! I own my own house, hate working in the basement and am a morning person. I do not mind ramen once a year or so, but I appreciate my showers and changing clothes at least once a day. I prefer order to “hacking government files” and my spare time, what precious little I have, I sit on 3 not for profit boards, and act as Chair of another. So, as far as stereotypes go, I am not sure what insight I can give into running a tech company, all I know is that I am still learning myself and will be glad to share my story with you along my journey.