A friend the other day asked what my company’s core competencies were. I didn’t have any for the company but after giving it some thought, I replied with these: Honesty, Integrity and Transparency. After I named them, I realized it was exactly what I want to build the company to be. First, being in the consulting industry, I found companies didn’t do a good job of being honest with our client. We would overpromise something to the client, shooting ourselves in the foot, and then not deliver it because the schedule was unrealistic. I always thought that if we can’t do it, we should just tell the client that we can’t do it. And if they want us to break our backs for them, then maybe they should walk. It’s much easier for me to say that of course because I’m on the outside looking in. Still, I think being honest with the client up front with realistic schedules will solve many headaches down the road.
Second, I want the company to do business with integrity. That includes treating employees fair and just, doing the work with excellence because we value what the client’s problem is, and not cutting corners. I recently brought my first piece of software for the business. It was a mockup drawing program used to communicate user design of web sites to clients. I realized that I wanted to build a company that would be an expression of my beliefs. And because I am a Christian, I believe that I shouldn’t cheat even when no one is looking. The thing I had in mind was not cheating on taxes. But the opportunity to show I wanted to follow my standard came when deciding to buy software or pirate it (my company is a month old startup and no one would care if I pirated Photoshop or something else because I’m not making money at all). I decided with the former because I knew that if I couldn’t do something this small now, I would never be able to uphold my standard when it came to something bigger.
And finally, transparency. I want the company to be about transparency. Transparency in showing our clients where we are with our work, our design decisions, any issues that we forsee. I want our clients to have an experience in working with my company, not just getting the solution at the end.