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Don’t Just Be Good. Be Great.

I’ve hemmed and hawed about whether or not this topic merited a public blog post or should be reserved for an email to my entire sales team or even our entire company. Now before you all think I’m jumping ship or pulling a Jerry Maguire, I’m not. This is a story about a scaling company with new bodies being added each and every week.

Over my time in sales for several big companies, I’ve observed an obvious flaw in scaling any organization; the daunting task of losing hands-on control, creating focus in departments/teams/individuals, sharing accountability across the board and the possibility of not being able to scale corporate and personal ideals that got us to the place we are today.

It’s some heavy responsibility on Dyn leadership, tenured employees and on the new hires who walk in the door but we’re up for the challenge.

SXSW - Dyn Party
An example of Dyn being great: SXSW '12

So, where am I coming from? We’ve been scaling and growing our business very successfully over the past few years and all is great in Dynville. Why concern myself with the chance of us not sharing accountability throughout the organization?  Why concern myself with always being great?

Because prior to us being a worldwide organization closing in on 150 employees, we were a 20-to-30 person company with one focus: serving clients with the nurturing hands of far less mass.

Heck, it’s hard to keep up with everyone’s names with 12 new hires alone having started in the last month.

So how was this done with 20 people in the old days? Our clients were people and we treated them as such. We never built a product or feature simply because we could. We never went after a deal for a short-term gain.

We probed about our clients’ business, not to gain a selling advantage but because we actually cared (and they could probably teach us something as well!).

We went non-stop with tons of client calls and meet and greets because we never wanted to taste failure and not because we felt we had to. It was easier to demand 150% effort while in the trenches each and every day, arm and arm.

When you go from control to influence, you really need to self reflect and adapt. And it’s hard.

We became a disruptive force in an otherwise lame IaaS market place and we all loved being different. We thrived on owning our success. Sure, this is a great little history lesson, but the takeaway of what I’m saying revolves around ensuring our scaling never loses site of our roots. In business, objects in the rear view mirror should be proactively kept closer than they appear.

Our focus is still about serving the client and there are a lot more of them now that are experiencing the same massive growth we have. Life doesn’t get easier with scale. It gets drastically harder. If I don’t take time to personally reflect on how I can continuously raise the bar and push our sales staff and the entire company to be better, the potential to morph into our stale and lame IaaS competition grows.

It’s up to us to hold ourselves accountable on how we treat our clients. As soon as our clients call us out on it, we lose. It’s also very relevant to think about how we earned the trust of our DNS clients as we penetrate the email delivery market. As soon as we lose focus on the relationship, we lose overall.

As a VP in this company, I simply won’t allow it to happen, so I’m getting way ahead of where I’ve seen this happen in my career. It’s up to all of us to ensure that the future at Dyn isn’t just good but that it will be great.

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