Twice upon a time, I sold cars. The first time, about 14 years ago, I took every opportunity to get behind the wheel of a shiny new Saab or used car that came across our lot.
Being a man of many talents and known for wearing many hats, I often took the opportunity to help the lot attendants move cars around the lot, or pick up service customers in one of our service loaners. It made a great brand ambassador and subject matter expert out of me at the ripe old age of 18.
Having first-hand experience with the product allowed me to garner knowledge that could then be shared with customers and colleagues alike. However, upon briefly revisiting the car industry in 2010, before joining Dyn, I was too busy running a business development office to try out the Fords and Toyotas I was selling, and had to rely on other people’s perceptions and experiences to convey the value in what I was trying to sell. The whole of 2010 was a less successful time in my storied career.
When I joined Dyn in 2011 as a client services technician, one of the first orders of business was to make sure I had a first-hand experience with every one of our products, so I was given a bunch of credits to give it a whirl. What I found shocking was that we were one of the few groups in the then-75 person company that had that perk.
Fast forward to today: we’re a 280+ person company selling traffic management and message management, but how many people were truly getting that first-hand experience that our customers get to have every day?
This is where an internal initiative called Homebrew came to fruition.
Adding to our already impressive list of employee benefits, Homebrew gives any Dyn employee access to our services at zero cost during their tenure at the company. This allows a few neat things to happen:
- People throughout the organization get to use our products for their own personal projects and websites. Many are using Dyn services to provide fast DNS for their churches or civic organizations, personal blogs, and even some interesting remote access projects.
- Employees who may be working on an entrepreneurial venture outside of Dyn (which we encourage) have the ability to rely on Dyn’s infrastructure to take the hassle of running their own DNS servers or managing deliverability of bulk and transactional mail themselves to concentrate more on building their fledgling enterprise.
- We are all well versed in how our products work, and provide a feedback loop to our product teams.
We had a choice to either help our associates embrace the products that we make and market to help evangelize the brand, or let those products simply rest on their laurels. I am pleased to say that sticking with the former instead of the latter has been a great success and continues to set us apart as an employer of choice.