How and when did your career trajectory really take shape? Think long and hard about that question in the context of your career path, current role and overall success. What were you doing when you were a 19-year-old college student? How about 16 and without a driver’s license?
My good friends, bosses and business partners CEO Jeremy Hitchcock and CTO Tom Daly were recently awarded the prestigious New Hampshire High Tech Council Entrepreneur of the Year award, recognizing leadership in the NH entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Both got to where they are by the tender age of ’round 30 because of two influential experiences that have continued to add to their still being written stories.
I’ve written about a lot of my personal tales on this blog. But following this amazing acknowledgment, I thought it was a good time to rehash Jeremy’s and Tom’s. They have no clue I’m doing this, so forgive me if I editorialize a bit.
Imagine being a young kid working on a semester long college internship project in which the results would determine the livelihood of the people making up the sample data.
When asked to do a report on the productivity of the workforce at a large financial services firm, Jeremy knew deep down what he was being asked. Do the analysis of the entire company, departments, teams and real people and put your results into a senior management dashboard.
A successful project for Jeremy and his peers meant loss of income and benefits for thousands and their families but only if the results were poor, he thought. It wasn’t so obvious right away (maybe that was a college student’s naive eyes) but shortly after Jeremy wrapped up the work, the company exercised massive layoffs.
The crazy part was Jeremy believed the data showed that the company was doing great, but the people at the top had other plans. Yes, this is the stereotypical corporate America company we compete against and from that day on, he vowed to never experience that again.
Still wonder why he became an entrepreneur that leads a culture globally recognized as a ‘work hard, play hard’ environment where the work/life balance discussion occurs in only gray areas? There you have it. Shortly after, Jeremy decided to make Dyn his full-time gig and the rest is history.
Tom Daly – CTO
Director of Corporate IT Erik Linstad told me this great story about Tom.
A few years Tom’s senior, Erik was working at a regional ISP in Manchester, NH, when an extremely boyish and shy looking 16-year-old started showing up each day with his oversized L.L. Bean backpack. Erik and his colleagues quietly quipped about the random kid who looked like he needed a babysitter. What made it ever more curious was that the kid didn’t have a license and would get dropped off each day by his mother after high school let out.
What happened next still makes Erik smile. The young whiz kid was a sponge, kept learning and growing and worked harder than anyone there. He practically wired the entire data center with his bare hands. Some of us play sports, act or play an instrument growing up. Tom built networks better than anyone else. Sound familiar? He dedicated his life to making the Internet a better performing playground for all of us.
Even better, our VP of Worldwide Sales Josh Delisle worked there too as he thought it was a “marketing communications” company when he applied (smooth)! Years later when the still boyish looking Tom had become a world recognized Internet routing expert, he called to see if Josh and Erik would join his growing company. Because he had earned so much respect with them both, they dove in with both feet.
More seasoned, but still the same boy genius, it’s no surprise how successful Tom has become and how much our customers love our products.
Sometimes, I don’t see eye to eye with these guys on random topics.
I know it’s a mutual feeling. We still will get annoyed at one another, but that’s true with every company and Dyn’s no different. But I bite my lip, take the high road, stay loyal, double down and keep hustling mainly because of the two stories above.
We’re all who we are and in the careers we’re in because of life experiences. These two stories inspire 150 people every day and thousands upon thousands of clients who leverage Dyn services. People buy from people they like and stick with companies that stay true to their roots. As the person directly responsible for our continued growth and global brand, I couldn’t be prouder of this acknowledgement for Jeremy and Tom.
Congrats friends, you deserve it. It’s an honor to be on this wild ride with you. Go big or go home.