A Letter from the Founder
What Led Me to Azumo
I started Azumo to follow a dream. Ever since I graduated from Stanford University, I had always wanted to start a company. As a former investment banker in Silicon Valley, I advised large and fast growing technology and software companies. Many of these companies were at the forefront of the technology revolution but were challenged to consistently find talented software engineers to build and maintain their software products. So I thought: if these companies had trouble finding great talent, wouldn’t it be true for other businesses as well?
A belief system
Having met with 1000s of companies in my career, I had come to understand that there were a few things that I wanted to make sure were in place if I ever got the chance to start my own.
Have a core set of values that aligned to who I am and try to attract people who also shared those values.
For us our core values boil down to honesty, collaboration, education and freedom. In the way we work and manage on a daily basis, we adhere to these core values. For our customers, we try to be as transparent as we can possibly be. We charge by the hour. We do this so the client can see down to the minute what anyone from Azumo is doing on their project. We track and measure our own productivity and hold ourselves accountable first. I have always believed that education is the secret to opportunity. Everyone at Azumo is given the chance to expand beyond their comfort zone and take on course work and engagements that can expand their skills. After all we are technology providers and technology doesn’t standstill so neither should our skills as a technology company. Last is freedom, which is the bedrock foundation for any people based business. Without freedom their is no opportunity to act on curiosity or take risks.
Talent is born everywhere.
Sadly many people do not get the opportunity to express their talents because of their life circumstances – much of it is beyond their own control. This understanding comes from my own background and so that is why Azumo is a distributed company. We don’t offer software development services or cloud management services remotely because its cheaper. We do it because great developer talent is everywhere. Great sales people are everywhere. Fine managers are everywhere. If you can create a culture that allows these folks to work with each other you potentially could uncork a massive opportunity for each one of them. In our daily life we use Slack, Google Hangouts, Jira, and a bunch of other tools to communicate with each other internally. And we do the same with our clients each and every day.
Create a free and open environment for everyone in the company.
This realization was more recent, and came from a talk given by Oprah Winfrey. During the discussion she was asked how she manages her team and inspires them to work for her. Oprah’s response was perfect. She hires smart, motivated people and gives them the space to soar.
Traditional Services Vendor or
As a services provider, I also have to recognize that our market has bifurcated between marketplaces (like Upwork and others) and traditional services providers. After a lot of thinking I realized that I did not want to be a marketplace. Human beings and their time are not commodities. And while the freelance market offers individuals globally a chance to improve their lives to a degree – the lifestyle continues to introduce a tremendous amount of uncertainty into their lives. For instance a developer through one of the marketplaces could be paid well for their services for 6-8 months out of the year – but what about the rest of the time. Typically these folks find themselves looking for jobs the rest of the time creating stress and anxiety.
On our website you may have read the words “empathy for the developer.” The marketplaces treat developers hard earned skills as commodities and do nothing to differentiate one from the other to the customer. In other words the marketplaces present customers the choice of “here’s Developer A and Developer B … you choose who you like. Good luck with your project.” In no part of that transaction is there a relationship. Their is no empathy.
The traditional services providers have all grown based on an industrial age idea of organization. Essentially gather all your resources at a single site and produce widgets for delivery to market. That industrial age idea of production has worked for nearly 150 years. Most companies – even tech companies – still rely on this idea of the company to compete. But we live in a modern age, where we are digitally connected to each other. I can chat with you in just a few moments so long as we both have connectivity and power. We no longer have to organize ourselves in the same ways we did in the 1800s.
Talent is everywhere – and in the modern age we can connect with anyone anywhere in moments. We don’t have to sit around in rows of cubes or super-hip standup desks in an office to get things done or communicate anymore. We can work productively from anywhere. We can share ideas or brainstorm together from anywhere.
Azumo is a distributed company. We take advantage of the global base of energetic talent and the ubiquity of communications tools to create value for all of our stakeholders.
I believe that everyone at Azumo should share in the growth of the company. I want everyone on the team to have an owners mentality. So with that in mind, everyone at Azumo can earn a stake in the company. One of the great lessons from technology companies is that they recognized the risks they were asking of potential employees to join their fledgling start-ups. They issued equity as a way to compensate for possibly lower cash compensation and created an incentive for their workforces to work harder.
By creating a culture of ownership, we foster a perspective that this is more than just another job. Our team owns a piece of Azumo’s success and they will work like owners on their projects. I believe our owners mentality aligns us more closely to our customers’ goals.
Ok, Why Us?
Today, the confluence of data, cloud, mobility, and AI creates a remarkable range of opportunities for companies of all sizes. We built Azumo with the belief that companies like yours would choose to build intelligent applications. It’s the reason our team combines expertise in modern front-end technologies, data infrastructure, and machine learning. From a business perspective we believe in collaboration and true alignment with our customers. That belief extends to how we interact with you and how we think deeply about your challenges.
Hopefully through our website and speaking with us, you gather that we believe you can build a scalable, flexible,
cost-effective solution. A solution that not only modernizes your technology stack but also enables you to create a clear technical competitive advantage, from which both you and your customers can benefit.
We may not be the best fit for you and your current needs but regardless of where you are in your technical journey maybe we can connect and start a conversation.