Two years in the life of a start up
As posted on LinkedIn
It is somewhat strange to say “start-up” when combined, Pierre and I have been at the IT game for more than 45 years. We are more passionate than ever about what we do.
About 4 years ago, Pierre and I were working for the same enterprise software vendor. We worked so well and comfortably together with customers. I led the business end of things and Pierre the technical.
Customers trusted us, they believed that we had their interest at heart and they saw how hard we worked for them to make them successful. It was not always possible, but our customer knew that we turned over every stone, asked all the questions of our employer and pushed as much as we could to help.
At the end of one very frustrating week, Pierre and I ended up having an open conversation and said to each other, if we ever decided to leave, we should do something together. That was two years before we actually did. Nothing changed in that time, we remained a formidable team and we were champions of practicality and the obvious at work. Sometimes that was valued and at other times, we were viewed as disruptive but it was always our truth put forward. That too has not changed.
In late 2013 we decided it was time to go out on our own. We had both been working for enterprise software companies for a long time, at all levels of the organization, and had also worked as independents. We had seen all sides of IT and knew that what we wanted to do at this point in our careers was to focus on really helping clients. We wanted to cut through the script and really help clients see the truth in their current state, filtered by their capability and capacity to actually progress and then help them actually make progress. Wow, what a concept! This is RAPA.
I am so proud of our choice to take a massive risk.
Between our two families, we have 6 children, all of whom are still in school, two of whom are in university. But we still took the risk because we believed so fundamentally in the market need for unbiased support in facing the daunting and expense task of managing IT.
Thank you to everyone who believed in what we were doing as we took the steps to do it. Thank you to our early customers who took a leap of faith that we would survive. Thank you to our incredible team who are so smart, humble, passionate and client centered. Thank you to our advisors who have provided sound advice. Thank you to our community of professional friends who we have had a great time working with in the last two years.
2016 is looking terrific!
Our core practice of helping clients make progress in complex areas of IT will never change. At the same time we are working on some cool stuff that will continue to represent the voice or reality and practicality in a market that is far too full of “ideal” outcomes that are “unrealistic” in a typical IT environment that is full of silos and is challenged to implement change.
RAPA’s place is in the grey space that is difficult to navigate… that space between business IT and technical IT. It’s difficult work and we love the challenge! In two years we have delivered every monthly milestone on time and every project on, or below, budget.
As a start-up… it’s been a great two years!
Wishing you all the best in 2016.