Expertise for Hire

I don’t normally talk business here, but decided to make today “New Business Tuesday”. Please excuse the crass, clumsy salesmanship.

With the recent addition of two new yafla Inc. peers, and as I personally wrap up a set of mobile apps (which I’ll find a way to surreptitiously sell on here) and free myself up, there is some professional hour availability that I’m going to take a moment to pitch to my readership.

Expertise and implementation excellence that can be your guns for hire. Your tactical edge against your competitors. The solution for your implementation or operational ailments: Whether it’s building a full-stack .net web app, or an AngularJS web solution against golang; unique nginx setups; a secure, high performance and scalable storage platform on SQL Server/Oracle/MySQL Cluster/Neo4j/etc; a cloud computing platform and strategy; a data transfer system or hook into web services across a mix of heterogeneous platforms; integrated social media authentication; back-end processing platforms for financial platforms, with the highest performance calculation system you’ve ever experienced; security analysis and auditing; pretty much anything.

yafla Inc. can do it. We can do it really well.

The process of providing these solutions that endure begins with a simple discussion and some planning, and then where appropriate a mock implementation, so the risk for those who hold any doubts is minimal, those worries quickly erased. Success quickly achieved, people held as heroes of the organization for bringing in our expertise.

But let’s take a moment and look at the way many businesses operate today, a situation largely unchanged from how it was done decades if not centuries ago, despite a completely different work, career, communications and skills profile mix.

You rent some office space with a plan for the industry you’re going to target. You fill the chairs with ideally cheap hires, choosing the mix of expertise you think you’ll need to succeed, everyone fitting into specific roles.

Before long, success is measured by head count, the productivity and motivation per person perilously dropping with each addition, scope of responsibility continually narrowing.

Overhead grows, competitiveness diminishes.

A theoretical software shop in such a scenario might have the girl who does the database things. The guy in charge of the scripts. The person who manages the change management engine. The guy who writes the business layer. The Visual Basic guy who wrote the Winforms application. The person who manages that WCF service.

When they add a mobile app, an iOS developer is hired, and maybe the Visual Basic guy is fired.

Everyone fitting in narrow slots, presumed to be loyal and trustworthy and of aligned interests because they are full time employees. Their contribution primarily measured by attendance, their primary motivation to find ways to make whatever is their domain grow in scope until it fills their days and bolsters their importance. Their skills wither, their motivation and interest dies.

Pretty soon you have various levels of managers, each valued for the headcount that they sit atop, each fighting to grow whatever it is their department does.

The primary motivation towards growth continues, the company categorized and measured by the seats warmed.

The accumulation of solutions no longer relevant or beneficial begins, ancient code and approaches logged as assets like the old photocopier, the business velocity dragged down by growing cruft and baggage, everything hanging like a Frankenstein off of those original mistakes lest they reveal that it was a sunk cost. Stagnation occurs, everyone passing the buck and putting in the hours, avoiding touching the tenuous tentacles of legacy solutions, processes and code.

Profits plunge and the C-level rotates. The new hires decide to shake things up by bringing in external consultants from a Big n Consulting company.

Various expensive dinners happen. Golf trips in remote locations. Box seats at sports events. A contract is signed.

That consulting company hires the cheapest possible resources they can procure, usually fresh grads who are filtered for salesmanship (soft skills, where ensuring a continued consulting role is the emphasized trait), but then bill them at an enormous premium.

The consultants reign supreme over the in-house denizens, aggressively utilized as weapons of mass destruction against the in-house employees.

Eventually the in-house cruft is tossed, an obvious decision that simply needed someone not involved in empire hoarding to make, an external solution from a new, agile company brought in instead.

Many employees are let go, their skillset no longer marketable or relevant, having spent years doing some menial but grandiose sounding task.

The consulting relationship sours, to be repeated again in a few years with n+1 Consulting company. The stagnation and infighting continues.

Such is the life cycle of many if not most businesses. It is a fundamentally broken process, readily apparent to any and all, but it’s a farcical dance that the industry engages in, to the detriment of all.

These aren’t the businesses that yafla Inc. serves. We have no delusions about that.

We aren’t going to participate in graft. We aren’t going to buy playoff tickets for business contacts to cement a deal. We aren’t going to fight to be on the approved vendor list someone closely guards.

Those are not our target market. One day, when we’re rotund and lazy from success, maybe I’ll sing a different tune, but for now we won’t pretend to serve that market.

Instead we serve the businesses that haven’t made those mistakes yet: Small to mid-sized businesses that remain agile, with intelligent, open-minded participants who value success above all else, adapting and planning for a very different world.

The hedge fund manager that just needs to securely and speedily integrate with an external partner or setup a customized, industry specific CRM, but they don’t have enough need for a large in-house development team, and they don’t want to grow the headcount every time a random spike in need occurs.

The engineering shop that is building some cool new device and needs a prototype software solution. The web development team that needs an advanced database solution but already has their plates full building out their presentation layer. The mobile team that is building the best iOS app and just needs an assist on the service layer. The startup that just got funding and needs to accelerate an initiative.

I (nor the people I engage in this venture) don’t want to be your employee. I don’t want to relocate to the Valley, and have turned down offers to do so (though I never say never, I love where I live and have made this location work pretty well for me). But I do want to bring you fantastic solutions that will blow you and your peers away, enriching myself and my associates in the process.

Our primary contacts are almost always smart people in decision making or highly influential positions, often in technical fields. And they’re people who want to succeed. Where proxies for success like headcount are marginalized. The people who are building the businesses that will put those traditional organizations out of business.

And that happens to make up a big part of my readership.

So, and this is for purely selfish reasons, I am appealing to you, dear reader. Consider this relationship. Consider something different from the ordinary. Whether you’re in Toronto, Canada, San Francisco, New York, Europe, or the Far East: If you’re located on planet Earth, we can make it happen to our mutual benefit.

Drop me a line (dforbes@yafla.com — my PGP key is available on the PGP.com server for those who utilize it), or give me a call (905-220-1098) with any questions you might have and to discuss availability.

It will be the beginning of a great relationship.