This weekend I noticed I hadn’t updated the bio on my blog. It’s a one letter change, from COO to CEO, but there’s a lot tied up in that letter. When I started at OmniTI I would never guessed that I would end up here. All I was looking for was Bigger and Badder Postgres challenges to work on. But maybe I should have seen it coming.
One of the driving factors in my career has been my desire to work on the most important part of whatever it was I was working on. Early on this lead me to web development as a means to share knowledge between team members. After awhile, I came to the conclusion that Usability and Front End web work were the most important; those were the areas that directly impacted customer/users, and was more important than the quality of the code or the systems running things on. Get that wrong and nothing else matters. Eventually I ended up doing a 180 and started focusing on databases. It wasn’t that the database was important, but the data inside those systems was the thing I determined was the most important thing for a business. You can always replace your front end, your application code, even the servers themselves, but lose the customer data, and your done.
As time went by, my thoughts changed here as well. I still think data is the one thing that is irreplaceable, but as time went on, eventually I sought out larger challenges and more responsibility. When Theo and I discussed taking the COO role 2 years ago, I had recognized that we needed someone who could work across the different groups within OmniTI and help people to achieve thier goals. It was an area I thought I could have some impact, so I stepped into the role. At the time I didn’t worry about the next step, but if you think about this philosophy of taking on the most important work, and take it to it’s natural consequence, the role of CEO should have been more obvious. Maybe not at OmniTI, but at some point it was bound to happen.