Spring represents a time of change. Not content with simply watching the return of grass and flowers as temperatures warm and the snow melts, I decided that I needed bigger change.
Or perhaps more accurately, change decided to find me. Sometimes the right path is so obvious that one must simply follow it.
Here’s the story.
A Little History
It begins about eight years ago when we hired Steve Bracy to run CustomScoop on a day-to-day basis. We were looking to turn it into a “real” company after running for about 3 years as what we half-joking called “Ham and Egg, Inc.” Before we founded CustomScoop, none of us had real business management experience. Other than our own solo consulting shops, we had not had to figure out the ins and outs of operating and managing a small business.
We were fortunate to know Steve through a good friend of ours, Jesse Devitte. At the time, Jesse was running a firm that invested in high-tech startups and Steve worked with him to identify and assist young companies in becoming successful. We felt fortunate to be able to poach Steve and bring him in to apply those lessons to CustomScoop.
Fast forward eight years, and CustomScoop has indeed graduated into being a real business. In the purest since, it is no longer a startup. Indeed, it is a strong business with over a decade of consistently delivering profits.
Now, Steve will be headed on to a new challenge. He had an opportunity to join a venture-backed firm with a focus on developing software in the architecture and engineering space – an industry that Steve has a lot of experience in himself.
While we are disappointed to see Steve go, we certainly understand the desire for new and different challenges.
What Change Means for Me
With Steve’s departure, the solution was glaringly obvious to my partners and me. The time is right for me to return to CustomScoop. It’s one of those moments where there’s a bright glowing neon sign with an arrow pointed in a particular direction. So that’s where I’m headed.
It’s not without some hesitation, of course. I have enjoyed my role over the past couple of years in helping to build out a strong digital communications team at DCI Group, a global public affairs firm in Washington, DC. My team and the firm as a whole are full of smart, energetic, friendly people that I find it a pleasure to work with.
I will miss my daily interaction with all of them, but I take some solace in the knowledge that I will continue to consult with them on a part-time basis to help ensure the continued success of DCI Digital. In the meantime, DCI has begun a search for a new Chief Digital Officer who I am confident will be able to join an already strong team and make it even stronger.
Personally, there will be benefits to my new (old) role at the helm of CustomScoop. My travel schedule over the past two years could most accurately be described as insane, with near-weekly trips to DC plus plenty of treks to other cities. Since I will now be based where I live, the travel should lessen considerably, though past experience suggests I will still be on the road about 100 days a year (but that’s less than half of what I have been doing of late – so a major improvement).
I’m bullish about the future of CustomScoop. As a serial entrepreneur, I’m not content to make the trains run on time and enjoy the fruits of success. The current media monitoring and public relations software space is at a very interesting stage in its lifecycle, and I believe there are a lot of opportunities for CustomScoop to demonstrate continued leadership and renewed innovation.
At the moment, I’m very much in listening and (re)learning mode as I work to get up-to-speed on the intricacies of CustomScoop’s daily operations. As someone who has assumed more of a board member role for a while now, there’s plenty to absorb as I take a deeper dive.
After I rejoin CustomScoop full-time on May 1, the team there and I will work together to refine the future vision. We’ll figure out how best to use my talents. Things will obviously be different from when Steve ran CustomScoop because our skills and experience are dissimilar. Ultimately, neither background is better than the other, but I generally believe that change is a good thing.
The only certainty today is that there will be change. The future will tell us how it unfolds.