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My Journey to Cogmotive

19 Jan 2016 by Doug Davis

I was an anomaly in the software business, beavering away year after year with the same organization. The name on the sign hung outside may have changed, but the people and products certainly didn’t and we were successful and it was fun. 5 years became 10, then 15, edging towards 20 and it was very plausible that I would retire within that organization. Something unheard of when in high tech most changed companies every 3-5 years it seems.
There is a scene in Star Trek II, the Wrath of Khan (still the best of the Treks movies IMHO) where Spock reminds Kirk that being a starship Captain was his natural destiny.
“Commanding a Starship is your first best destiny. Anything else is a waste of material.”
For me being a Product Manager was my best destiny. The products changed, but the approach and yes the joy of getting a product out to market and being successful was always there, and I was happy.
Then in October I left that company. What changed?
It is often hard to conceptualize the impact of Cloud on the people behind the scenes. It’s a fascinating world of science and art where you compete on a daily basis in a frantic race for customer’s hearts and minds. The developers and product managers and marketing folks worked their hardest to continue a path of success that has worked for so long. Nothing should have changed, the needs of the customers were the same, the product still provided value. But cloud really is different. It’s different on how you develop tools, how you market them, how they are consumed. And it’s really hard to embrace that change by throwing out all that you worked so hard for in the past, to admit what works no longer works. And that takes time and the cloud waits for no one.
I really wanted to be part of that new wave. In time the cloud will come to my old employer, and they certainly have the people and resources to get there, but I wanted to be closer to the companies that are there today.
And that brought me to Cogmotive in December of last year. I met Alan and Dan a few years back over supper in London. It was one of those meetings where you say to yourself “Wow..these guys get it” and “I have to find a way to work with these folks”. We kept in touch and when I was ready to move on they were very gracious and I think, excited, to see what we could do together.
That was a mere couple of months ago and it has been a great ride already. The adventure of opening up the North American office, hiring our staff there, and getting down to the business of bringing Cogmotive’s vision to our growing customer base has reinvigorated me to a level I didn’t expect. I had this sensation when I joined a plucky band of folks back in 1997 with FastLane, and its great to feel it again.
I was ready for the cloud, and I think it’s ready for me too.