Building the Business vs. Making the Quarter

This is number One of our series where we share Heartwood’s founding principles. 

When Neil Wadhawan and I started Heartwood, we defined our top three responsibilities as setting the company’s Vision, Strategy, and Culture. We knew we needed to drill down further to really make things work though, so we created a list of founding principles that captured the shared values to which we could hold ourselves – and our team – accountable.

Over the years, as both the company and its people have evolved, we refine this list and treat it as our team of Guiding Sherpas – one that is never complete and always changing. Here they are:

# 1 Building the Business vs. Making the Quarter
# 2 Autonomy, Accountability, Purpose
# 3 Experimentation beats perfection
# 4 Being Kind instead of Right
# 5 First Make, then Master, then Matter
# 6 Pursuit of Optimism
# 7 When we Win alone, we Lose
# 8 Eulogy Virtues (this is close to the heart and personal but will post at some point. If really curious, reach out!)

In this post, we’ll speak to the first principle. Later posts in this series will expand on the others.

#1 Building the Business vs. Making the Quarter

In an enlightening interview, the founder of ESRI Jack Dangermond talks about the choice of staying independent, and as a result, the freedom granted by that choice. When an enterprise is free from the burden of investors and stockholders, a delightful consequence occurs. They focus fully, solely, on just one thing – what their customers want. We couldn’t agree more. (Read the full except here)

“The thing is, a customer is never out of warranty, even if his product is. Think lifetime, all the time.”

In any business, there are many forks in the road and daily decisions to be made. Some are simple, some not so much. Here are some real examples within Heartwood:

Should we add an extra, needed feature, even though the customer has neither requested nor paid for it?
Should we negotiate a vendor down further, knowing they will ultimately give in to a lower price?
Should we buy that beast of a computing server that will make development efficient and much more importantly, a pleasurable experience for our team?

These may seem like leading questions (some with obvious answers), but giving in to the temptation of making decisions based on the next few months or quarters is, in our experience, a mistake. Instead every time we decide looking much ahead, we focus solely on the outcome of a happier customer, excited vendor, and thankful production team – and we have THRIVED.

Albeit, we have a smaller ‘P’ in that quarter’s P&L statement, but we’re a thriving, exhilarated company. And isn’t THAT the kind of company you would want to do business with or work for?

Learn more about Heartwood here and reach out with any questions. We’re always happy to help!