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Soundbyte 156: Street Spirit

25 August 2014

Street Spirit

This week another classic song with a twist. I hope you’ve hit play by now. One of the most beautiful songs and video clips, Street Spirit by Radiohead, with images that are dramatically filmed and lit and a melody that is very pleasing to the ear. At the same time, the song is about a dark tunnel, with no light at the end. The song is so sad, that Radiohead often has reservations about playing it at all.

Being the best

One of the statements in our strategy document is that we want to be the best at what we do. By itself that is already quite a bold statement, as wanting to be the best at something usually means lots of hard work and dedication. The strategy then goes on and states we also want to be empathic, and team players. Now this is an interesting observation, because you could argue that being empathic and a team player cannot be combined with an ambition to be the absolute best at something. There are many examples of this in all kinds of different sports. The Formula 1 race this weekend for example, where Rosberg and Hamilton, two team mates, ran into each other both on and off the track. Their battle for the world title has seen many incidents this season and it reminded me of an interview I saw a couple of weeks ago called Raw Racing, where Derek Warwick talks about his career in Formula 1.

The interview as a whole is well worth watching as it gives a lot of insights and background into the career of this former racing driver, but one passage (starting around 22:00) is very relevant to this story. He tells how Lotus, next to him, signed Ayrton Senna and how Senna did not want him on the team as having another good driver in the team would only distract the team, lessening his own chances of success. After reading all of this, one conclusion could be to say that in order to be the best, we should indeed be extremely selfish, acting only in our own interest and systematically getting rid of anything that is between us and being the best, but that would be so wrong. That is because what we do is first of all a team sport, so in order to be the best we need to forge a team that is well balanced. Furthermore, what we do is usually more complicated than sports, where the goals are very simple: you have to win by driving faster, scoring more points or something like that. Our goals tend to be more diverse, and often a trade-off between many factors. That means we need to find a balance, both with the people we work with in a team and with the software that we create with and for our customers. So yes, we indeed want to be the best and we can only reach that goal by being empathic, team players and by learning and sharing our knowledge.

End of Summer

We’re reaching the end of a beautiful summer, which is a good time to look back at the year so far and of course I’m looking specifically at Luminis Technologies. In the beginning of the year we were 8 people big and focussing mostly on our first joint-venture, PulseOn, and the open source development we were doing in Amdatu, Apache and INAETICS. Our business plans predicted a healthy and steady growth. Boy were we wrong! Early in the year it already became clear that a second joint-venture would require us to build another team at a somewhat faster pace than we anticipated and a few months later, early summertime, we were asked to help a foreign company transition their product to an Amdatu and OSGi based solution. So eight months later we have more than doubled the amount of projects we’re involved in. Other good news is that our reputation and presence at international conferences also meant that we had a very healthy number of requests from people from all over the world that would love to work with us. That means that by September 1st we have grown to 15 people, spanning no less than 4 different countries. With four more months to go I’m sure this will be a great year for Luminis!

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