Yesterday I wrote about writing a book during quarantine. I said:
In one of my projects (more on that tomorrow) I found a need to write this ebook.
Many years ago I met a couple of guys through our home school community who bought a company. I liked both of them as humans and we became friends. It helped that our wives were all friends, too.
I watched them buy and work on this business and secretly wished I could be a part of it. I saw potential in both of these guys, and was impressed by their work ethic, passion, and technical ability, and of course the potential with their product.
The timing was never right, though. They had some stuff to do before they would be ready for me and I had some work to do before I’d be ready to join them.
Last Spring I was chatting with Eli about the company and said “you know, I’m still interested in investing and joining as an owner.” And he was like “Really?”
A few months later I became an equity owner in Snowfly.com. I don’t have a full-time role, but I do contribute in a few things here and there. I think my most valuable contribution is meeting regularly with Eli, who runs the company, and “coaching” him. I use the word “coaching” lightly because I’m not a trained coach. But our conversations are, imo, enriching.
In addition to that I have a few tasks I manage (including writing for the Snowfly blog, some marketing, participating on a UX redesign team, sales strategy, etc.). Stuff I’m pretty comfortable with. The eBook I wrote was one of those marketing tasks. It wasn’t assigned to me… but it was a great idea that needed to become an eBook.
I’m also on the Board, which is a role I enjoy. I think this is the 3rd board of a business I’ve been on.
What is Snowfly?
Snowfly is a software company that helps companies improve positive cultures with incentives and rewards. That’s probably the 30,000 perspective. They are actually pioneers in the incentives space, having been founded in the nineteen hundreds, and based on principles of behavior change. They are ingenuitive with their application of gamification (huh? Still huh?), and because of their diverse customer base they have created some wicked cool tools. What’s more, the team is fanatical about improving culture, employee performance, employee satisfaction, and working with organizational leaders to improve KPIs and other business metrics.
Right around the time I started seriously talking with them they were creating a new speech and text analytics system that allows a call center (for example) take recorded calls analyze them. This gives management great insight into what is happening on calls so proper training can be put in place. The impact of this insight is astounding. Imagine how you could improve a collection company’s call center? Better calls, better training, more clear expectations, and correcting problems (which could result in very expensive fines) immediately…? That should provide a better customer experience. Same thing with Sales… imagine a sales manager knowing exactly what’s going on, and what the best (and worst) performers are saying on the phone. This can help guide training (do more of what the best person is doing, and less of what the worst person is doing!) and result in immediate results.
The right team. The right products. And plenty of opportunity to improve on multiple fronts. Sounds like a fun opportunity!
What about JibberJobber?
This doesn’t change anything for JibberJobber. We continue to work vigorously on JibberJobber, and have some big enhancements coming down the pipeline. I am also still working on my Pluralsight courses, and super excited about being able to work at various levels of improving careers (from finding a job (JibberJobber and the Job Search Program) to working with companies to make a better culture and place employees want to work and bring their best (Snowfly) to helping individuals improve their soft skills with professional development and communication courses (Pluralsight)… I’m busy.
But I’m having, as the song goes, the time of my life.
Here’s the reality: I’m no spring chicken.
If I’m going to do fun things, now is the time.
What’s in my future?
I’d love to find a company that wants to buy JibberJobber. There, I said it. A company like The Muse, who has done fantastic things in the job search space. They are progressive and have added a lot of value to the job search conversation. But I could also see a job board like Indeed, Monster, CareerBuilder, Dice needing something like JibberJobber. I could also see one of the big outplacement companies adding JibberJobber to their toolset for job seekers. Until the right offer comes along I will continue to build, support, maintain JibberJobber. There are too many people who have accounts that rely on it, and us, and me. I’m not going anywhere or doing anything with JibberJobber until it is right for my users.
I hope to do a few more Pluralsight courses. This will depend on their direction. I already took a 2.5 year break, but have loved getting back into it after I left my last day job. Did I say a few more? I meant a few dozen more :p
I feel like I’m at a really good point in my career, and I’m able to really enjoy what I’m doing. I hope I get to do this stuff for a long time… contributing and sharing in many ways.