SRT Solutions awarded Inc 500 / 5000 fastest growing firms

SRT Solutions is thrilled to be named to the 2011 Inc 500/5000 Fastest Growing companies in America. We’re #1901, to be exact. In particular, we’re the fastest growing software company in Michigan.

Before I write anything more on this subject, I need to share an anecdote about my attitude toward awards like this. Harvey Penick tells about one time when he was preparing a talk for a national convention of golf pros.  He asked his wife, “Of all the great teachers, they have chosen me to give this talk. How many great teachers do you suppose will be there?”  She replied, “I don’t know how many great teachers will be there. But it’s probably one less than you think.” Instant Humility.

It’s important to keep perspective, understanding that this is the result of a long series of events.

There are a large number of people involved to make this happen. Dianne Marsh and I started this company in 1999, as a two person consultancy. It’s now quite a different company, with a great team of developers that keep us thinking about new technology every day. We set out to create the company we wanted to work at.

We likely benefitted from never having run a company before. First and foremost, unlike many other companies, Dianne Marsh and I work very collaboratively, rather than splitting duties as co-owners. We both have strong technical backgrounds, with some shared technologies, and some technologies that have interested one or the other of us more.  We’ve both had to grow into the roles of running a company, and managing a group of really talented developers. We’ve also had to learn the skills of running all facets of a company, from marketing and sales, to budgets to people and all those other tasks that aren’t creating software. All the way along, we’ve focused on keeping the company culture a place where we have fun building great software. Most importantly, we’ve tried to help each other grow and get better for our company.

To build this company, we’ve worked hard to recruit and retain a team of incredibly talented and motivated software developers. We’ve had 4 developers recognized as MVPs since they joined our company. We’ve had developers grow as writers and be published in magazines like MSDN, Visual Studio Magazine, or CODE magazine. Several developers has spoken at different user groups, and community and major conferences. They’ve built open source applications, libraries, samples, and great software demos. Look around the SRT website and blogs, and you’ll see examples of some of the great things these people have created. Our success, including making the Inc 500 list, is due in large part to all of them. Their contributions, attitude, professionalism, and patience with everything the last several years have brought continues to amaze Dianne and me.

As we’ve been on this journey, both Dianne and I have groups of people that we work with that have been great friends and colleagues along this journey. In my case, the group of Microsoft Regional Directors have been invaluable as friends and colleagues. They are super smart technical people that also have high level business responsibilities.  Having a group of peers like them to discuss ideas and learn from has been instrumental in navigating how my role in the company has changed, the changing technology landscape, and the evolving position SRT Solutions has in this environment.

The Inc 5000 is a big list, and I want to mention some other facts about the list to highlight some of the positives about Michigan’s business climate. I’m sure you’ve heard many of the economic challenges our state has faced in the last few years. You may be surprised to learn that more than 100 Michigan companies made the list. Many of them (like us) had more than 100% growth over the past three years. I’m also going to pay special attention to the Software companies in Michigan. I’ve blogged before about how much the software industry can help transform Michigan’s economy. These companies are growing very quickly, and adding jobs. Finally, I’m going to single out TechSmith, because they make Camtasia, and I’m sure they are familiar to most of my readers. (And, they are just up the road a ways).  Of course, they rock, and their community contributions are an inspiration to the rest of us.

I’m going to close with a quote from a friend when I mentioned this announcement in email:

You are normally so quiet and modest about your company, I really had no idea.  But I suppose that's part of your success...focusing on the business quietly and earnestly.

Despite this post, I hope to continue doing just that. Hopefully that continues the success we’ve been lucky enough to enjoy so far.

Created: 8/24/2011 1:10:59 AM

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