How Valuemotive came to be
Recently some colleagues of mine asked me to write a short origin story of our company Valuemotive, including the reasons why the company was initially founded. I was also asked about the story behind the company name.
From the software developer career path to the entrepreneurship boat
I have a software developer background, having worked in that profession for almost 10 years during 1999–2007. I can still remember the excitement from my earliest developer working days of 1999 when the first versions of Java servlets and other cool new technologies had arrived at the web development scene.
During these 10 years I worked f.e. as a development consultant, in a CTO-team prototyping emerging technologies and also in international product development. I acquired quite a bit of experience from different working and organizational cultures, company lifecycle events, development processes, projects and technologies.
I never considered myself a too hasty job hopper, but I did have a rule for employer changes: The new career step should really challenge and raise the bar for learning and professional development — instead of just changing the names of the projects. Until spring of 2007 I was happy where my software developer career path had taken me. Then, during that same spring, something happened.
As an emerging big company strategic pattern for the time, the company I worked for started offshoring some of the product development. This included the product team I worked in. For our experienced and skilled R&D team this meant externalization to a new employer. For the first time in my life I got a feeling that my bar for continuous learning would not be raised with the changes to come.
The same spring of 2007 was the first time ever in my professional life when the thought of entrepreneurship entered my mind, even for a second. This spark of thought ultimately turned into a bigger fire and the next level to set the professional development bar. On the 5th of July 2007, Valuemotive was founded.
The story behind the company name
The question of the company name needs a further look back at my maturing software developer mind during early 2000.
When I initially started my developer career, there was much professional learning involved. I’m talking about the feeling most developers probably have when asked about their first ever pieces of professional code. After acquiring programming fluency I became attracted to the bigger picture of quality software architecture.
Working with customers during my professional years, I gradually became obsessed with elicitation and analysis of good if not perfect requirements. Any illusions of waterfall perfection were luckily balanced with a licence to use practical common sense introduced by the arrival of agile processes to software development back in 2003 or so.
Ultimately, gaining experience as a software development professional led me to better understanding of value-based requirement prioritization regardless of the communication process. I was getting more experienced in seeing how the changing situation of the business imposes constraints and choices between things like scope, costs, time and their tradeoffs.
I wanted the name of my company to remind myself of the changing value under the fluctuating conditions of the business. I called such a mindset “Valuemotive”.
It was along those lines how I introduced my new company to my former colleagues in my farewell letter in 2007. In the coming years, some of those former team members joined Valuemotive.
Starting the business
Valuemotive was founded in the summer of 2007, without too much strategic planning. As I was the only person in the new company, I started as an independent consultant. During the first few years of operation, our company grew from just myself to closer to ten people. I personally moved from customer consulting to the business development side of things.
Our initial sales channels included various networks of consultant brokers. Later on we acquired most projects via more established partnerships with some larger project houses. We also landed our first international direct end customer, for whom we built one of the most ambitious big data inspired SaaS platforms of its time.
Since these early years up to the very present day, one thing hasn’t changed. Our people’s customer-driven teamwork and efficient communication combined with their high skill-level has maintained our customer and partner reputation as one of the most trustworthy software development consulting companies.
Using data to point out new business opportunities for our customers
Peek at the present
The story of Valuemotive since founding has now lasted for more than 10 years. No year has been the same. Today we’re a company of roughly 20 people.
Our company exists to add value to the professional and personal lives of our people. Our highly-skilled teams add value to the business of our customer. We value collaboration based on trust. We share things with maximum transparency. We are first to speak up to help the team and our customer continuously improve.
Our values are tools for solving practical problems
Today our work consists of customer projects, company culture, strategy, sales, modern full-stack development, AI & NLP use cases, PoCs, MVPs, architecture & cloud consulting, business model development, B2B sales intelligence & ecosystem analytics, meetups, new customer acquisition, relationship building, recruitment, marketing, prospecting, service products, product services, process development, partner management and team hacking events. And relaxation in between. To list just a few things easily worth their own blog post.
I couldn’t be prouder of the great people and colleagues around me. For it is our people, their great work and constant challenging of us to improve as a company that will take us and our customers to the next level. Our company, in turn, needs to provide a platform for our people to constantly challenge themselves and pursue their career path as digital service professionals.
Our company is our people
Regardless of the occasionally unpredictable weather in the oceans of the business, every single working day with my Valuemotive colleagues and our customers adds to the greatest professional experience of my life.