A while back a production crew was in the office to shoot some interview footage for a Track-It! promotional video. They were extremely professional and I was very impressed with all of their personnel as they made it a very pleasant experience. When it was my turn, I went into my normal interview mode where I was trying to touch on certain things when answering the questions. In that situation, there is no way that I will remember my answers even five minutes after they turn the cameras off. It's not like I'm used to being interviewed, though I've given my fair share of them through the years - but not nearly enough to be completely comfortable in front of the camera.
A few days later, I got an email with a link to a short video clip with the portions of each of our interview that they were going to use for the video. I watched it and was pretty pleased with how it turned out, but I was especially struck by one phrase that I used in response to a question regarding how we interact with our customers. In the middle of my answer, I paused for a moment and then continued with, "This is our baby..." Our baby?
I'm the proud father of an amazing little 7 year old girl. She is the apple of my eye and she wows me every single day with her sense of humor and intelligence. But I still remember vividly not so long ago when she was a diaper-wearing, screaming little ball of fury. I remember the late nights spent changing diapers, feeding her bottles at 2 am and cleaning up messes that had no business being made in the first place. At the time, I would've much preferred to head back to bed to get some sleep, but that was simply not an option.
Is Track-It! our baby?
Well, I remember plenty of late nights trying to solve problems or design components properly so that it would be easily maintainable in the years ahead. I remember being in countless meetings where we fought for our point of view because we cared deeply about the product and the direction we wanted to take it. I remember sitting in interviews where potential new co-workers nervously answered questions so we could gauge how well they would fit into the great team we had assembled. I remember thinking more than once that implementing a particular feature was a daunting task and that we needed to hit a home run for our customers with it.
So, yeah - looking back on those days and all of the hard work that we've put in collectively to put out the best software that we possibly can... Track-It! is our baby. We've watched it grow and mature into a very successful product in this market. I'm as proud of the team as any Papa could be and I'm always proud to read glowing feedback from customers, writers or reviewers. I like demoing and talking about Track-It! to prospective customers just like I enjoy showing pictures of my daughter to other people. In fact, I just got a visit from our practice leader of Training while writing this and ended up showing her a few pictures of my daughter in addition to our quick Track-It! discussion. I gave her some exciting news about an upcoming Track-It! release and she was as fired up about the news as she was seeing the pictures, I think.
It's not hard to think about your product this way - we spend so much time thinking about work in this day and age that it becomes a part of our lives. In essence, we are all part of the Track-It! family and we care about the direction of the product very deeply. And that level of caring extends into every facet of our work day as we seek the stability, usability and performance in Track-It! that our customers demand.
Thankfully, these days we're on manageable project schedules and there aren't many 2 am feedings going on for Track-It! But sometimes it's nice to think in those terms just to remind us of how far we've come and just where we are heading. We've just released Beta 2 of the new version of Track-It! and we would love to have to be a part of it. Just visit the BMC Track-It! Community to join in all the fun and see what's coming up around the bend.
Maybe I'll just have to start showing friends and family screen shots of our Track-It! baby along with pictures of my daughter. They won't think that's weird... will they?