How I left a good company and started Clear Measure, Inc.

At the beginning of 2013, I founded a new company with a partner.  For the last year, I was the President/COO of a software consulting firm in Austin.  That company continues to do quite well.  I have broadened my focus a bit in order to provide “one click” experiences for clients

clearmeasure300We have defined Clear Measure, Inc., as a full-service custom software company.  In my  experience, executives of companies don’t want to spend time talking to vendors about the nuts and bolts of the custom software.  They just want it to work.  Developing new software systems is part of this lifecycle of services, but it is just one part of the picture.  Custom software systems live a long life.  In fact, some of our first customers are companies with existing systems that need a little bit of TLC.  They don’t need development right out of the gate.  One needs a hardware migration.  One needs a system upgrade.  These are all parts of custom software, so I’ve turned my attention to moving up-level and serving executives directly.

I had a great time there.  I helped the company grow from 5 people in 2007 to over 30 at the end of 2012.  And just this past year along, I was really proud to be a part of two “Best Place to Work” awards as well as the 67% year over year growth.

I also learned a lot while growing the company.  Initially, I was the only one doing recruiting.  Most of the people there, I personally recruited (so I know they are good!).  This past year, while finishing my MBA at the Jack Welch Management Institute, I worked on managing the company, from a new facilities build-out, to the finances, to sales & marketing (which I never really got good at).  I really enjoyed having a hand in growing and running the company.  And I really enjoyed working with the people.  Prior to jumping into the management parts, I was out in the field doing a lot of project leadership, agile consulting, and agile developer training.  I did quite a few software and departmental audits and assessments.  I missed all the hands-on work with the clients.  I have now taken this opportunity to start a new company and leverage my experience, my MBA perspective, and a market that I see changing rapidly.  My !wife asked quite a few questions because I was coming to this conclusion right as our third child was being born!  God has always provided before, and He will continue to.

I met my new business partner, Mark Stavrou, at a church function, and we have gotten to know each other pretty well over the last year or so.  He is a great compliment to my skills.  He has 20 years of experience in all kinds of sales & marketing, the last few in database performance tuning services.  Our business has taken off really fast, and now we are presented with the challenge of knowing how fast and how much to hire.

We don’t have everything figured out, but I thought I would share with everyone the change.  We are excited to see what the future holds.  As I update all my social media and Internet presences, I realize just how much I have scattered around.  It will probably be a while before I can find every old bio and get it updated.

If any of you have any questions, I’d love to try to answer them.  I appreciate the well-wishes from those of you who saw me update my LinkedIn profile.

If you are seeing this on the web, you can subscribe to my feed here.  I’m also on twitter: @jeffreypalermo

Comments

StarTrekRedneck said on 2.17.2013 at 11:04 PM

Having worked in custom software for many years now, I completely agree about the execs wanting it to just work and not having time to worry about the nuts and bolts. The big value add comes from knowing the execs' businesses nearly as well as they do. One very demanding and successful executive bluntly asked, "Why don't you know that?" As tough as that sounds, researching your users' needs to such an extent really helps identify requirements without pumping impatient executives for all the small details. In the end, my personal goal is to make the computer disappear to the users, freeing them to focus on the business at hand.

Congratulations on this new adventure, and on your third child!, and on keeping your heart centered on God.

George John said on 2.18.2013 at 10:26 AM

Good luck on your new endeavor.