Unosquare: Jim, living in Arizona… what are your thoughts about dog sweaters?
Jim: As a general rule, dog sweaters are one of those unnecessary things in life that create unnecessary work; wash the dog, not the dog's sweater. In Arizona, it's simply absurd for a dog to have a sweater; unless it's football season... then of course, a Chicago Bears sweater is completely appropriate canine attire.
Was your college GPA a good indicator of your future success?
I'm taking the long view on that question. Future success, by it's very nature, hasn't happened yet, but I promise to get back to you on that ;-) How did you meet your wife?
It was love at first sight. I saw her across a crowded hall, and asked my friend, "who's that girl?". The next thing I knew, we were a couple. That lasted until 6th period when I saw her on the back of Tom Rupke's bike and my friend said, "I guess you just broke up." The other guy was an 8th grader and I was only in 7th grade, so I knew it was over... at least for a time. I persevered, and we recently celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary.
Why did you decide to join Unosquare?
With an IT background spanning over 25 years, I've worked for large corporate entities as well as smaller, nimble companies and I've reached the conclusion that large or small, it's always about people and working together to delight the client. Unosquare provides me an opportunity to listen to client challenges and to working creatively with a high energy, motivated team of professionals that share my passion for solving problems and delivering beyond expectations. That said, I also love the sense of humor of the people I work with; I genuinely look forward to bringing clients to Guadalajara so they can experience the same.
What is the client project/deal you are most proud of in your career?
The axiom "hardship is the pathway to peace" relates directly to one of the projects I look back on with pride. I provided a client with a solution to migrate one of their largest end customer's (a large hotel chain) over to an entirely new system/provider supporting their mission critical rates, availability and reservations. We were thrown a curve when the end customer (our client's customer) was mandated by their new ownership to complete the migration ahead of an already tight schedule, and also made it clear that there would be no excuses or second chances. Our client was in a tough spot and so were we. We faced some initial catastrophic and game ending (so it seemed at the time) performance issues with the project. We reorganized the team, installed a new project leader more suited to the unique challenges, and with real teamwork, great communication, rigorous honesty, and a complete commitment to satisfying the end customer, we succeeded in delivering our project on time and on budget (that last part was close to a miracle). Living up to promises and commitments is something that gives me pride and is another reason I joined Unosquare; from interviewing our own client's, I've concluded that this is a shared company value.
Do you ever open and read email newsletters?
I do... Every day, I set aside time to review a variety of articles, posts, news feeds, and editorials related to our industry. While I am fond of a couple of the consolidated feeds, I also take the time to review tightly focused newsletters since they are authored by individuals completely immersed in their subject matter. I enjoy frank analysis and I especially enjoy when businesses are able to describe how IT fits into their particular value chain.
What is the dumbest thing you ever did as a kid?
This question took a disturbingly long time to answer; too many choices... I do remember a time when I was eight and my friend Scott Anderson and I decided to build a treehouse. There was one troublesome branch in the way of our "sky fort" so I started to saw it off. I was in an awkward position so I had to saw from the bottom up. I was almost done and to get a better angle for that last little bit, I grabbed a branch and swung to the other side. Problem was, it was the branch I was sawing. Down I tumbled, breaking other branches along the way and just as I was about to hit the ground, my leg was impaled on a broken branch. I hung there like a rag doll. Thirty seven stitches later and an ice cream cone in hand, the only thing I was thinking about was how cool our fort was going to be.
Best job? Worst job?
One of the best jobs I had prior to joining Unosquare was as a health instructor for a Nautilus Fitness Center in Chicago. The machines were a new phenomenon at the time and our clientele included players from the Bears, Notre Dame, Purdue, and other top schools. Much of my focus was on rehab and recovery and I loved getting guys back in top performance condition. The worst job was with Pioneer Screw and Nut. I assembled plastic parts of all kinds in a humdrum, mindlessly repetitive, time dragging, and mind numbing job. My mom helped me get that job (she worked in the front office). I think she had a hidden strategy there.
Welcome to the team Jim!