ZEDO is About Winning by the Inches

I celebrated 5 years here at ZEDO on Sunday August 4th. I remember coming to ZEDO the first time and meeting Summer, then Joseph and finally  Roy, who was in India at the time.

During these past 5 years I have worked with some of the brightest people I have ever met in my lifetime.  Each of you adds so much to this company, our success each and every day. You should be very proud of the work we have done & will do in the days ahead.

But this is also a sad time for me because it was 6 months ago that Joseph was killed in a tragic accident in Missouri.

I am not writing for those of you who knew Joseph, as we all have our own memories.  I am writing  for me and for those of you who are new to ZEDO these past few months; sadly you will never have the opportunity to understand, appreciate and yes sometimes even fear who Joseph Jacob was.

One day while cleaning up the office I came across a copy of “Life at ZEDO” published July –August 2007. One of the articles was “Joseph shares his thoughts on work ethics” under the heading “Expert Zone”.  Joseph titled this piece “Winning by the Inches.”  I would like to share it with you now.

 

Expert Zone

Winning by the Inches

– Joseph Jacob

 

I wanted to write a clever article about optimizing code, freeing up resources when they are no longer needed, and the need to write elegant but simple precise code, but my heart was not in it. Writing good code is important and I would very much like to share my thoughts on it. But not today. The house must first be built on rock before we focus on the embellishments. Today, I would like to talk to you about more simple but at the same time much more important concepts.

 These concepts may be simple, but in the end it is the simple concepts that do you in. It has been my undoing sometimes, often at great personal cost. I wish I could go back and teach myself these lessons, but I can’t. But you are young and full of promise and someday you will face these same choices that we all have to make. And in the end , having these concepts firmly in place is more important than any code you will ever write.

 We are built on our collective strengths, so it is important to understand where strength comes from. True strength comes from constant practice, our character, our faith in ourselves, others, and God. It does not come from who you know for that is fleeting and/or from those you report to for it that is at the whim and fancy of those who have the least to lose. So look around and those who need your help and take the trouble to help those who will have the least to give back to you. All altruism aside, you will find that, that strength is more permanent and something you can rely on more than anything that comes from above.

 Courage is much maligned today, confused, diluted, and perverted to such an extent that it has lost its meaning. Courage today has come to mean fake it till you make it, to over promise and under deliver. Courage is really about standing for what is right when it is much easier to be silent for what is wrong. A time will come, if it has not already, when it is easier for you to take shortcuts, lie when you know the truth will make you unpopular. It is about doing the right thing in the simplest things you do; of making sure that the ends never justify the means. For the sum of those little things will someday become big and in the very end, end up defining you.

Never run, from your job, your life and most of all your problems. Every time I have tried, it has just waited for me around the next corner. Running away is easy, but never solves anything. You will find that you are going to face exactly the same problems in your next job because in the end the fight is really all about yourself. Fighting does not mean, never failing. Our failures define us better than our successes. In fact, success without failure is meaningless for success that comes too easy is of doubtful parentage. But in failures you stand alone,  for that is when you are really measured and when the finger pointing begins is when you realize where you really stand. It is always in failures and never in success that the true depth of character, strength and perseverance is found.

Do not criticize just for the sake of criticism. Criticism is the second worst thing in the world to do, second only to acquiescence. It takes very little intelligence or empathy to criticize. See the best in your friends, your peers for seeing the worst merely exposes the worst in you. If you must criticize, discuss a better way of doing something or make it constructive. If you think you can’t dolt better, do us all a favor and shut up. You are not helping by kicking someone who is already down, by flogging just because you have a whip.

In this time of prosperity and comfort I sometimes think we have forgotten about the value of hard work and learning. You must not forget what comes easily will someday leave that way too, what is earned easily and without effort will be worthless tomorrow. It is the lessons you learn with most effort and time that will teach you the most and be your best and most valuable assets in the future. It is often easy and convenient to be worried about how well others are faring, be they be your friends or our competition. It is much more important to stay focused on the job at hand and make incremental improvements, daily and steadily. For these little improvements will add up and until some day they become the big changes we want to see. I know that we have got some fairly important changes with Post Impression Tracking, IDX V2, several ZEDO problems that have seemed insurmountable at times. We need to stay focused and place our energies into solving the remaining problems with renewed persistence and have faith that others who you rely on will do their part as well.

I would like you to watch the following clip. It is from the movie “Any Given Sunday” a pep talk by Al Pacino for a team that is down in the dumps.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myyWXKeBsNk

 I sincerely hope that you liked it as much as I did. Now, let’s get back to work, we have a lot to do.