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Make Us Better!

As Dale mentioned in a recent post we were on the road in the month of March to meet with FME Users in Germany and North America. In April it...

As Dale mentioned in a recent post we were on the road in the month of March to meet with FME Users in Germany and North America. In April it is off to the UK to meet UK FME users. While packing for this last trip my daughter (who along with my wife joined me on the trip to Germany) asked me a very simple question: “Why?” Well, here’s my answer.

Sure Dale and I travel to share the new features of FME 2010 and to have fun with a product that we both love, but that is not the reason we spend the time to meet with our users. We meet with our users to not only share new functionality and thoughts but more importantly to learn. To find out what is really important to them, not just interesting to us. Our dependence on our users is not just huge, it is total. We depend on them for much more than they depend on us. Without our users we would not be here! Of course without us they would still be here. 😉 They have many choices and they have chosen us. They can choose to leave at any time. We are here for them not the other way around. If we forget that we are finished. We need them. We need them to challenge us, we need them to be tough on us, to demand more, to not settle. It is only by listening and working with our users that we allow them to…

      • Make us better. To all of our users, I ask you to tell us what you need. I ask you to continue to work to make us better!

Safe is in its 17th year and has recently passed through the 100th team member mark. The team at Safe is an amazing, dedicated, and passionate collective. Do we have disagreements, and heated discussions? Oh yeah, as any family would and should! But I especially value those team members who put the team first and share what they think and feel. In short, I value those who are confident enough to tell me when I have made a mistake. It is in those moments when real progress is made and real insights are gained. It is when I see passion that I know that for them working at Safe is not just a job, it is part of who they are! The team is second only to our users in importance and again without them we would have nothing. What I hear during these types of interactions is team members challenging myself and others as they…

      • Make us better. To all members of the team, I ask you to tell us what we need to do. I ask that you continue to work hard to make us better!

Sometimes when Dale and I are together in a brainstorming meeting, it comes as a surprise to some to see the two of us on opposite sides of the discussion, showing passion for different approaches. Sometimes one approach wins outright, but the vast majority of the time better approaches evolve. Some worry about who had what idea. Dale and I don’t! After all, the point is that we are all searching for a way to…

      • Make us better.

This brings us full circle into why Dale and I travel to visit with our users. Aside from being good friends with many of them, we are on a mission to learn and to take that information back to our team. In short we too are working to…

      • Make all of us (users, team members, Dale and Don) better!

If you want to read more about what happened at the events in March, Lassi Tani has a good summary of the German event on his blog and on this continent, Matt Ball took in one of our FME Odyssey events in Denver and wrote a nice article about what happened there.

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