No Vision, All Drive is the story of Pinpoint Technologies, from its origins as a startup, through to its sale to ZOLL. One of the founders, David Brown, wrote it, but it includes some great sections from the other founder, David Cohen, as well as many of the long-time employees.
The employee’s stories are a great reminder that creating good jobs is not just an abstract statistic, it can make a real difference to people’s lives. Al Thompson (aka Weird Al the Tattooed Freak) describes how he was determined not to get another coffee-shop job, and got his only interview at Pinpoint, and was offered the job even though he didn’t have any experience. Six years later he’s a highly-skilled, highly-valued old-timer, and met his fiancee there too!
Marcie Cary got started as a receptionist, and went on to become marketing manager. She really gives an insight into how humiliating she felt the admin work could be, faxing and mailing packages. I’m no stranger to low-status jobs, having spent five years stacking shelves in supermarkets, but it was a good reminder. She also acknowledges the other side of the coin, that it can be really tough for the rest of the team to cope with someone avoiding all that work, when it’s their job to get it done. I don’t know what the solution is, but it’s a scenario I’ve seen play out many times. Maybe the combination of training and advancement, together with an insistence on keeping on top of the boring stuff is the right way to go.
My favorite part of this book is all the anecdotes, they really give you a flavor of the startup life, from the brown shag carpeting in their first office, to their receptionist being afraid to be left alone in the office with their first programmer!
It’s a great read, it keeps you turning the page, and is focused on the nuts and bolts of growing the business. I’d highly recommend it if you’re interested in an honest and informative account of a startup that succeeded.
Funhouse Photo User Count: 958 total, 55 active. Much as before.
Event Connector User Count: 5 total. AdWords isn’t showing any conversions at all, so I’ll need to rethink my tactics there. It’s in the queue for the applications directory, I’ll see how that helps the totals.