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"Customer Centered" Culture Why it Matters

with Dan McFall, Mobile Labs

Episode #112

By building a “customer centric” culture that emphasizes relationships and customer service, Dan McFall, CEO of MobileLabs turned a struggling three year old company into the largest revenue generating business in a portfolio of a 30 year old company. Dan shares how putting customers first enabled them to excel in a highly competitive industry, laden with larger more established companies. Find out how MobileLabs builds relationships, and uses culture to drive their business success.

Dan McFall

Dan McFall

CEO at Mobile Labs

Mr. Dan Mcfall has been Chief Executive Officer of Mobile Labs, LLC since February 2018 and has been its President since December 13, 2016. Mr. McFall has more than 15 years of experience in software and analytics, including strategy and implementation for customer support solutions, solution design, customer acquisition and industry growth. Specifically, his previous four years with Mobile Labs allowed showcase his vision for growth within the mobile technology sector.

His Company

His Company

Mobile Labs remains the leading supplier of in-house mobile device clouds that connect remote, shared mobile devices to Global 2000 mobile web, gaming, and app engineering teams. Its patented GigaFox™ is offered on-premises or hosted, and solves mobile device sharing and management challenges during development, debugging, manual testing, and automated testing. A pre-installed and pre-configured Appium server provides “instant on” Appium test automation. GigaFox enables scheduling, collaboration, user management, security, mobile DevOps, and continuous automated testing for teams spread across the globe and can connect cloud devices to an industry-leading number of third-party tools.

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Full Transcript

Automated Voice: Welcome to the Epic Company Culture Podcast, where your host, Josh Sweeney will give you the business leaders, HR professionals and company culture aficionados the knowledge you need to take your company culture to the next level.  

Josh: Hello and welcome to the Epic Company Culture Podcast. Before I get started, I would like to thank Prototype Prime for this amazing podcast space.

Series: Culture Champions

Today is part of our culture champion series and our culture champion of the day is Dan McFall from Mobile Labs. Dan, thanks for coming out.

Dan: Thanks for having me here.

Josh: Yeah so tell us a little bit about yourself and your organization.


Introducing Dan McFall

Dan: Yep, Dan McFall, I’m the president and CEO of Mobile Labs. We are an enterprise software business focused on helping really big brands you’ve heard of, major banks, telecommunications companies accelerate the testing and development of their mobile applications. We’re a technology provider based out of Atlanta. Started here in Atlanta. We’re about eight years old.

Josh: Awesome well I have developed enough applications without testing to know that no testing is bad, right, and testing is quite complicated so you guys get to simplify that for a lot of organizations is my understanding.

Dan: Yeah, that’s exactly what we do. I mean, our big piece is to help them take dev ops processes around mobile applications, things they’ve been doing for web and desktop for years that are broken in mobile and we fix that for them essentially by making it possible to insert real mobile devices back into their infrastructure is basically the basis for our technology.

Josh: Awesome, yeah. So before we get into Mobile Labs I’m gonna kinda take you back before your current role, find out a little bit about the company cultures that you’re in and have you share some experiences so as far as experiences go, what is one really great culture experience that you had that you wanted to carry into Mobile Labs?


Creating a Customer Centered Culture

Dan: Yeah, so it’s interesting. Mobile Labs is my first true startup. I mean, I was there pre-revenue, pre-product but I came out of an organization that was interesting because it was a European company that was basically starting up operations in the United States. I was like, employee number nine for their US business. So in a way it was fun because we got to see, do all the startup things but not have to worry about money, which was very nice. There was good and bad about that culture and a lot of lessons learned there and actually the person I followed out of that company into Mobile Labs is what really turned culture around for me.

We were a technology business heavily focused in complex technologies around optimization and things of that nature and you had a very, very lot of smart people but they didn’t know how to be customer facing. The person became my mentor who came in and really accelerated that business, brought in the notion of really just the mind switch of we focus about our customers and it’s a little thing, I always will remember this, was we don’t say nice things about our customers in this organization.

When he came in and joined he kinda said, you know, “We kinda tend to refer to them as stupid or all those things,”

Josh: Right.

They are the life blood of this business.

Dan: Or “They’re not smart enough to use our software” and just the little shift to say, “We say nice things about our customers. We think about them because they are the life blood of this business. They are the oxygen, if you will.” To watch this turn around from a company that was struggling, that over three years became the largest business unit to generate revenue of any of them and a company that was 30 years old and we were basically a five year old business unit, all off of that switch of culture.

It’s something that’s stuck with me for a very, very long time. Which is basically to remember if you have any customer facing, that customers are the life blood. Yeah they can be frustrating, we’ve all seen Clerks with the worst part of his job, the customers. They can be frustrating but the fact of the matter is it’s why we have a business. They’re who generate the energy around our company.


ROI of a Cultural Shift

So to think of them in a positive manner, to take that cultural shift and see it immediately pay dividens to see sales increase, to see satisfaction increase, revenue increase, all of those types of things are stuff that I will always remember and carry forward with me into running both Mobile Labs but future businesses.

Josh: Yeah I’ve definitely been in engineering organizations that had that same kind of, you know, verbiage around culture, around excuse me, customers where they’re worried about everything was the customers fault, right, internally. Now of course they never said that to a customer but you could get those undertones where it’s like, “Well they just can’t use it right or they can’t do this” and oftentimes you know, you actually get a video of what they’re doing and realize, “Well oh no, something was actually broken, right?”

Dan: Yeah.

 

Flipping it around: Maybe They Really Are Right

Josh: But there’s this weird concept around how they treat them or how they talk about customers on the back end. So I love flipping it around and really taking that concept of they are maybe right or there’s ways that we can help them or looking at it through a very positive lens, giving them the benefit of the doubt and knowing they’re the life blood ’cause that’s a mindset shift for sure.

Dan: It’s a major mindset shift and what it also does is it just allows you to then embrace things like nuance and context and start adopting that both internally and externally and what we learned was that even then helped customers when they’re having, this was a complex software, there were big, long implementation cycles and helping them within their own discussions internally around the complexities and we’re all a team and we’re all working together. It just made everything easier. It just got, you know, it got the contentiousness sometimes out of the relationship. It made us more transparent and open with them and it made it a partnership.

It Made It a Partnership

Sometimes unfortunately some of those things when you go out to culture now, “Oh they’re partners and we wanna partner with you.” It can, you know, you have to make it not rote, you have to make it not just call and response, if you will. Pavlovian I guess is the term I’m looking for but it does matter. It really is, you know, it’s ingrained. When you realize they are paying you to solve a problem and your job is to create value for them and then you value them in that then you have … they are a value to you then you think about it in a different way and once again, it really, and I think the proof is in the pudding. I mean, like I said, just instant turnaround in the ability to acquire customers, to retain customers, all of the key metrics started to increase.

There are Multiple Meanings of Partnership

Josh: Yeah you mentioned the word “partner” and I’ve always had this interesting relationship with the concept of a partner in relation to clients and customers because early on in starting my last company, my CRM company, I had people come to me and say, “Well we’re looking for a partner,” right? Then if you ask them and said, “Well what does that look like for you? What is a partner? What does that mean to you?” It was really hard for some organizations to define that. You know? To put some bounds around it and say, “Well what is a partner?” Or clients that you have been working with for a long time that you know, were having certain challenges. “Well we’re really looking for a partner.”

What does that mean? It’s interesting to get people to define that and I know I’ve had some weird conversations where it’s like, “Oh well they want money off their bill” you know? It’s like, “Okay well I’m seeing that you’re linking like, you don’t like what you’re paying to being a partner. What’s the link there?” Yeah I’ve definitely gone through the partner challenge of figuring out, well what is a good partner for us? What is a good partner for our clients? How do we define that and make sure that it’s a great relationship?

Partnership is a Relationship

Dan: Exactly and part of that, if you’re really gonna partner then when I think of it culturally are the abilities. Sometimes you have to have the right to tell them they’re incorrect and they have to have the right to tell you you’re incorrect. It goes to that point about valuing each other and trying to think about your customers more respectfully or your perspective customers more respectfully but part of that sometimes is to say in an appropriate way, “No here’s, you brought us in because we are professionals and here’s something we don’t agree with or your expectation might be wrong.” But they also then have to have the same right to do it back with you.

That, to me is a partnership. It’s a relationship. It’s when we refer to our spouse as a partner or anything of that nature, our partner in general. That’s what it’s gotta mean. It’s gotta have some emotional content that goes with it, as well and the right to create productive tension. That, to me then is what makes it a partnership. Not just, “Oh I can ask you for a discount. I was hoping that you’d partner with me for that.” You know? Or “I’m gonna ask you for money and I’m hoping you’ll partner with me for that.”

Josh: Right?

Dan: That becomes the dilution of the term.

Negative Experience Share:

Josh: Yeah, definitely. We talked a little bit about, you know, the partnership and other things that were good experiences that you had. What about, and again you don’t have to name any names. I like to call that out ahead of time as my listeners know and our listeners know. What was an experience that you went through where it was just a negative culture experience and you wanted to make sure that that didn’t happen in Mobile Labs?

Dan: Yeah I went through a really, my very first job was a smaller company, I’ve always worked for smaller companies but got acquired by a larger company that was really with all the negative connotations that it used to have but still has was really backed by private equity and the negative cultural experience there was not only were customers just a number but really all the employees were just a number. You know, everything became about non-contextualized metrics, poor metrics, poor KPIs and then the really tragic thing which was not even having the guts to tell us what they wanted us to do and what I mean by that is a very specific example.

I had fortunately left the organization and gone to the company I just described right before my wedding. Everyone I used to work with in the department said they just came in and mandated, you can move to Texas or you can not work here anymore. It was that culture of, “Hey if you’re trying to make your numbers, have the guts to fire me so I can go get severance or whatever, I’ll also collect my unemployments.”

Customers and Employees Were Just a Number

But no, it was the classic “we’ll make it so miserable some percentile of people will quit under just the horrible onus of all of the rules and regulations and you never had to do timecards and now we’ll do timecards in 15 minute increments.” And all of those types of things. It was really that and it was classic really like I said negative private equity. This new phase of private equity’s a lot better. There’s people actually believe, “I’ll buy a company and I can make it better.”

Back then it was raider and leveraged buyouts and all those types of things. That’s exactly what it was. So they were just milking our maintenance. Making it harder and harder and harder to do our jobs. But you know you got, it’s like Office Space, right? But every now and again you got together and they hung some banner with some BS new thing that they weren’t gonna enact at all.

Lacking Transparency:

That’s what, to me, that sits with me in terms of poor culture and then it’s non-transparent. Classic ivory towers, you know, CEOs driving big fancy cars but we’re not getting raises every single year. All of those types of things. Not valuing the people who generate all of the revenue for the business. That to me, those are classic examples. You know, major corporate negative culture.

Josh: Yeah I feel like that’s been a theme of talking to multiple other people about kind of PE, private equity and you know, I have heard that there’s some new ones coming on board but the classic sense is, you know, milk it for the maintenance, milk it for the money and I know I’ve worked with other PE firms over time where, you know, they did feel very interchangeable with the people. Even the executives that came in, they would fly in for a day and then they were gone and then they were hard to reach and it was just interchangeability and the culture definitely suffered, at least in the ones that I experienced myself.

Interchangeability Can Damage Culture

Dan: Yeah, exactly the same. I mean, you see, being kind of in the startup space you now have these kinda larger, I mean, I’ll name names here because I think they’re good examples. I mean, you see folks like Insight Venture Partners who’s made a whole bunch of investments here in Atlanta. Vista Equity Partners. Some of these folks are kind of classic but they’ll almost take it from … they’re almost a full stop shop from venture all the way to fully buyout private equity and the portfolios a little broader and they look at companies and put them together to say, “Okay this company needs investment to replace potentially in our portfolio this thing that is sun setting but it’s sun setting for the right reasons.

It’s sun setting because maybe the technology’s old, there’s new ways to approach this. The unit economics are poor.” Instead of just, so we’ll manage that and have a good customer satisfaction but at the same time what we’ll do, actually even here in town I think Infor does this. We’ll look for something new to replace that older technology with something more viable and at least then I still think they’re focused on what I care about which is solving problems for customers. That, for me, is good culture.

Providing a Solution  vs. Extracting Money

Hey they all have problems, everyone has warts. I run a little tiny company and we still struggle with things. Every single week we’re looking at, “How do we be better? How do we do those types of things?” But I think if the approach is, “I want to solve a problem and in solving that problem I’m gonna ask for a fair exchange of money” that’s great. If it’s “I’m gonna extract as much money out of you as I can absolutely get while I continue to deliver worse and worse and worse service and eventually you’ll stop putting up with me,” not so much. Who I was working for was definitely the latter.

The Culture of Mobile Labs

Josh: Yeah so you mentioned working in a small company now, Mobile Labs and going through different iterations and challenges. What are some of the things that you love most about your culture now?

Dan: I think one of the biggest things was my very first job was in customer service and it’s always kind of carried forward with me that notion of, you know, they’ve either given me money or I’m asking them to give me money to solve a problem for them and we were gonna put them at the forefront and for a small company we compete with some much larger, better funded, bigger companies that have been established a long time. We continually get feedback on, “You guys treat us better than the bigger company. Absolutely does” whether we’re, “You’re local or we’re far away we would have no idea that you’re a small company in dealing with you.”

A Small Company That Fills Large Shoes

That’s a cultural aspect. We go above and beyond. One of the stories that I tell people when we’re looking to hire is in the very first year of business, our CTO, founding CTO and experienced CTO, this is kind of his I’ll say last rodeo. I almost don’t like the term but we were dealing with a customer out of Australia at 3:00 in the morning he is in our office crawling around solving a problem that they’re having and he’s doing it personally. Or in my earliest days we’re trying to get a customer and I drove, ’cause we have a hardware/software solution appliance based approach. I drove that to Iowa to meet with a customer. Met with him, dealt with it, handled the installation myself and came back. The reason is because we think everything requires that level of personal care.

Taking Personal Care of the Customer

I will still get involved in customer support and escalation tickets and all of those types of things. Not because the people beneath me can’t do those things, I have good people and I trust them to do that but because I wanna show that above and beyond level of culture that we’re willing to go to to drive satisfaction. It’s how we’ve been able to play in the enterprise space since the very beginning of the business is playing bigger than our weight. You do that by caring. That’s actually the best way to do it. You have to do it by caring and putting the customer at the center of everything that you do.

Josh: So with caring at the center of what you guys do in your company culture, what is another example of your culture and kind of your differentiator?

The Competitive Advantage of Caring

Dan: Yeah so I think what we’ll do is everybody, whether your title’s customer service or it’s sales or whatever else, everybody is in customer service or in customer success, even. Whether it’s me as the CEO, it is our chief product officer, chief architect, we still will, we just released a new product last year called GigaFox that comes with some new approaches, some new technology we have. So our chief product officer went and did the first five installations of that hands on because he’s the most familiar with it, he was the original creator of it and then his team finished it out. Making certain that we had smooth, successful implementations of the product for people who took a bet on new technology with us. It’s folks like Pokemon, for example, signed up with us. They spoke, so I can use their actual name.

Attention to Detail

We can, folks like that. Making sure that we have that level of attention to detail and then even down, I will say another example, same with the CTO in our early days we had someone who hadn’t quite bought on to understanding what it meant culturally to put the customer. He flew out, we had an installation, he left when the installation wasn’t up and running and once again, the same CTO personally called and apologized the next day when we found out that happened without even a sales person. Just came back and said, “Well they’re not up and running, there’s a few things.” He called and said, “That’s not the way we do business. That is not how we approach things like this and it’ll never happen again.”

Culture is How You Deal with Problems

It’s not always just how you do the easy, fun things it’s also how you deal with problems. That is sometimes admitting you made a mistake, both internally and externally. There’s no … I will only ever get upset with you if I find out from somebody else that you screwed up. If you come to me and say, “Look I screwed up and here’s how I’m fixing it” then to me that’s how you carry forward being willing to make things better.

 

Customer Service is Non-Negotiable

Josh: Yeah I really feel like a lot of the top companies I’ve dealt with in Atlanta have service as a differentiator. Like Cory, a friend of mine, Cory, over at Gimme Vending, right? You call them, it’s 24/7 support and when you call in you get a person and it’s, you know, their head of support and you know, you’re getting people immediately on the phone. You’re not going through phone trees, you’re not going through multiple tiers of support where people asking silly questions that you’ve probably answered 100 times or know the answer to as a user of the product.

I know in the early days before the acquisition, Pardot was the same way. You know? You got them on the phone and their support went above and beyond as well as, you know, their support team actually proactively went out and tried to train you instead of just being an organization that took in cases all day and tried to work them. I love the aspect of you know, using service as a differentiator and glad to hear that you guys are doing that.

Proactive Towards Customer Success

Dan: Yeah, absolutely and I think kind of the next step, and you see this from Pardot but you see it from the Legacy folks coming out of like, Sales loft and some of the other people here in town is the notion of success, right? Now it’s a step forward so customer service reports to a little reactive now you have this proactive notion of customer success and we implemented that about a year and a half ago and it’s been tremendously, for lack of a better term, successful for us. One of the things we did hear, and I made a real key point of that, some other people in our space, some people in even different spaces customer success was actually sales, the sales wolf in sheep’s clothing, which is what they would come in and say, “Oh well what you need to be successful is you need to add component X, Y, Z that you don’t own yet.” I’ve personally experienced that and I’ll tell you it’s really, really frustrating. My first mandate when we set up customer success was you guys don’t make any money if there’s an up-sell or anything out of that. It’s not against you, ’cause your job is just to make sure they’re happy, make sure they’re successful, get them up and running and you’ll never try to cross sell anything.

Your Job is to Make Sure They’re Happy

That’s just to make certain because I’ve just known people who’ve said, “We felt duped. Customer success came in and all that really was was an excuse to have the sales rep call back to me and say ‘how many of these can I get for you ’cause clearly the reason you can’t succeed is ’cause you don’t have this component that you didn’t know about or we’ve created since then,” etc. etc. those are … one of the other cultural pieces is you know, make them successful, that’s how they buy more from you. They’ll always need more of it if they’re using it. Make it easier for them to use it. Figure out how to use those things.

Josh: Yeah, most definitely. Make it easier and they will come, right?

Dan: Exactly.

Culture Initiatives for 2019

Josh: Last question I have is about the new year. We just rolled into 2019 recently. What are you looking to do from a culture perspective, of people perspective as enhancement or challenge you’d like to overcome for the new year?

Dan: Yeah great point ’cause we’re actually right in to talking about this and coming into our kickoff and all those things and leadership team being together. I think one of the things we’re looking at we still struggle with. It’s funny you talk about Southern companies. There’s good and bad somewhat with that. I actually was just talking with someone that, we’re from the south so we’re all very nice and that’s great externally but sometimes internally you have to learn how to cultivate a healthy tension and be able to, still respectfully be able to tell people, “Okay maybe this could be better. We’re not performing.”

We’ve all been together so long ’cause we’re a longstanding company, we haven’t had much turnover, which is great, but we’re also really close friends. One of the things that we’re working on that’s a cultural thing is actually being able to tell people in the appropriate way, “I’m disappointed and this isn’t working as well as I would like it to work and how do we work together to make this work better? Here’s a way in which I needed your organization or perform a little bit better to make it easier for my organization. By the way, here’s a thing I recognize where I could’ve performed better to make it easier for your group.”

Addressing Performance Issues Politely

We’re gonna start working on a more holistic approach to figuring those things out. We were a small team now we’ve grown up a bit into some different organizations and what’s happened is we’ve gotten a little insular and sometimes we don’t always get together and talk about, “Hey here’s the different areas where we’re not helping each other out.” The only way to have that happen, some of this I’m stealing straight from the sales loft stuff but he’s talking about how do I have a healthy tension? A productive tension within the organization that drives us to be better? How do we look to drive ourselves to further excellence?

I think we were at the Atlantic Tech Toys for a long time so there was one of those posters that says, you know, “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good” but the corollary to that that I’ve realized some people forget is you can’t let good be the enemy of better. How do I know, “Okay this was good last year. How do I make it better?” That happens in tension. That’s the only way it can happen. We have to sit down and be willing to say, “I’m not getting what I want. How do we make this better?” And also be willing to say, “I didn’t do a good job with this. How can I be better?” And maybe I need other people to tell me how to do that.

Productive Tension that Drives us to be Better

Josh: With that, with that tension, right, it sounds very kind of five dysfunctions of a team like that healthy collaboration and contention and things like that. How do you plan to pull that out of the team and make that change happen?

Dan: We’re actually, we’ve engaged a little bit with a third party to help us kind of come in and look at working a little bit around, oh God for the lack of a better term, emotional safe spaces. They call it emotional security is what they talk about. So the ability to sit here and say there’s ways to approach talking with each other and making certain that there’s a way to have this conversation. Maybe we wait until we calm down, maybe we head it off at the pass. How do we drive forward and have that type of tension?

So we’re actually, we’ve brought in some people from the outside to sit here and say, “Okay, we’re all hungry for better communication but somehow we’re not making it happen” and when I say it’s not happening internally well then sometimes you just have to bring in an outsider, bring in some new blood to come in and look at it and say, “Okay these are why you guys are actually struggling with talking about that or we’re being passive aggressive. We’ve let it gone too long and instead of talking about it when it can be productive we’ve let anger get the better of us.”

Opening the Lines of Communication

We don’t struggle with it too much but we’re having … it’s just bubbling up. We’re getting ready to move through some major milestones as a company, we have a lot of things moving very, very quickly which is all great but this is also when some of these challenges happen. We’ve actually just decided, “Lets bring somebody in and have a workshop. Let’s all sit down and say ‘okay how do we talk? How do we do this and how can we be better? What are my strengths and what are my weaknesses and what does that mean in terms of engaging with each other?'” And it includes me.

Josh: Yeah.

Dan: I’m more of an inspirational leader type. I’m also myself not always great at confrontation so how do we get better at those types of things?

Uncovering Strengths and Weaknesses

 

Josh: Yeah I know for a lot of our clients we do personality assessments, which includes you know, uncovering those strengths and weaknesses, strengths and challenges and the struggles for each person and in looking at that over the years I’ve noticed you know, there’s actually an indicator that says “ability to communicate directly and candidly,” right? Then you put somebody with a high score on that with the opposite score in the same room and the one who confronts directly and candidly is the one who you know, thrives on the contention and wants the best idea a lot of times and doesn’t mind bringing it up and then the opposite side it almost feels like an attack on them. They feel like they’re being attacked and that’s a level of communication and trust and transparency that has to be set by these workshops you’re talking about.

A Mission and Value Statement Still Matters

Dan: Exactly and documenting one of the things it’s time to do is we’ve had a mission statement but they’re kind of the old school, you know, so I wanna take it a step further and have a value statement. What are the values of the business because what that does is it provides a framework by which you can basically operate in a little more tension because the reason is you have the ability to say, “I’m calling BS that we’re not operating within the values of the company” and that goes … but part of the point is to say, “I want anybody even to be able to call me and say, ‘Dan I don’t think you’re actually operating within the values of the business today with this decision that you made.'” Or whatever else happened. I don’t know. I have baby brain. I have a three week old, I’m exhausted and I just have a bad day, right? It gives ability to people to say, “Hey I didn’t appreciate that, what happened with that” or “You’re not acting on behalf of the customer. You’re not being an advocate for them. How do we do those types of things? You’re holding information,” that’s one of our big struggles right now.

We have a lot of very smart people and a lot of people that know stuff but it’s like how do we get it out of folks because if you forget to ask them they don’t necessarily remember to offer it up. Those are the types of things that we’re working on as a team to just make us more efficient.

Josh: Yeah well I love what you’re working on. I can’t wait to hear more about the outcome and the success of that. So thank you for being on the Podcast.

Dan: Well thank you for having me. I really enjoyed it.

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Josh: Thank you for joining us. This has been the Epic Company Culture Podcast with culture champion Dan McFall of Mobile Labs. If you would like to hear more, follow us on our YouTube channel Epic Company Culture and if you’d like to hear more on the Podcast, follow us on SoundCloud, Stitcher or iTunes. Thank you for listening.

Automated Voice: Thank you for tuning in to today’s episode of the Epic Company Culture Podcast with Josh Sweeney. If you enjoyed this content, please subscribe on iTunes, SoundCloud or Stitcher. For additional content and transcripts, visit EpicCulture.co. If you have questions or topics you would like us to address or expand on, Tweet us @EpicCulture1 or email at podcast@epicculture.co.

 

Podcast Highlights and Resources

Quotables:

  • We say nice things about our customers. We think about them because they are the life blood of this business.
  • It just allows you to then embrace things like nuance and context and start adopting that both internally and externally. 
  • We continually get feedback on, “You guys treat us better than the bigger company. 
  • I have good people and I trust them to do that but because I wanna show that above and beyond level of culture that we’re willing to go to to drive satisfaction.

Pavlovian Theory

Pavlovian theory is a learning procedure that involves pairing a stimulus with a conditioned response.

In the famous experiments that  Ivan Pavlov conducted with his dogs, Pavlov found that objects or events could trigger a conditioned response. The experiments began with Pavlov demonstrating how the presence of a bowl of dog food (stimulus) would trigger an unconditioned response (salivation). But Pavlov noticed that the dogs started to associate his lab assistant with food, creating a learned and conditioned response. This was an important scientific discovery.

Pavlov then designed an experiment using a bell as a neutral stimulus. As he gave food to the dogs, he rang the bell. Then, after repeating this procedure, he tried ringing the bell without providing food to the dogs. On its own, an increase in salivation occurred. The result of the experiment was a new conditioned response in the dogs.

Pavlov’s theory later developed into classical conditioning, which refers to learning that associates an unconditioned stimulus that already results in a response (such as a reflex) with a new, conditioned stimulus. As a result, the new stimulus brings about the same response.

 

Gimme Vending

Gimme Atlanta Ga

We make unattended retail a reality, with hardware and software to service vending, micro markets and DSD locations. 2014 Georgia Tech Create-X Company 2015 TAG Business Launch Competition Winner 2016 TAG Top 40 Most Innovative Company 2016 Automatic Merchandiser’s Tech Product of the Year 2016 The Bridge Atlanta Company 2016 Atlanta Business Chronicle 30 Under 30 CEO: Cory Hewett 2016 Pros to Know: The Gimme Team 2017 TAG Top 40 Most Innovative Company 2017 American Business Awards The Stevie’s Startup of the Year: Gold — Business Products 2017 American Business Awards The Stevie’s Startup of the Year: Silver — Software 2017 ACE Best Small Booth: 2nd Place 2017 Automatic Merchandiser’s Pros to Know: Evan Jarecki 2017 Automatic Merchandiser’s Pros to Know: Paul Woody 2018 TAG Top 40 Most Innovative Company 2018 ACE Best Small Booth: 1st Place 2018 Atlanta Startup Awards “Best B2B Startup” 

Pardot

Pardot is a software as a service (SaaS) marketing automation platform by SalesForce offering email automation, targeted email campaigns and lead management for B2B sales and marketing organizations. Pardot automates common marketing tasks, including: Tracking customer behaviors. Creating digital marketing campaigns.

 

Atlanta Tech Village

Born of a Passion for Startups

There was no startup scene when David Cummings came to Atlanta in 2002. Ten years later, the serial entrepreneur sold his marketing automation firm, Pardot, and purchased what is now the Atlanta Tech Village, with the sole purpose of supporting startups.

Today, the Atlanta Tech Village is a community of innovation powered by the 4th largest tech space in the U.S. and deep connections to Atlanta’s business and investment community. Together, we aim to create 10,000 jobs and fuel Atlanta’s rise to a top-five tech-startup center in the U.S.

With unmatched mentorship and working space, The Village supports and inspires entrepreneurs to achieve success through a community that promotes faster connections between talent, ideas and capital.

 

Entrepreneur Organization

Company Culture Entrepreneurs Organization

The Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) is a Global business network of 13,000+ leading entrepreneurs in 185 chapters and 58 countries. Founded in 1987 by a group of young entrepreneurs, EO enables business owners to learn from each other, leading to greater business success and an enriched personal life.

We educate, we transform, we inspire and we offer invaluable resources in the form of global events, leadership-development programs, an online entrepreneur forum and executive education opportunities, among other offerings designed for personal and professional growth.

At its core, EO is a collection of like-minded entrepreneurs focused on business growth, personal development and community engagement. In addition to our mission, vision and core values, our global makeup is comprised of nearly 13,000+ individual member stories.

Prototype Prime

Prototype Prime is a 501(c)3 non-profit incubator focused on early stage software and hardware technology startups. Our mission is to provide startup companies with the support they need to launch & scale.

Funded by the City of Peachtree Corners Prototype Prime is a regional affiliate of the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) at Georgia Tech, and is located just 30 minutes north of Atlanta.

Our suburban location within a 500-acre commercial office park, adjacent to a custom- built intelligent mobility test and demonstration track, is the ideal place to envision what smart cities of the future will look like.