The company’s website says is all, “When you throw pebbles in the water it creates a ripple that dies out fast, the impact is felt but doesn’t last. Leadership in the New Economy takes Throwing Boulders to create a wake of impact, to shift the organization forward with new energy!” How do you create that wake in your company? With technical tools designed to multiply your leadership abilities from Throwing Boulders of Portland, Oregon. Specifically, the company’s initial two web-based products, Web PDI and Herd, make leaders closer to their team with communication tools that essentially put everyone shoulder to shoulder electronically.
Leaders can track metrics and manage progress almost instantaneously, magnifying their impact and influence on the team’s engagement in the company’s goals. Web PDI was built for one private client and is primarily an office manager’s tool. Herd is their first public product and is a relationship building application. It connects directly to the user’s data, so all contact information, sales reports, prospects is instantly retrievable and this eliminates bulky setup time associated with most CRM systems.
Co-Founder and CTO, Stephen Rhyne, didn’t take the usual route to his current post. “I actually started in sales,” he recalls, “but I was always intrigued by development and technology and I dabbled.” That was three years ago. “It’s a misnomer that people can’t learn quickly…in this day and age where we have all these tools that you can just patch together to build and incredible product I don’t believe that it takes years and years.” He then took his steep learning curve along with his confidence and built his first application. Stephen has bumped his head “Being too idealistic about how to build a product. How you think it should work versus how it’s actually used” has tripped him up. He sums it up, “It’s very hard to make something very simple.”
Stephen also feels he has taken too much time soliciting feedback in the early days of the company. He put too much emphasis on creating a feature that a few people might like (as he admits, to make him feel good) instead of asking himself what the feature would do to help the company and grow sales. The next white-knuckle moment for the company is the rollout. Their new public product, Herd, is launched and its acceptance by the public is the big question for Stephen and his Co-Founder and CEO, Isaac Tolpin. They gather inspiration from each other – Isaac has six children, Stephen has four – balancing family and business and providing each other with advice and support. Stephen finds inspiration in other successful people as well. “I really recommend just watching these [successful] people and listening to their stories. You start realizing they’re no different than you they just took the steps to get there.” Now that’s a Boulder.