Last month, I was sitting in my first DT design session when I heard something that’s been stuck in my head all day. We were partway through our Ideation session, where we discuss any and all possible future paths that come to mind for a particular project, when Michael Cloran said (to paraphrase): You have to diverge before you can converge. At the time, he meant that we needed to discuss possible long-term directions the app (or suite of apps) could take before returning to the immediate future.
For some reason, this concept resonated with me to my core.
My Personal Re-Design
On a personal level, I’d been planning on getting my PhD in Molecular Biology for as long as I could remember. My summer internship at CIK (home of BizProps and Tri-Auto) changed everything. I spent my next year diverging: taking classes in Entrepreneurship, attending business conferences and Venture Club meetings, and thinking about what I really wanted to do with my life.
I met Michael Cloran at the IU Kelley School Annual Business Conference, and, a month later, I visited DeveloperTown and was sold on the company, the vision, and the people. It reminded me of my first visit to Rose-Hulman four years ago; a school that hadn’t been on my radar instantly became my #1 choice because it just felt right. Being at DT just felt right because DT isn’t just a job. DT is a lifestyle, a family, and a place to grow. It took really taking a step back and examining who I was and what I wanted to converge on as the right choice for at least my next few years.
DeveloperTown also exemplifies this concept in more than just the Design Process. This past January, DeveloperTown 2.0 was launched, primarily as an internal program to signal that DT would be undergoing major self-improvements. Everyone at DT had the chance to contribute to meaningful discussions on what they wanted to change at DT. From culture to clients and everything in between, townies were taking ownership of the company. Some of the amazing results of this endeavor included Hack ‘Em Ups, a blog overhaul, and even the hiring of almost two dozen new employees over the span of six months.
Because we decided to diverge and rebuild, DT has grown in size and strength. More than ever before, we are a technical co-founder that will help dozens of startups launch their product this year. But, more than that, we are all part of a company that we can be proud to be a part of. As Michael Coffey likes to say, “Our number one customer is our employees,” and it shows.
Since starting here, I’ve done everything from helping refine the sales process to writing my first blog post to getting demolished at ping pong on a regular basis (as Pong Tracker clearly shows). For the first time in a long time, I don’t have a plan for the next two, five, and ten years. I don’t know where I’ll be living and working three years from now. All I know is that, at least for now, DeveloperTown is my home, and I love it here. I’ve converged on where I want to be, and it feels amazing.