RTS Labs - August 2018



The Value of a Mentor

run into Duff at the airport and we started chatting. In the moment, I decided to ask him if he would be my advisor. To my relief, he gladly accepted. That was seven years ago, and I am not exaggerating when I say that Duff became and continues to be a critical pillar for the growth and success of RTS. We are still a relatively young company, and there are a lot of traps we could fall into because we don’t know what mistakes to avoid. Duff’s advice and guidance has helped us navigate many of those traps. This is why we called him our “adult supervision.”

In the early days of RTS, one of our first clients was a man named Duff Young. Duff’s company was a great customer at a time when we were still trying to figure out what a good customer for RTS looked like. At the time, I was of the mindset that the technology a business has should come first. What’s most important is that the technology be better, faster, and more advanced than anyone else’s. The reality, however, is that technology can be as fast as you want, but if it doesn’t align with the business’s goals, then it’s not worth it. Working with Duff taught me the value of business-centric software development.

was, every company would be exactly alike. So business owners and CEOs need to be on the lookout for smart, experienced people who can give them advice and feedback when they need it. I strongly believe that if you cannot build a board for your company, then you should at least have a mentor who has your best interests at heart. Duff doesn’t just give me good advice when I need to make a decision — he also puts me through the ringer when I need someone to grill me and make sure I’m doing the right thing. Sometimes you get so used to your train of thought, you aren’t able to see the bigger picture. The truth is that being a business owner and CEO is a lonely job. Most people aren’t comfortable challenging authority. In addition to pushing us to succeed, mentors also serve to keep us from becoming our own worst enemies. Duff Young has been a big influence on RTS as a company and on me as a CEO. He’s the kind of person you can count on, and I consider myself fortunate to have him as one of my mentors. -Jyot Singh

I strongly believe that if you cannot build a board for your company, then you should at least have a mentor who has your best interests at heart.

There’s no way one person can know it all, and there’s only so much you can learn by reading books and watching videos — trust

The project ended and was well-received, and I continued to call Duff for advice about various matters. He’d been in the business for over three decades and had filled all sorts of positions, from the bottom of the ladder to the CEO of a giant, publicly traded company. He knew all the gaps that I, as an entrepreneur new to the industry, couldn’t yet see. The advice he offered was always spot-on, and I was eager to seek it out at any opportunity. Sometime after we finished that first project, I happened to

me, I’ve spent plenty of hours trying to learn as much as I can. The reality is that there’s no playbook for a business. If there


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