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Meant To Be Pondering What Led Me to MicroTech
I was recently asked, “What would you do if you weren’t running MicroTech?”
job that played into the strong suits I had while also gave me the experience I needed.
I was perplexed. What would I be doing? I guess growing up, it was never really much of a question as to what I wanted to do. My dad was his own boss and started MicroTech Systems in the 1970s. Meanwhile, my mom had a career where she was working for a large corporation. I don’t recall for sure, but I imagine growing up I was able to compare the two. At some point, I suppose I subconsciously realized that I wanted the freedom and lifestyle my father had, and that meant becoming a business owner. That’s not to say I was looking for a way to coast through life. In fact, it was the opposite. I was looking for a career where I could be driven to create a happy, healthy life. I was a pretty driven kid, and today, I’m still a very driven person. (In fact, it’s kind of the family joke that my dad was practically retired until I came in and started making him do some work.) But I’ve also enjoyed jobs where I was working for someone else. I remember finishing college on a Friday in the mid-‘90s, and by Monday, I was working for a marketing research company. I had graduated from college with a double major in finance and marketing, and I was looking for something in the finance industry. But if you’ve been in Boise long enough, you know this wasn’t the time to be looking for finance jobs in the Treasure Valley. Unlike today, the finance industry was nearly nonexistent, and I needed to find a
I worked for the marketing research company for three years, and while I learned a lot, I also learned that this was not the job for me. I found it mundane, and little excited me about it. Around this same time, my dad’s business had grown stagnant. His business partner retired in 1998, and I was at the point where I was looking for an exit from the marketing research work I was doing.
So, I thought, “Why not give this a whirl?”
And so, more than two decades ago I found myself at MicroTech Systems, and since then, I’ve been making the aspirations I had as a little kid become a reality. I wouldn’t call IT or technology work a great passion of mine, but I have been happy to do the work I do every day. As I’ve said before, my dad gracefully stepped aside and let me take hold of the reins early on, and I’ve had the honor of watching this company grow within the Treasure Valley. So, do I know what I would be doing if I wasn’t running MicroTech? Not really. I know I’d want to be my own boss and running a business, but I like to think it’s a good sign that I’m not sure what industry I’d like to be in. That tells me I’m right where I was meant to be.
Have a great new year,
JUMP-START YOUR BUSINESS With Eric Ries’ ‘The Lean Startup’
After reading just a few pages, it’s easy to see why everyone raves about Eric Ries’ invaluable manual “The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses.” Ries is a fantastic writer, but two aspects of his writing style separate him from the pack of typical business writers and keep you turning pages: He is intellectually honest and cheerful about his business insights. Eric takes a common notion in business — “fail fast, succeed fast” — and breaks it down into a system that works for businesses and keeps consumers happy. “The Lean Startup” recommends the use of a minimum viable product, or MVP, to gauge demand before you embark on major product development. Forbes describes an MVP as “a product with only a basic set of features, enough to capture the attention of early adopters and make your solution unique.” If you jump into building the best product possible before measuring what your consumers actually need, you risk wasting a lot of time. Market research can tell you a lot, but MVPs can tell you even more. Plus, if your initial rollout is successful, you can respond quickly to consumer feedback and tailor your final product to specific needs.
also warns against putting any real value in vanity metrics, which TechCrunch describes as data points, “like registered users, downloads, and raw page views.” Anyone can generate immediate hype for a product, but it’s another thing to maintain constant engagement and experience growth of consumer interest. With a good MVP and continued improvement of your service or product, your business will see that growth and also retain customers. Ries’ guidance does not end with MVPs and vanity metrics; here are some other key takeaways that will keep you on the lean startup path when it’s most daunting.
“It’s the boring stuff that matters most.”
“Remember if we’re building something that nobody wants, it doesn’t much matter if we’re doing it on time and on budget.”
“Customers don’t care how much time something takes to build. They care only if it serves their needs.”
In the epilogue, Eric’s intellectual honesty shines; he readily admits that some readers may take his theories as a means to justify their past business actions. But he encourages everyone to use his book instead as a guide for what they will do next in their entrepreneurial journey. See What Our Customers Are Saying “We have been using Micro Tech Systems for about six months now. They are very responsive and follow through with any open tickets/problems that come up. They are proactive and give good advice without being pushy. I’ve used a few other companies in the valley, and I feel this company is by far superior and has good processes in place. “ –Lisa Whitney “MicroTech’s customer service is outstanding! They have been a great partner with Eagle Fire and Rescue for many years. As we have grown, so have our IT needs. MicroTech has been with us every step of the way.” – Angie McBride
Throughout his book, Ries emphasizes the importance of consumer feedback for the success of your business, but he
At MicroTech Systems, our mission to provide 5-star IT service wouldn’t be possible without our dedicated team. Whether they have been with us for years or weeks, we appreciate their commitment. This January, we would like to honor team members Derek Hunt and Jeremy Young for their birthdays . Our fearless leader, Randy Amorebieta, is also celebrating 21 years with MicroTech!
Thank you for your continued support and dedication to our team, guys!
The Rise of Managed Service Providers
WHY BUSINESSES OUTSOURCE TECH NEEDS
How do you evaluate a managed service provider? MicroTech knows MSPs inside and out. If your business is considering establishing a partnership with one, make sure the provider you work with offers the following. • Customer Service Center Make sure your MSP offers a help desk where you and your staff can call and remotely resolve routine issues as they arise. • Regularly Scheduled Visits Some MSPs operate virtually, but to get the highest level of service, choose a local MSP that offers routine visits to your business.
Technology is woven deeply into small businesses, and while most help desks operate on a 9-to-5 schedule, your business’ network needs to run smoothly at all hours of the day. Enter the role of managed service providers (MSPs). MSPs like MicroTech Systems manage, fix, and maintain tech systems so small businesses can focus on what they do best: growing. At MicroTech, we have been partnering with local businesses to take care of their technology needs since the 1970s. Back then, a typewriter was considered high tech. In the beginning, we focused primarily on fixing problems as they arose, but the more experienced we got, the clearer it became that the most efficient way to deal with tech problems is to prevent them from happening altogether.
• Extended Support Hours When an IT issue wreaks havoc on your business after hours, a local MSP will come in and remain on-site with you until the issue is resolved. MSPs are a growing industry, and working with one can save your business money, time, and a whole lot of headaches. Call MicroTech Systems at (208) 345-0054 to learn more about how we can help you grow your business, and visit MicroTechBoise.com/microtech-blog for more tech tips and advice.
Today, MicroTech operates in a partnership model with our clients. We support tech products 24 hours a day, catalog events, and make sure antivirus software is working properly. And long after all the other help desks have closed and gone home for the day, we are local and ready to respond quickly when the chaos of a downed network strikes your business — or better yet, able to prevent it from ever going down.
Easy Tomato Soup Who doesn’t love a bowl of tomato soup on a cold winter’s day? This recipe packs a lot more flavor — and a lot fewer additives — than your average store-bought soup without requiring hours of hard labor over the stove.
Have a Laugh!
• • • •
2 tbsp coconut oil
• • •
8.5 oz coconut milk
4 leeks, white parts only, thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, minced
Freshly ground black pepper
1 28-oz can roasted and diced tomatoes (Muir Glen Organic is a good brand)
1 cup chicken broth
4. Add sautéed leeks and garlic and purée again. 5. Transfer purée to a saucepan and add chicken broth and coconut milk. Bring to a boil, then drop to simmer and cook for 10 minutes. 6. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve.
1. In a skillet over medium heat, sauté leeks in coconut oil until softened and translucent, about 7–10 minutes. 2. Add garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds. Remove from heat. 3. Meanwhile, in a blender, purée entire can of tomatoes, including juice, until smooth.
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What Would You Do if You Didn’t Have Your Job?
Optimize Your Business With Eric Ries
The Rise of Managed Service Providers
Easy Tomato Soup
Are New Year’s Resolutions a Waste of Time?
Throw Away Your Resolutions And Set Alternative Goals for the New Year
At the start of each new year, about half of all Americans set at least one New Year’s resolution, a promise to themselves that they will thrive in the coming year. Unfortunately, research from YouGov Omnibus, an international market research firm, found that only 1 in 5 Americans stuck to their resolutions. The fallibility of New Year’s resolutions is why few successful CEOs or leaders bother making them. Around this time of year, plenty of articles pop up with hot takes like, “Don’t set New Year’s resolutions; make goals instead!” Unfortunately, if you haven’t been making goals already, you’ve likely been setting yourself up for failure. Setting goals, achieving them, and making new ones should be a habit all year long, not just something you do on Jan. 1. The start of a new year is still a great time to reflect and strategize, but rather than fall on an old cliche, take a page from two of the most successful people in business.
valuable, and actionable than half-blindly looking forward with broad resolutions,” Ferriss said in a 2018 blog post.
At the start of each year, Ferriss spends an hour going through his calendar from the past 12 months and making a note of every person, activity, or commitment that sparked the strongest emotions, both positive and negative. The most positive events get rescheduled immediately for the new year. Meanwhile, the negative ones get put on a “Not-To-Do List” and hung up where Ferriss can see them. Pick a word of the year with Melinda Gates. “I do believe in starting the new year with new resolve,” says Melinda Gates, co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, “but instead of adopting a resolution, I choose a word of the year — a word that encapsulates my aspirations for the 12 months ahead.” Gates says that words like “spacious” or “grace” have helped her center herself and serve as a reminder about what she really wants to focus on. In 2019, Gates chose the word “shine,” stating that, “It’s a reminder for all of us to turn on the lights inside of us, lift each other up, and shine together.”
Reflect on 2019 with Tim Ferriss. For decades, entrepreneur and best-selling author Tim Ferriss made New Year’s resolutions every year. Then, he developed a better strategy. “I have found ‘past year reviews’ (PYR) more informed,
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