I remember it like it was yesterday. It was late 2010 and the company I was working for had just informed us that they were to be acquired. It was a tremendous opportunity for the organization and most of the team stayed to put their shoulder to the new mission. But not me, I was going to do something different, take the leap, and start a new venture.
A few weeks later, there I was, sitting in my home office with the founding team and a wall full of sticky notes trying to come up with a name for the new company. It was to be a consulting firm and would focus on providing custom software development services at the highest quality. As you all know, the name we eventually selected was DevMynd. But, the process of selecting that name was anything but simple.
In hindsight I wish we had kept all those stickies because there were some real whoppers in there. Over the next few days we slowly began to edit and narrow down the options, eventually arriving at “Developers Mind”. Not a great name, which probably gives you some hint as to the quality of the rest of the bunch. That would finally be distilled to DevMynd; the “y” of course because, well, domains.
Over the first few years of DevMynd’s life our name served us well because it echoed our value proposition: matching highly skilled engineers with really challenging problems. It was a good name and it helped us build an outstanding culture and reputation.
We were doing great work, but over the period of about a year I came to realize that something was missing. Our team had coalesced around the fiddly bits of programming detail that excite engineers, writing good code. There’s nothing wrong with focusing on that stuff. In fact, those interests and minor obsessions are what create really well-crafted software. But good code isn’t a mission. What we needed was to find our mission.
This reflection led to thinking along a few lines: why are we in business, what do we really want to do, who do we want to serve, and given that, how should we operate. These questions seem so fundamental and simple but they capture a ton of inherent complexity. I won’t bore you with the details of how we answered these, but here are the answers:
Why do we exist as a company? Because we believe that well-made, technology-enabled products and services have a profound impact on life, society, and business.
What do we do? We provide end-to-end product development services that help our customers solve meaningful business and human challenges.
Who do we want to do it for? We work with upper-mid-market to enterprise clients across industries – but we have a special focus on the Impact Sector (healthcare, education, safety, sustainability, and food/agriculture).
How do we do what we do? We work in dedicated, cross-functional teams that immerse in our client’s businesses and we co-create solutions with stakeholders and constituents.
What is our mission? To leave a lasting impact on people (as individuals, employees, customers, and citizens) through the power of well designed technology.
This introspection took time, and it challenged us deeply. It meant that we could no longer look and act like we had in the past. Who we hired, who we sold to, how we worked, and our core identity – all had to change. And over the last two years we have begun to make that change. It has been slow, and sometimes painful, but it has been unequivocally worth it.
So today, we take another step towards our mission and commit ourselves to it with a new name: Tandem. It’s a simple six letter word, and a common one, but it packs a lot of meaning. It describes how we work with customers: co-creatively and in partnership. It describes how we work in teams: bringing together the disparate skills of research, design, engineering, and strategy. And, it reflects what we believe about humanity: that working together is the only way things change.
We are excited to share this new identity with our clients and the community around us. It will evolve over the years, just as DevMynd did. But, that evolution will be guided by our mission. And, we hope that somewhere along the journey we will be able to spend some time with you, as a client, a friend in the community, or a co-worker.
I would like to wrap up by saying thanks to all of the team members who have walked the halls at DevMynd over the years. This company couldn’t be where it is today without the time you spent with us, your inspiration, and your hard work. And, thanks to those who are here today, stepping into this new chapter at Tandem. We’re going to do great things together.