We sat down with Peter Thomas, CEO of Comet to understand the internal culture he has established within Comet and his decision why to undertake this new venture.
What if you had the chance to build something that helped other SMEs grow? would you do it? Would you take the entrepreneurial risk and start again from scratch?
That’s exactly what we’ve done here at Comet. This company is a bit different from other companies I’ve built in that Comet is about letting others drive the business. I’m letting it grow organically and although I’m sitting in the big chair, I’m listening to the team and letting them drive the ship.
In order to “let go” and let others contribute, we here at Comet work in a culture of sharing ideas. This usually involves lots of debate, which is a good thing. When people hear the word debate, their first thought is that of arguing.
Some people don’t like to debate; they feel it’s too confrontational and they don’t want to offend anyone.
The reality couldn’t be further from the truth. With debate comes the proactive discussion of ideas … and every time we do it we end up in a better place for it.
I have a saying that I encourage the team to adopt: “Fight your corner”. If you believe something needs to be done, for goodness sake say something. If you disagree with a particular direction we’re heading, then speak up. This open culture of allowing everyone from developers to customers service staff contribute, has done wonders. It’d be fair to say that we wouldn’t have made the progress we have without operating in this style of environment.
It’s given us new ideas, it’s helped change the direction a few times and refocused some of our priorities. And it’s nice to be able to listen to the team, and let them have their say. They feel like they’re making a contribution and they are effectively steering the ship.
This concept of listening is something that we’re pretty passionate about here at Comet. Comet started because in the backup space we felt as if many SMEs had been let down by some of their service providers. They weren’t being listened to. Some of the backup companies had bypassed the MSPs they’d dealt with and decided to go straight to the end user; a betrayal of the people who had helped build the backup companies.
Witnessing this first hand, through our involvement with MyClient Global, we listened and we decided that action needed to be taken. It seems like a lifetime ago but now here we are with Comet - a backup solution that will help MSPs and SMEs get what they need. It seems pretty simple: Listen to your customer and don’t try bypass them and sell to their customers!
In building Comet I basically want to give back to the SMEs what they had - the ability to sell a service under their own brand without competing with their own supplier, on their own terms.
This is very significant, especially if you’ve ever been involved in an SME. We all know that SMEs are the lifeblood of any community or economy, and that SMEs can often deliver a service far superior to any corporate. So it only makes sense to give back and help.
So to that end, if you’ve any ideas, thoughts, or you simply want to have your say, follow us on Twitter, and get involved in the conversations. We need your help to shape Comet.