It’s time for another installment of Meet the Team! This time we sat down with ServiceMonster CEO Joe for a peek inside the mind of a true Renaissance man. Let’s get to know the brains and brawn behind ServiceMonster!
What did you do before you started ServiceMonster?: I resisted the urge to follow in my father’s footsteps in my early years. Early on I developed a love for process and science. I skipped college and entered into the workforce early where I quickly saw ways to become more productive. Despite my best efforts, it wasn’t long before I found business application development. I’m a third generation business owner and 2nd generation systems architect. I am or I have been: a carpenter, an audio engineer, a warehouse manager, a salesman, a process engineer, a bio-medical polymer chemist, a software engineer, a youth baseball and soccer coach, a systems architect, an API architect, a usability designer, a marketer, a speaker, and a board director.
What is your favorite part of your job at ServiceMonster?: The fact that it’s totally not a job. Sure, as CEO I have responsibilities. Sometimes those responsibilities conflict with something I would rather be doing (like coding [like right now]) but very often they are still fun and challenging (like right now). I am thankful for the fact that I love what I do. Every day.
Once a business owner asked me, “how many hours a day do YOU work?” My response set him back a bit when I replied, “Zero.” He was trying to prove a point about entrepreneurs. A recent meme states well: “40 hours a week. That’s cute. I remember my first part-time job.” As business owners, we are never “off.” There is no downtime. Part of our very nature is to always be thinking, working, and planning ways to move forward, lest we be eaten by the lion. When I applied that level of effort to companies I worked for, I made a bunch of people, who were not me, a lot of money. Over time I found a way to use my passion for technology and business to help other business owners achieve their own success. I do not call this work. This is my life.
What are you passionate about?
Family first. My wife and I have been married for over 20 years and we have 5 amazing children. I didn’t start ServiceMonster to be immersed in business at the sake of my family. I started ServiceMonster to change my family tree.
My work. I believe the best path to success comes from finding a way to help others with our passions. I’m crazy for systems architecture. In short, I love solving very complex business problems with computer software and hardware. I still find time almost every day to write code and ServiceMonster’s entire systems architecture (now in our 4th generation) is entirely of my own design. I find myself mentally creating systems almost anywhere. One of my best designs came to me while camping in the Cascades.
Teaching. As a Systems Architect, a CEO, and a father of 5, teaching is a requirement. I find that teaching others, in areas they are passionate about, is extremely satisfying. I often volunteer time to speak at local colleges and technical associations about business and technology and I’ve fantasized about retiring into professorship here at Western Washington University.
Business. While my work may be technology, I’m in love with business in general. It’s like a never ending chess game where all the pieces and opponents are forever changing. We have just hit 30 employees here at ServiceMonster and watching this team thrive is inspiring. At one point I realized, as smart as I think I am, I still only get 60 hours a week at best. With 30 employees, we lost 480 hours of work over the two-day Thanksgiving holiday! Not that they didn’t deserve it.
What is your favorite book?
The Art of War by Sun Tzu. The Art of War was written around 500 BC as a military strategy book credited to Sun Tzu, a Chinese general and war strategist. Its influence has since expanded on Eastern and Western military thinking and business tactics.
How do you spend a typical day at ServiceMonster?
Emails. Meeting. Coding. Meeting. Writing. Teaching. Monologging. Meeting. Coding. Emails.