Over the course of my career, I’ve sat in the seat of almost every IT role imaginable, spanning tech support, network and server administration, network design and solutions architect for enterprise and service provider datacenters, as well as for metro sized campus, multi-tenant environments. I’ve built and managed IT teams, coded in many different languages, taught using my own training materials, provided IT strategy to R&D/Academia, managed IT project budgets exceeding 20MM USD, and more.
In 2011 I started my own MSP business so that I could accomplish three things:
- Get back into technical work. Troubleshooting and problem solving are what I’m good at, and can be immensely rewarding.
- Help smaller businesses. I felt there was a huge gap between the level of IT maturity within reach of small business vs. that which was achieved by larger enterprises.
- Own my own business.
The problem with #1 is just time and scale. There’s only one of me, and there’s often not enough of me to go around. I could hire someone, but I wasn’t at scale yet so I couldn’t afford to.
The problem with #3 is that there is no shortage of MSP companies out there. I wasn’t really doing anything different than they were, and in fact “what is your unique value proposition” is one of the longest-standing unanswered questions in the MSP community.
Pivoting typically means a change in direction, but it can also mean honing your UVP. Stripping away the layers of paint down to the original hardwood.
The thing I do best is problem solving at the business level through the language of technology. And that’s where I’m applying my efforts going forward.