I sold Quartet in July this year after 23 years of hard work and laughter with many, many good friends. (Here’s the link to that news.) We built a very good company and laid the foundation for an even better, bigger one to come. But that’s another story, for another letter.
This is a thank you letter to the people who built Quartet. I purchased Quartet as a tattered real estate/technology experiment, and morphed it into managed services, VoIP, multi-cloud services, cybersecurity, and more. I inherited a broken vision, skeptical staff, and nervous customers, but I also got a great head start on a compelling idea.
I wanted to eliminate that thin membrane between our personal and business lives. I wanted to embrace work friendships and didn’t want to park my life while at work. But calling it a lifestyle vision belittled our intent. We planned build a profitable, professional organization, but not at the expense of all a company could and should be.
Our first step was to build a good home for good people. That’s not revisionist history, it really was our very first goal. We wanted children, spouses, holidays, and parties to be part of the journey, not baggage on it. We surrounded ourselves with people who celebrated nerdship, worked hard, and most of all, cared about each other.
The next step was to find and keep good customers. We learned quickly that our best customers had similar visions. They had warm cultures, played the long game, and were disciplined. We followed simple rules to nurture them:
- Always give the benefit of the doubt.
- Fall on your sword if you make a mistake.
- Seek first to understand.
Our customers were part of our circle and we embraced them every way we could. We are deeply indebted to them.
We’re also indebted to our competitors and suppliers. We thrived on the co-opetition and appreciated the advice, support, empathy, and more. Some of my best friends and best memories come from this group and I’m still smiling about the things we got up to.
Our family and friends were great. They waited patiently as we resolved issues, nodded attentively as we vented, and laughed hard at jokes they didn’t always understand. It’s great to see how our families have evolved and we’re proud of the contributions we’ve made to each other.
However, perhaps the biggest thanks should go to Fully Managed for acquiring Quartet. They share our values, have a dynamite vision and bring the tools, scale, and perspectives needed by our customers and staff as we all move further into the decade of digital transformation. We’re on the very first steps of our journey with them and I couldn’t be more excited about what’s next.
And that’s the story for my next letter.