We have great partners. In my mind, partners amplify my efforts, anticipate my needs and give me regular doses of frank honesty. In our mutual actions, we trust (and verify), own up to our mistakes and shortcomings, underpromise, and do our best to overdeliver. In short, partners make Tipping Point Partners better. By this definition, I am lucky to be surrounded by people who act like partners, ranging from my colleagues to our co-investors and company founders. There are actually too many to mention, but you know who you are. And I hope that you believe that I've lived up to my own standards.
There are three partners who deserve special recognition for the vital role they played in 2009:
- Pivotal Labs. Tipping Point Partners is a better firm because of Pivotal. Working with Pivotal has forced us to adopt a highly disciplined approach to agile development, which has forced us to think deeply about the business processes that can support and grow product-and-service centered companies. Our company creation and development process now meshes pretty seamlessly with Pivotal's agile software development methodologies, including our growing capability to manage to budgets and timetables. And we are really proud of the software they've built with us, including Cookstr and Casebook (not public yet).
- Engineyard. Our companies are succeeding in making the transition to cloud computing because of Engineyard's Rails network management business. Tipping Point Partners has become much smarter and thoughtful about infrastructure, thanks to Engineyard's deep experience and huge investment in thinking about cloud enablement and open source software hosting.
- Aion Partners. It's so easy to forget the vital role that real estate plays. But financial crisis has a funny way of showing business partners' true colors. I feel very fortunate for the great relationship Tipping Point has with our landlord - and partner.