“Built to Scale” with Craig Severinsen and Jeremy Duvall

“You have to focus on hiring the right people, creating the right culture, and giving them the space to think for themselves.”

7Factor Founder and CEO Jeremy Duvall breaks down what success really looks like — and how 7Factor puts people before product — on Episode 17 of “Built to Scale,” a podcast with Craig Severinsen. Take a listen, or read the full transcript below!


Jeremy Duvall (00:00):

One thing I’ve learned in the past five years is that if you focus on providing a good environment for smart people to come and do cool stuff, your revenue will explode.

Craig Severinsen (00:14):

Welcome to Built to Scale, where we have real conversations with entrepreneurs, just like you, about what it takes to build a thriving business without sacrificing your personal life. My name is Craig Severinsen and I help people make more money working with better clients while also working less. And now I’m sharing it all with you. Let’s dive in.

Craig Severinsen (00:37):

What’s up everybody. And welcome to episode 17. Today we have a special guest. His name is Jeremy Duvall. He runs a company called 7Factor, and I gotta tell you, Jeremy brings the heat. This conversation is so good. So packed with value. This is not hyperbole. This is like just seriously. He really drops a ton of value in this. And in particular, there are three things that I wanna point out to you that you can look out for. So, number one is the importance of being different. So not necessarily trying to be better than your competition, but standing out from the crowd and how important that is for business growth. Number two, we talk about allowing yourself and your business to run the way that’s best for you. Like not trying to conform to the way that maybe other businesses are running, but finding that rhythm and that groove for your clients and for your staff in order to just take off. And then number three, we talk about how Jeremy focuses on relationships rather than deliverables. In other words, he focuses on the relationship with the client and the relationship with his staff and how by doing that, the deliverables follow. So that’s what we got going on today. And without further ado, let’s dive in.

Craig Severinsen (01:49):

Jeremy, you started your business about five years ago and you’ve seen a ton of growth. So before we get into the growth side, like let’s start at the time where you were getting ready to start your business. What were the major drivers for you in terms of starting your business? Like, why did you get into it?

Jeremy Duvall (02:09):

Yeah, great question. Software engineering is an interesting field. A lot of people don’t understand us, right? Because we’re the nerds that sit around and when their headphones on, writing various pretty colored words that turn into the stuff you use on the internet. So it’s that place that I came from: out of the industry. I worked for Microsoft, and coming from there, going into consulting – well there’s a huge differential. And one of the challenges that I’ve seen is a lot of firms kind of treat you as a butt in a seat. You’re, you know, you’re an hour and a rate. And even though I worked for a really good firm with a lot of really awesome people, there was still that sort of feeling of “I’m only here to make money” that kind of cut through what I was working on in terms of client projects.

And so I decided to start a company that was more focused on being an engineering consulting firm for software engineers. Most of the people on staff that I have here are software developers. I have a few folks that are operations oriented that are not engineers. My being a software engineer for almost 17 years of my life sort of fed into this decision of “let’s build something that was designed to provide software engineers a way to be a consultant and to influence other folks and other company’s products,” but without some of the nonsense that people like me don’t really want to be a part of in the bigger software or in the bigger consulting firms. And again, this isn’t a slight that those giant firms, they do really good work and a lot of folks work incredibly hard to make their clients happy. But software engineers are principled people, and we want a certain set of things and a certain set of baselines that a lot of traditional consulting firms just have a hard time providing,

Craig Severinsen (04:08):

You know, I can really relate to that. Not that I’m not that I’m in software, but when I started my businesses, like the straw that broke the camel’s back for me was I had gone on vacation, so I had no more vacation days. And then we had medical emergency and you know, they started saying, “Hey, do we dock Craig’s pay?” And it was like so ridiculous to me that this was even a conversation. That you know, my spouse was in the hospital and Craig is home on his own his kids and – do we knock his pay? I’m like, this is just such a ridiculous conversation. There’s gotta be a better way to run a business and really support your employees. And so to me, it’s a very similar idea of like, you know, I want to create an environment where that’s not an issue and it sounds like you had a kind of a similar drive to you, right. Create an environment that’s better than what you were experiencing in the marketplace.

Jeremy Duvall (05:06):

Yeah. And, and software developers, again we’re special people. We have very specific needs. We like to problem solve. The funny thing people don’t know about software engineering is it’s more of an art form than it is a traditional science. In writing software for a client or for your product organization, it’s more like we’re painting a picture together, as opposed to I’m building you a thing with discrete components that I just kinda line up and put on my assembly line, and out the other end you get this magical piece of working software that does a thing. And a lot of organizations design and build their engineering pipeline to be more of that empirical, “go from point a to point Z with a deliverable style of work.” And that’s not really something that’s conducive to building the proper social networks required to build a good product.

Again, I’m not saying that everyone’s wrong and I’m right. I’m saying that there are different shades of right. And certain engineers want to be a part of a more open and free organization that empowers them to solve problems. Instead of handing you 10 tickets on your backlog and say, “Hey, you know, can you get that done for me by Friday?” <laugh> That doesn’t work with us. There are a lot of things to unpack there that we can go into if you have additional questions on it, but I won’t bore you with estimates and all the other things that irritate me in general about how engineering organizations are run these days. But being different was one of the key differentiators. And one of the key components that we looked for is to provide a space for engineers to be themselves, but also to consult because it’s a lot of fun to walk into an ambiguous situation that you’ve never looked at before and to figure out how do I build a piece of software that solves this problem? That to me, is the ultimate challenge. And it’s a lot more fun than sort of coming into work every day, getting my task list and executing against it.

Craig Severinsen (07:05):

You know, that’s really interesting. Like you said, there’s a lot to unpack there, but one of the things that stood out to me was that you’re not saying that it’s right or wrong, but that, you know, your way attracts a certain type of person. And I think that is key not just in building a team, but building your, client base too: really taking a stand and understanding that it’s right for you and it’s right for your clients. And if it’s not right for those people, they go find someone else, right? They take their business elsewhere or they go work somewhere else. But by yes, by being really true to yourself and by really standing for something and the keyword for me – being different. Right. And that it’s not always, it’s not always a matter of being better than the competition or something like that. It’s about being different and attracting the people that like that flavor or that hundred percent.

Jeremy Duvall (08:01):

Very cool. Yeah. Most consulting firms exist for revenue, right? That’s what we chase. I like to say that scaling a service or starting a services firm is pretty easy. All you need is to have a relationship and an LLC entity set up and the appropriate contract nonsense. I remember when I started, I had to get like $4 million worth of VNO insurance and all the other things. I had no idea what that was. And I learned it as I created my own business. Starting a services business is really easy, but scaling becomes orders of magnitude more difficult because now we’re dealing with relationships. My business is not about delivery, whether or not people believe that. And my clients are all about the delivery, or all about this and that. And yes, you’re right. I need to deliver value to you as my customer, but ultimately it’s about forming the appropriate relationships and keeping smart talent in house in order to deliver against those things that you want.

A lot of the times consulting firms will chase the almighty revenue, the almighty margin, which is those are important things. And they do say things about the health, that the business, when you get to a certain size, you start maxing your revenue streams, and sorting out the best way to raise rates and things like that to kind of get your client to spend more money on what’s perceived to be the same product. Or maybe you work hard to differentiate yourself by coming up with some gimmicky ways to describe how you deliver to your customers. But the way we focus on things is, I don’t really focus on revenue. I don’t focus on margin.

Those are important things that I track, and I use them as metrics to tell me directionally how we’re doing, as opposed to saying from the top down, “I must have 40% gross margin on every head in my shop,” and if I don’t get that, I’m failing as a CEO and my company’s failing as a company, and I need to go and raise rates and fire, you know, my startups, which we give discounts to because they’re a lot of fun to work with. Just because I’m chasing that almighty revenue. And I’ll tell you, one thing I’ve learned in the past five years is that if you focus on providing a good environment for smart people to come and do cool stuff, your revenue will explode. And that’s what we’ve seen over the past five years.

Craig Severinsen (10:21):

That is such a cool concept and a cool statement. I almost want you to repeat it right? Cause it’s like, that is such a cool idea. And, and the other thing that’s really standing out to me about what you’re saying that I’ve also found to be true is that that relationships, I mean, you’re putting it in context of the team. And, and more so, but you’re also talking in terms of a client delivering that relationship. So that’s almost more important than the deliverable, because if you can develop and keep a good relationship, even when there are bumps in the road, you’ll keep that client

Jeremy Duvall (10:54):

A hundred percent. And I’m kind of showing all my cards here, which is kind of silly because anybody who’s been in services for longer than a couple of years recognizes right out the bat that one of the things you want to go after pretty quickly is political capital with your clients, right? Never let a good crisis go to waste. So there’s all these things and tricks that consulting firms play. But we sort of ignore that.

Instead we have a saying around here: “kind candor,” where it’s like, “Look, I’m gonna be candid with you. I’m not gonna be a jerk, but I’m gonna be candid with you. And, if this isn’t working out, if we’re not delivering to your expectations, or you think you’re overpaying because you can go offshore and spend 20 bucks an hour, great. Go do that. We will not disrespect you. We will not say you’re doing the wrong thing because you really honestly believe that that’s the right thing for your business. Go for it. Yeah. And we will find another customer or another way of surviving as a company to ensure that my people are happy.” Because again, a lot of consulting firms, they lose sight of the fact that your people are your product. And if you’re not focusing on cultivating a good product – which is hiring the right people, developing the right culture, giving folks autonomy allowing them to make decisions for themselves again, within a framework – then you’re making a huge mistake and you’re making a tactical error and you’ve already screwed up the opening, to use a chess analogy, right? You’re lost. So at this point you have to recover and sort out, how do you solve the mid game?

How do you get to an ending where you might actually win with that particular client? It is all about relationships. You don’t wanna stretch them too far. You don’t wanna stretch them too thin. You want to make sure your relationships are real. And that they’re not based on a lie and smoke and mirrors.

One of the things we do here is we show customers how the sausage is made. Maybe you’ve heard that analogy, right? You never wanna see how the sausage is made. Building software is a really messy event. And despite the fact that we think we’ve solved it with Agile and Scrum and all these other fancy things that we’ve invented to try and sort this very difficult process of turning ideas into physical, moving things on a screen, using electrons on this little tiny sheet of Silicon, despite the fact that we think we’ve solved those processes, we’re not, and it’s it’s proof because you look at all the failed projects that are out there, right? Yeah. Look at the Hertz Accenture thing where, where Hertz sued Accenture for, you know, I think they spent like $1.2 million on a website and they sued Accenture, because they didn’t actually deliver against that. I guarantee you that if you crack that thing open, you’re gonna find that it wasn’t just Accenture’s fault. And it also wasn’t just Hertz’s fault. It’s always about expectations. It’s always about the relationship. It’s all always about what I call a social network. Everybody working together, talking, figuring out how we’re gonna do this thing together. And that ultimately is how you build good software is through that social network. And not just through tickets that filter through a backlog that get to somebody that can type it up on a screen.

Craig Severinsen (13:56):

You know, I love the way you just explained, the electrons on a Silicon screen, you know, it like puts it in perspective. Oh my goodness. Like . . . this is like a miracle. It reminds me of a bit, I don’t even remember who it was, but they’re like, everyone’s so upset that their cell phone doesn’t get a response right away. It’s like, it’s gotta go to space and back! Can you give it a minute? It’s going into space. You know, it’s, we’re working on this thing that is literally a miracle of modern science and we were so picky about it. You know what I mean? And we’re so upset about it.

Jeremy Duvall (14:25):

Our field is less than 80 years old. Right? Think about a road. How long have roads been around? Since forever. Right? How long has gravity been around? Ah, since the beginning of our planet, right? These are things that people lose sight of when developing software and computer science and electrical engineering that, you know, – silicon – all of these are things that we haven’t had until the modern era. So yeah, people get really testy about that. It’s hilarious to me having insight into how all those things are done and spending time getting a master’s degree in computer science and, you know, working with a lot of really smart hardware engineers across various companies and various products.

The average person really needs to be educated on what a miracle it is that you can watch this on the internet <laugh> cause the internet didn’t exist before. The internet was invented by people. It’s like the car, you know? You drive in a car every day. Most people, I grew up taking that for granted. Right. I jump in a car and drive down the road. Now kids that are growing up these days – “uphill in the snow, you know, both ways” kind of statement here – but kids that are growing up these days are jumping on YouTube and watching their favorite streamer play a video game. And it’s like, “Seriously, guys. This didn’t exist until, you know, literally I don’t know, 40 or 50 years ago.” That’s pretty crazy to me.

Craig Severinsen (15:49):

Oh, you’re making me laugh too. Cause I’m thinking about my kids. You know, we get in the car, they’ve got iPads, and they’re like, “I can’t play my game. There’s no internet. What’s the deal?” And it’s like, come on guys. Like you you all have iPads! Like, come on. <laughs>

So I wanna circle back to a couple thoughts before they get lost. Right? So number one, what you’re talking about really, there’s a, there’s a philosophy that I really resonate with. And, and I don’t know if it’s more of a moral philosophy or a business philosophy, but for me, I only work with clients when it’s mutually profitable. And when it stops being mutually profitable, whether it’s no longer profitable for me as a business or it’s no longer powerful for them as a business, then it’s time to end the relationship. And understanding that relationships have flow, that you can let a client go, they’ll come back, and not pressuring them. I feel like it builds a lot of good will and momentum in the marketplace. You always win when you’re looking out for the value that you’re providing for other people. And you’re also putting boundaries and saying, you know what, it’s almost like being a steward for both parties. You gotta make sure the client’s getting value. You gotta make sure your business who you’re responsible for is also getting value. And if those two things are being met, then awesome. If it’s imbalanced or not working, we either fix it. Or we say goodbye and that’s okay.

Jeremy Duvall (16:59):

Yep. I think this is something that I had identified pretty early on when I got into consulting is that the sales teams are incentivized to make their revenue numbers, right? Taking it all back to the centerpiece of what do you value as a company? And, and again, I’m not saying that, you know, making a million dollars is a bad thing. People are successful because of their tenacity, because of their natural talents, because of their ability to manage multiple work streams, because of relationships. Like there’s nothing wrong with that. The thing that I noticed pretty early is that bad deals were incentivized because people were again, focusing on making the revenue targets as opposed to delivering value to the customer. And this is a difficult problem. And this is why we don’t have a traditional sales organization.

We don’t sell work the same way your average consulting firm does, because I don’t care about revenue, right? I’m a horrible CEO. Should probably fire me, any 7Factor people watching this. You should probably fire me <laugh> but at the end of the day, what’s important to us is exactly, as you said, the relationship with the client: ensuring that it’s mutually profitable, that we’re both mutually successful. We both have the same ideologies because I’ll tell you one thing: as I mentioned earlier at the top of the show, we are Al people. We’re philosophers. There’s a correlation between a structured belief system and being a good developer. I promise you nobody’s done any sort of studies on this. But I, I swear to you, every developer I talk to is a principled human being or a musician, which is a totally different conversation.

At the end of the day, focusing on relationships and mutually beneficial conversations is really what allows us to succeed together. And as you said, I’ve had clients walk up to me and, we have the conversation. It’s like, you know what? You’re probably not a fit for us anymore. We’re gonna piece out. We haven’t had too many of reciprocating conversations where we made a mistake. We’re not perfect. We do make mistakes. But we’ve had maybe two projects in five years that we’ve worked on together as a company where we’ve had to apologize to a client – which you should do by the way; because you’re no better than they are. But we’ve only had a couple of projects that have gone sideways to the point that we have to apologize and say, “Look, we’re sorry. We don’t think this is gonna work out for whatever reasons. We made mistakes. You made mistakes. At the end of the day, we’re gonna break up. And maybe one day if the stars align, we might work together again. But right now, given the state of your existing product organization or given the state of your existing leadership organization or your current development shop, we’re not interested in continuing.” And it’s okay to do that because guess what? There are other customers you’ll find. I promise.

In the long run, holding onto those bad clients is gonna beat up your reputation. It’s gonna eat up your time. It’s gonna eat up your budget. And it’s not going to result in a satisfactory end for either party. Being a CEO of a company requires difficult conversations and facing those difficult conversations and making the decisions that other people don’t wanna make. Right? You gotta do that because having that painful conversation now is better in the long run for all parties involved.

I think the worst thing you can do as a services organization is hold on to a client that, while they may be a significant revenue stream to you, they abuse your folks. And this is a difficult topic to approach, right? Because we’re talking about human beings and the fact that we, you know, screw up and we make mistakes and we’re terrible animals, if you look at the history of humanity. But at the end of the day, if you do not focus on ensuring that your product -which is the folks that are on the ground, developing software for that client, or doing UI/UX for that client, or doing management consulting or process consulting, whatever you do – if you do not focus on ensuring that the folks on the ground are happy and doing the right thing for the client and properly motivated, you have already lost. Not only will you lose your talent, but you will eventually lose that client.

And all the only thing you have to show for it is a bucket of money, which maybe that’s your goal and that’s fine. But the only thing you have to show for it is a bucket of money. You don’t have any talent left. You don’t have any focus on solving strategic problems with that client left. It’s all about just the revenue. At which point you should just be a staffing agency. <Laugh> Like, why even have “consulting” in your name? If all you do is to exist to staff butts in seats? The reason people become consultants is they want to impact clients. They want to use their expertise and the things they’ve done in life and, add it to their rap sheet or their CV. They wanna apply that to their existing situation and problem solve. And again, I was a, victim of the butts-in-seats mentality quite a few times in my career.

And it was fun to do cool work and to be doing interesting things with my client, but not once did I feel like I was a part of a broader mission, and that’s why I left and started my own company, because I was not fed in that way. And that’s sort of my mission: to feed engineers with good work that keeps them happy and keeps them here. And I have really good turnover rates. So last year we added like 30 people to our team. Before that my attrition numbers were less than 1%. People were staying here and they still are.

Craig Severinsen (22:28):

And you’re telling your employees to fire you? Now that doesn’t make sense, man. <Laugh> Whatever you’re doing is working. Like, I love it. One of the things you said that I think is worth circling back to is, you know, you said to apologize to your clients, because you’re no better than them, right? Yes. And, and I think that that ties into the conversation we’re having here of like, if you just have standards. You only deal with people that are kind, or that are like actual human beings and know that we all make mistakes, right? But they treat you with respect. You have that expectation of your employees; you have that expectation of yourself. Why wouldn’t you have that expectation of your clients? Viewing them as partners rather than any sort of subordinate. It’s a partnership, and when one of you crosses that boundary, it’s a lot easier to say, “Sorry, we only work with people who treat us this way, or have this level of respect.” It’s a lot easier to walk away when you’ve got that kind of approach: one, partnership, and two, everyone we interact with is respectful. And if they’re not, then we don’t work with them.

Jeremy Duvall (23:39):

A hundred percent. Yep. That’s key and critical to successful engagements. It’s key and critical to successful partnerships and long-term conversations with customers. And I love it. It’s one of the harder things to do though, because you have to be careful about setting the right boundaries. And you don’t wanna take it too far where you get comfortable. One of the mistakes that we’ve made several times is getting too comfortable with clients because we get to know them and they like us. We like them. We try to staff the same people on projects over the long term, because we want that tacit knowledge to be there. But we also know that the client is very comfortable with those humans and they like them. And that just provides a safety blanket where you’re like, “Oh, that guy, he’s awesome. I like him so much. He’s on my project for the long term. I feel so much better about it.” But you have to be careful as a consultant on the grounds that you don’t get too comfortable because when you get too comfortable, you can make mistakes. You can say things that you probably shouldn’t. You can not hold yourself to the standard that you should to deliver for that way. Cause you’re like, “Oh, it’s this guy. It’s all good. He’ll be fine with it.” And then all of a sudden that spirals.

Craig Severinsen (24:43):

It’s almost like you’re taking ’em for granted. Right. And so it’s like, “Oh, it’s a gimme that they’re gonna stick around. Or it’s a gimme that we’re gonna have that work,” versus making sure that you’re showing again that it’s mutually beneficial. Right. Is it beneficial for them? Is it beneficial for you? If you get too comfortable, are you starting to take each other for granted? You know, the analogy that comes to mind for me, – and this is weird to think about with clients – but it’s like a marriage, right? If you start taking your spouse for granted, then it falls apart. Right. You gotta continually put in the work so that you’ve got a good relationship.

Jeremy Duvall (25:16):

Yeah. That will not work out well for you.

Craig Severinsen (25:20):

So you know, you’ve grown a ton. Now you’re kind of at an upper level, right? You’ve doubled in size over the past year. What are the new challenges that you’re facing? What are the new obstacles that are on your radar that you haven’t maybe faced in the past?

Jeremy Duvall (25:40):

That’s an excellent question. As a matter of fact, this week I’m meeting with all of my engineering managers and we’re discussing these problems. I would think operationalization is probably the biggest challenge that we have as a company. We started with cultural ideologies. We started with a focus on providing good feedback to engineers that join us and providing a long term career here. One that’s focused on problem solving and doing good things. We don’t have any sort of well-placed framework that would help folks understand what it means to grow in your career here. But I, I mean, to be honest, that’s a hard problem. I don’t know if many companies that have solved that. Well, for example, in Microsoft, we fired the bottom 10%. Everybody was graded on a bell curve. This was back in the Bomber days. So nobody throw rocks at me. Sach as a nicer guy than Bombers, I guess.

But we graded on a bell curve and the bottom 10% of the company was literally fired and walked out out the door. And systems like that can be very toxic and bad. So we have to figure out how we as a company provide a career, a long term career. Because, I don’t want to lose these people. As I’ve said many times before. I know there will be an eventual self selection out of certain people. That’s always gonna happen. Right? Your employees are not your family. They work for being part of a team, not a family. So you have to expect them to leave eventually if they get a better offer and that’s completely cool. We wanna support them in that and give them the experience here that helps them become a better developer and a better human down the road.

So those operationalization problems are about, how do we put frameworks in place? How do we build sort of a career journey here? How do we put frameworks and policies in place when we’re onboarding new clients? Like all of this – what I call big company problems – are things that we have to deal with. When there were 20 people I could call audibles. I could just say, “This is what we’re gonna do.” If I wanna chat with people, I’m like, “Hey, can we go in that room over there?” That’s literally like the size of my office right here. And let’s just all talk and figure out together how we’re gonna solve these problems and move forward. It was very, very easy. When you grow to the point that now I have multiple channels that I have to communicate across, we have to start being more like an actual company. Which is sad to me because I like being the Anti-corporate. I like being the rebel, but at the same time we have to have these things in place and that’s what we’re talking about. And don’t act like it’s easy. It’s so, so hard to put correct policies in place that don’t just make people go. “Ugh that again? Yeah. Yeah. Five star performance review plan. Great.”

Craig Severinsen (28:23):

Well I love first of all, talking about, because it’s the problem you couldn’t help, but instead talk about the solutions that you’re putting in place with it. Which so I love to see both, both sides of that. Like first of all, you’re meeting and involving your team in it. You’re trying to build frameworks for it and operations for it. But the real challenge is how do we grow now that we’ve got more team and more bureaucracy and more big company problems and still retain that culture that really drove us? And I think that it’s cool to see both that driving factor of what has helped you grow, understanding it and knowing that it’s core to you and seeing how you’re approaching it to, to solve it. That’s really cool.

Jeremy Duvall (29:10):

Cool. I have a theory on culture and then I’ll leave you with this. To me, culture is not something that you define and drive people towards. That’s a framework, that’s a philosophy, right? Culture to me is the amalgamation of the belief systems of every person on your team. Just put all out there on the table. Right now we do have to have similar underlying ideologies, right? And again, remember developers are very philosophical people, I believe in A, B, C, D E F and G. And I might, you know, maybe I’ll compromise on these five points, but this is what I think it means to be a good software engineer. And this is where I place my value system. And this is where my self confidence as a software engineer comes from. It is this baseline set of priorities across all these different engineers, because remember we’re artists. We are different.

There are certain ways to solve a problem that is functionally equivalent to me, and you may solve differently for the same solution. So whose is better, right? Is the Bob Ross tree different than a Picasso tree? Well, yeah, but are they both trees? I mean, depends on who’s looking at it I guess, but there’s still the same concept of a tree and this is something people don’t understand in software engineering: we get so caught up on standards and practices, but really you were artists. You need to unleash us and allow us to solve problems creatively within a basic set of frameworks, a box that defines what good software is. And I’ll go into the theory of all of that. But culture to me is the amalgamation of all of the humans that I have on my team. It’s what they believe collectively.

And I can influence that apart from what they came to me with. So if you come to me with the following set of priorities and ideas, great, this person came to me with this set of ideas. That person came to me with this set of ideas. My culture is taking all 50 of those people, putting them in a room and figuring out what we all believe together. Now, yes, basic frameworks have to exist, right? Basic rules of, we don’t do the following things because it’s toxic shouldn’t exist. I’m not going to punch you in the face because you wrote bad code. That’s a really bad idea. We don’t wanna do those things, but we still have to leave room for our culture to move. I feel like a lot of leaders get caught up in, “Well it’s my culture, you know.vI need to just sort of ram this concept of culture down every person that comes on my door’s throat.” And it, it becomes kind of this toxic Kool-Aid situation where it’s like “Drink from the action of my cult of personality.”

And that’s not what people want. People want a higher set of ideas to attune themselves to specifically in my field. Maybe not in other fields, but in software engineering, we wanna attune ourselves to a common set of values, but I still want the freedom to make my own decisions. I don’t want you to tell me what to do. And so it’s a very difficult task to develop a software engineering organization with a set of common cultural ideals that we can then move forward to. And that’s what we’re trying to do. And my theory is that we don’t force that down people’s throats. We let it develop and we embrace what comes from that development. And then we steer it and we tweak it to make sure that it’s in line again with those core set of values of, you know, don’t punch your friend in the face if they wrote bad code. Yeah.

Craig Severinsen (32:36):

Yeah. That’s cool. That’s cool. That’s great. Great concept. Well, we’re out of time. If someone wants to find you, they wanna learn more about you and your company, where do they go? Where do they go to find that information at?

Jeremy Duvall (32:45):

Yeah, for sure. Hit us up at 7factor.io. We have the fancy nerdy domain name on the end of our website, but 7factor.io, You can find me on LinkedIn. Just Google my name, Jeremy Duvall. Happy to connect to you.

Craig Severinsen (32:59):

Awesome. Awesome. So great having you Jeremy, let’s keep in touch. I, I love this conversation. This was fantastic. Thank you so much.

Jeremy Duvall (33:05):

Thanks for having me on guys. This was great.

Craig Severinsen (33:11):

Thanks so much for listening. If this episode helped you share with someone who needs to hear it as well for more information on how you can work with me and great resources for your business, head over to built to scale hq.com. Join us next time for built to scale and until then take some fast focused imperfect action. I believe in you. I got your back. We’ll talk soon.