Sat May 25 02:18:50 -0400 2013
TradersData was created in 1998 as a money management firm. Competitive forces were opening a segment of Wall Street once closed to all but a select few companies. At the same time, emerging technologies and the democratization of information offered new operating efficiencies. The venture was positioned to capitalize on the converging opportunities. Combining in-house IT capabilities with financial markets expertise, this business competed in the same space with larger and established trading firms,1 including a comparable risk profile, but with the advantage of uniquely low overhead.
Minimizing technology costs without sacrificing needed function was accomplished by replacing specialized systems with home-grown solutions. Open source software and commodity hardware provided platforms for developing and running the applications that made the business possible. At least as important as cost cutting was the ability to drive innovation based on requirements rather than being hostage to the limitations of third party software and vendors' timetables. The company history gives added detail, but the short story is: it worked.
Mission and IT were productively connected and the business thrived.
The link between profit center and technology support
runs deep at TradersData. IT proficiencies and creativity were
defining elements – raisons d'être.
I have always filled and managed every role as sole proprietor.
Q: Doesn't a sole proprietor have limited resources?
A: Every person and every organization has limitations. More to the point is an affirmative discussion of cognitive style, intellectual rigor, real experience and skill sets, and how they are effectively brought to bear on your challenges. Broad experience, tested across domains, is the cornerstone of TradersData 2.0, where IT solutions are the new mission.
TradersData is in transition, working towards delivering the same innovative Business / IT services that so successfully advanced the initial venture. How the new enterprise will take shape is still to be seen. No matter the direction, there is a wealth of both strategic and project-based capabilities to draw upon.
This is known: the promised solutions will be born of proven, real-world accomplishments.
Pushing boundaries has been a way of life — from the era before computers were ubiquitous in the workplace and my first home PC was spitting out market analytics (created with Lotus 1-2-3 macros and printed overnight for the next day), to more recent embraces of game-changing technologies so far ahead of the curve their names evoked blank stares, sometimes even in IT circles.
The purpose is not disruptive technology for its own sake, as if the daring of an excursion on the bleeding edge is the end pursuit. Rather, it is a mission to learn new tools and develop fresh skills to foster productivity. It is choosing not to resign oneself to software limitations, but electing instead to expand the possibilities and capacity for effectiveness. It is that empowered energy harnessed to the enterprise — whether personal or professional.
My technology quest has been a driving and defining trait for a long time. Intellectual curiosity leads me down new paths like an explorer discovering places he didn't know he was pursuing.
Discussing past experience is necessary, but less insightful if simply a list of examples when good fortune, or even gumption, led to stumbling into a contributor's role. More than disconnected anecdotes, my history paints a comprehensive picture of a path willfully chosen, and illuminated by never-ceasing passion for adapting to new technology where it intersects and improves my professional circumstances.
The story is more than old tales about past adventures. It suggests an answer to this dilemma: where does an organization find professionals having deep, enterprise experience with technology that has only recently become mainstream? With someone who, for years as an early adopter, has been busy learning and using new tools, and demonstrating the capacity to align them with business ends.
Comfortable in both business and technology circles, I am most passionate about facilitating and inhabiting where they dovetail. The initiative to shape technological change to my advantage, in every setting, has always been earnestly embraced. That energy and experience is at the heart of the services to be offered.
Tie yourself to your potential, not your history.
Stephen R. Covey [paraphrased]