Choosing to do less

Recently a restaurant owner who uses another software solution emailed us asking several questions about our software’s capability. I guess he was unhappy and shopping for a more suitable solution. He was looking for things we don’t do – so the response was easy. We answered no to each and thanked him for stopping by. With software being so incredibly easy to create and offer as a service now – I understand we could do so much more…

There are many reasons why we don’t do all the things we “could” do with software and with our business, yet I do understand that what we believe in unique and not for everyone. We do less on purpose and I think it’s important to explain this in order to help the right restaurants understand the kind of company we are and what we believe in. We are not corporate minded fellas and will never hire any to work with us. We do not have dozens of employees and are not looking to grow internally with funding and sales people and such. We are not offering technology to control people and processes so tightly that it takes a manager with a key to override the technology or gobs of options and settings to set and manage. We actually lean to the side of people still having to make decisions – versus technology that does it all for them. We are 5 guys with a simple solution to a simple problem that will never go away and never change – so there is no plan to change our solution.

Here’s a good summary of why we don’t do more and how we operate – to get a better glimpse inside our simple company.

We have accumulated over 6,000 customers and – with patience – could reach 20,000+ and still be a relatively unheard of company serving a tiny % of our market that is also served by dozens of other companies like ours. The 5 of us work very well together – and know each other well and we are all great at specific things. For that reason, we rarely need to talk and no one manages any one else. I speak to Tyler a few times per year. Wil and I leave voice notes to each other now and again but I haven’t seen him in person in over 3 years. Charles and Hank live in the same town as me yet I see them rarely. Usually for a round of golf or hot wings or a cold beer on Charles’ back porch. So we don’t have team meetings. We don’t work in an office. We don’t travel and on and on. This keeps everything extremely simple and low cost and free from many many things that don’t really matter.

Instead, we work only when important works needs doing and after 9 years it’s still fun and rewarding work because it matters to people. Staying simple and not overdoing it (personally and in business) really matters to people. It matters to our customers and to our families. You can hear it in their voices and see it in their faces. They often thank us for not overdoing it and resisting the opportunity to do more. For this reason – we never dread work that needs to be done – because it always matters to someone. Busy work or work that doesn’t matter – that’s dreadful. So we don’t have it. All 5 of us spend more time with our families than anyone I know…and our company still grows. Every morning I see my kids and every evening we play and I give them baths and read with them. By saying no and by passing on the countless opportunities that we could pursue and instead focusing as hard as we can on those who believe we matter to now, we are relentlessly protecting a life and a company that I honestly had never dreamed could exist.

And lastly, I’ve personally written enough software to know that most of what I (we) could create will likely never matter to anyone and would just add more complexity and additional costs that come with owning and maintaining something that didn’t really matter. It’s like noise on the internet. Every day there is more noise for us to have to filter through and software we have to learn to use and questions we have to ask ourselves. Do I really need this? So we are not going to add more noise – just to try and make more money – just because we could. And just because technology “can” help, doesn’t always mean it should.

For me, Schedulefly is a once is a lifetime opportunity and company for many more reasons than the software we’ve written. It’s one to tell my grandkids about. A company like no other I’ve ever known.