Member Spotlight: Test Double

Columbus Chamber
The Columbus Chamber provides connections, resources and solutions that help small businesses and Fortune 500 enterprises grow Central Ohio's economy.

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Test Double acknowledges that the road to most software is paved with cost overruns and broken promises. Their goal is to improve how the world writes software, and that’s what sets us apart.

Tell us about your company’s mission and values.

Our purpose is to improve the way the world builds software. Users are frustrated by complex and difficult to use systems. Business owners are tired of having the vast majority of their software projects come in over budget and behind schedule. Even the developers themselves are sick of working on bug ridden, difficult to maintain systems. We have a long way to go, but we are confident we’re working on the right problem.

What are the services you use the most (or are looking forward to using) from the Columbus Chamber?

We’ve used the letters of introduction and research for items like compensation, but we really enjoy the events. Getting to meet other members of the business community in Columbus and hear about the problems that they are tackling is always enlightening.

How do you stay engaged with trends that you see in your industry?

We do our best to talk to as many people in our industry as we can. We’re fortunate to be in an industry that has a multitude of conferences and we happen to belong to a group of similarly sized businesses who meet every 6 months to discuss challenges and opportunities that we are all facing.

What do you think differentiates you from your competitors?

We are one of the few completely remote software development agencies out there. It allows us to search all over the US and Canada for the best software developers that we can find. Further, the level of autonomy that we can provide by being a completely remote agency means that developers who are driven and work best with minimal constraints are eager to become part of our team.

What is your company culture like?

Autonomy, accountability and drive tend to be the characteristics of our culture and our people that stand out the most. We have very few constraints, but with that comes an accountability to delight our customers and earn their trust. We also have a very open and honest culture, people aren’t afraid to identify issues, brainstorm on solutions and continuously improve.

What advice would you have appreciated hearing when first starting your career?

I would tell my past self two things. Get out and network with as many people as you can and never stop learning. These two things have driven most of the success I’ve had in my career. The adage, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” isn’t entirely true, but the amount of opportunities that you can act upon is a direct result of the size of your network. “What you know” is still important, however, so never stop learning and growing.

How do you achieve work/life balance?

I find it really difficult to separate work and home life due to the fact that I work from home. I’ve tried to leave the home office, close the door and go spend time with my family at hard stops like 5 or 6pm so that I’m not constantly pulled into work when I should be spending time with them. It’s a difficult problem to solve as an entrepreneur but with time I’ve been able to find a good balance.

What business leader do you admire the most and why?

Herb Kelleher of Southwest Airlines is one of my favorites. His focus on doing things differently and not accepting the norms of his industry as concrete truths really helped to propel Southwest to the level of success that they’ve had. Further, I really admire his prioritization of employees above shareholders and customers. If you don’t delight your team, they won’t delight your customers and that will result in failure for the share holders. Too many companies have the opposite focus though.

Where is your favorite place to have a meeting outside of the office?

Well, given that we don’t have an office, we’ve become pretty experienced at this. We generally meet at a variety of places for coffee or lunch, but we really enjoy meeting at our client’s offices so we try to go there as much as we can. Getting face to face always helps to build relationships and it’s amazing what you can pick up from a visit to a client’s site. The environment says so much about the culture.

Why do you think Columbus is a great place to do business?

Columbus is a fantastic place to start a business. We’re a remote agency but a couple of our biggest clients are in Columbus and almost a third of our staff hails from Columbus. There seems to be no shortage of talent entering our industry within Columbus and the level of innovation and entrepreneurship is amazing.

Learn more about Test Double on their Website.

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