Early in my career an industry veteran cautioned me from taking on a new initiative for my company. His words of wisdom were, “Pioneers Get all the Arrows.” I thought long and hard about these words as I embarked upon this initiative, ultimately working on a team that enjoyed much success. But the reason we enjoyed success is we understood and appreciated the risks involved, and we built solid plans to mitigate those risks. From the beginning of time great accomplishments were often preceded by great failures. Given the many years I resided in Chicago, I’m often reminded of how arguably one of the greatest athletes of our time, #23, Michael Jordan, failed to make his high school varsity team over concerns about his height. We all know how that turned out long term for MJ…
Boundless has been on a similar journey from Open Source Geo industry pioneer to Open Source Geo industry leader. The company has evolved from the original small project incubated under a well-established charity to the recognized software and services leader it is today. There have been some failures and much success. But during this journey, Boundless has stayed true to our Open Source roots, furthering the cause for Open Source adoption in the Geospatial community and with specific initiatives for GEOINT.
Open Source has now become a force to be reckoned with in the Geospatial community. No event in my tenure drove this point home further than to listen to Robert Cardillo’s speech during the just-completed GEOINT 2015 event, sponsored by USGIF in DC last week. As I “walked the show floor,” met with customers, partners, and industry leaders and listened to many of the speeches and presentations from government Seniors, I reflected on just how far the Open Source movement in Geo has come in a few short years. Boundless has been and continues to be on the forefront of this change with OpenGeo Suite, allowing customers and partners greater freedom and flexibility to drive technical solutions in their environments while directly influencing the product roadmaps and innovation. Our customers are building solutions that enable their missions and meet their business requirements while providing a lower cost of ownership.
GEOINT was an awakening for me. It was validation of our strategy, furthering of our partnering strategy, and strengthening of our company overall as we truly listened to customers and partners and work to incorporate this feedback into our product, services offerings, and roadmap. There is no time like the present for all of the different projects, communities, and companies that work in the OpenGeo ecosystem to capitalize on our unique ability to move the industry forward with true and validated openness.
In this case, being a pioneer continues to be rewarding. There are some scars left over from a few arrows that hit a soft target, but the mission of the company has not changed. Seeing that mission aligned so well to the needs of our customers is the ultimate reward.