Our Motivation for Building an Innovative Company
On paper, MojoTech’s resume looks pretty impressive. Since its inception in 2008, MojoTech has launched more than 100 products by partnering with clients to deliver software that solves their most complex business problems. MojoTech was ranked the 42nd fastest growing software company in America by Inc. Magazine, and was listed as one of 2016’s Best Places to Work for the third year running, by Providence Business News, who also awarded co-founder Chris Shoemaker “CTO of the Year”. And most recently, MojoTech received the “Company Innovation Award” by Tech Collective — Rhode Island’s Information Technology and Bioscience Industry Association,
But if you’ve ever applied for a job (all of us) then you know that a resume is only half of the story…
Tech Collective recently asked MojoTech how we are driving innovation, education, and growth across the state’s technology ecosystem at large. Those are some pretty lofty initiatives that can’t be answered in awards won or products launched. As I sat down and put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) I realized that MojoTech’s paper resume doesn’t do itself justice.
As MojoTech’s marketing manager, I’ve had the pleasure to guide how the company matures. MojoTech aims to not only help our clients succeed but to grow in a sustainable way and to build a company we can all be proud of for a long time to come. MojoTech’s growth strategy goes beyond our own business goals. By focusing on employee development and community outreach we’re helping to foster and grow a stronger workforce.
So here’s the other half of the MojoTech story; what motivates us, what we strive to achieve, and where we’re going.
1) How do you envision your company’s work changing technological, business, and cultural environments?
We build software that grows businesses. For many of our clients, the landscape of their particular industries is changing faster than they can adapt. Many companies struggle to evolve their infrastructure to meet the rapidly urgent demands of a digital products economy. Furthermore, there is an industry-wide shortage of exceptional software engineers and designers. MojoTech has over 40 developers, designers, product managers, and strategists who having lead countless projects across diverse verticals, have a talent for learning new industries, understanding user motivations, and guiding development efforts. Our highly collaborative processes help companies build their path toward innovation while simultaneously building a work environment that nurtures and values learning, above all else.
Our innovative projects have been recognized by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, and more. But one rapidly evolving industry that MojoTech has deep experience in is healthcare and healthcare insurers. What was once predominantly a B2B industry is becoming B2C, and with it comes the responsibility to guide and educate the consumer. As the business model for providers changes, they are looking for ways to maximize their network efficiency using data-driven software solutions that haven’t even been written yet. Optimizing consumer health is now recognized as a growing and legitimate business driver. MojoTech is excited to be at the forefront of building solutions that are leading change.
2) How did the company become interested in working within and fostering the technology fields?
MojoTech started on the back patio of CEO, Nick Kishfy’s Barrington home. Having spent more than ten years helping startups become successful companies (two were acquired) and leaning on his background as an engineer, Nick set his sights on building a company of his own. The agency model — building software solutions for other companies — provided a unique opportunity to learn about and collaborate with dozens of different industries. Boredom is hard to come by in an environment driven by curiosity. Furthermore, Nick was interested in building a workplace and culture that gave employees every opportunity to do their best work (more about these opportunities below). But even the best ideas can only succeed with equally strong execution, so Nick and the entire team are constantly striving to refine the process of turning ideas into products.
3) Describe some of MojoTech’s greatest accomplishments regarding technology.
With over 100 products launched, it’s difficult to choose just one. MojoTech has had the privilege to work with many local companies in RI and Boulder such as Blue Cross Blue Shield Rhode Island, Teespring, Dockwa, Brown University, Upserve, Groove, AutoRaptor, SquadLocker, SendGrid, Welltok, TapKat among many, many others across the country.
But, while building great products is what we do, MojoTech looks at its employees as its greatest investment and greatest accomplishment. Lead by CTO, Chris Shoemaker, MojoTech has implemented a training and mentoring program allowing the company to hire and train a large and growing engineering team over the years. This is no small feat in an economy where ready-made, highly-skilled engineers are scarce. As a solution, Chris has taken it upon himself to help build the next generation of MojoTech engineers.
MojoTech also supports and encourages employees to engage in innovative side-projects, and dedicates approximately 15% of salaried time to work on these projects in addition to providing marketing and commercialization support to help them gain traction. We do this because we believe that side-projects encourage creativity and experimentation which can improve employee innovation in ways that spill over into the company’s core services and product offerings. Plus, they’re fun!
It is a privilege to be a leader in the software consulting industry and MojoTech strives to exemplify what it means to be a member of the Rhode Island tech community through community support, education, and outreach. MojoTech employees are working with Microsoft TEALS (Technology Education and Literacy in Schools) to help build sustainable computer science programs by pairing trained computer science professionals with classroom teachers to team-teach CS in high schools throughout the US, including Providence’s own Village Green Virtual Public Charter High School.
In an effort to engage local university students and keep top talent in Rhode Island, we welcomed 20 of Brown, RISD, and JWU’s most exceptional engineers, designers, and aspiring entrepreneurs to visit our office, engage with our employees and begin to build essential bridges they can use to enter the Rhode Island job market. Our Boulder office also recently hosted a number of Turing school students who spent the day shadowing our engineers, gaining insights into how a real-world software company operates.
4) Where do you see the company in 5 years?
MojoTech plans to be around for a long time! In evolving technology fields like ours, it’s important that companies are able to adapt to change. Even more importantly they must know which changes are worth adapting to. This isn’t just advice we give our clients, but words we live by as well. When it comes to emerging technologies we’re adept at adapting the best new languages and frameworks while avoiding the distraction of chasing new fads that won’t last. As a result, MojoTech has had many successful years and plans to have many more in the future.
For more, visit mojotech.com and click play to get a tour of the Providence office and hear what our clients and Mojos have to say!