First, it’s all about the people. From the Rackspace Chairman (Graham Weston), who I met long before I started working here, to the Racker I met in a fast food joint at lunch – there is an immediate sense of “family”. We are Rackers. We speak the same language. What specific JOB we do isn’t really important. We know we have the same customers – the same goals. And we all understand the goals.
That is actually an interesting fact about Rackspace – every employee is treated as a trusted friend. We see the books. We know the numbers. We know how we are doing, and how we depend on each other to get better, and to do better.
And we let people find what they are good at, and where they best fit in.
Think that is bullshit?
In 11 days I will have been at Rackspace for exactly one year. After one year I’ll feel more comfortable calling myself a Racker. I feel like one – just don’t feel as if I have “earned it” yet 🙂
I was hired in the Cloud division. To manage developers. I now work for Rackspace proper – doing something MUCH different then I was hired to do. Many companies would not have worked with me to find that “sweet spot” – they would have parted ways with me before they put that effort into the relationship.
Instead, Rackspace let me go try something new (to us). I took over our Cloud blog, and our Twitter account. And it worked – pretty well. They let me build an event for SXSW in Austin – which was amazing, and very well received.
And then they let me do something really out there – I hired Robert Scoble and Rocky Barbanica. And then we built building43.com, which is yet another experiment. One I have a lot of passion for. One I truly believe in, and am passionate about.
And I think that’s the key that Rackspace has figured out – they let people follow their passion. And they work with those employees to find a way to make that passion make sense. For the Racker, for Rackspace, and for investors.
So I was hired to manage developers. Instead I am managing emerging media, building a truly unique web property, and trying to find a completely new way to do both marketing and PR in a public company.
Not bad for the first year. Wonder what they will let me try in the second? Guess that depends on how these current projects work out!
But it is pretty damned cool to be able to TRY – to do something totally new. To have the company see if it fails instead of demanding proof it will succeed before they even try.
If you think hosting companies are boring, you haven’t worked at Rackspace. We are anything but boring – we are pushing the envelope in ways most companies aren’t.
And that’s why I love it here.
Join us 🙂 We’re hiring.