Bold statement. Bold company. I frequently get asked about EVOTEK and how it is possible that we have grown as fast as we have. As proud as I am of getting asked that question, growth was not the initial vision for EVOTEK. The question I really like answering is why I created EVOTEK. Understanding WHY I created EVOTEK, ultimately answers the first question.
In 2014, with a little less than $1.5M, EVOTEK was founded with three goals in mind 1. to bring next generation technology to our customers (EVOlution TEKnology) 2. to give employees an opportunity to become incredibly vested in the culture and success of our organization and 3. to protect a small group of people and their families and enable them to prosper for the remainder of our mutual careers. Having worked at multiple system integrators in the past, I have seen first-hand what makes a great company and the decisions that destroy a company culture. I have seen the owners of these companies find ways not to reward their employees for their hard work and hedonistically spend money on extravagant toys like airplanes, race cars, yachts, and wineries. Ultimately, the fate of a system integrator depends on how the company views and values culture, or more specifically, how they protect their culture. Top performers don’t leave great companies! They just don’t. Great companies proactively recognize and demonstrate appreciation for top talent. When a company gets big enough to stop valuing top talent, people leave. Period! I have been a top performer in every company I have worked at, and I left each one of them for something better. This is what ultimately drove me to create EVOTEK.
I wanted to build something much different, where leaders could not make decisions that wreck culture. This is why we set up a partner program, where we set aside 35% of our net profit and employees who earn their way into the partner program get an equal share. When someone becomes a partner, we give them a Panerai timepiece as a token of appreciate for choosing to spend their time with EVOTEK, this is our way to give them time back. It’s a small thing, but a timepiece like this will last a lifetime, congruent with the title of this post.
We do not have any outside investors, so we leverage our partners as our board of directors, putting the best people to guide our company in a position to do just that. Everything we do, every decision that gets made, gets evaluated by our partners based on how it will affect our people and our culture. This keeps the people at the most senior levels of our company, connected with our customer facing needs. There is nothing more important than serving our customers, which is why Jeff and I both spend time with our customers every day. All of this focus on building a great company culture means we have to maintain an elite level of performance. Protecting our culture is an obligation that each employee agrees to. As with all high-performing teams, the pace of our company may not be for everyone.
By the end of 2015, the $1.5M I loaned the company was paid back in full and we have been profitable ever since. Having such a short payback and path to profitability has given us a lot of credibility with our vendors and our customers. Today, we shared our distribution with our partners, on Valentine’s Day, as a big thank you to the efforts and sacrifice they make to make EVOTEK such a great place!
The future is bright for EVOTEK as we see our trajectory continuing to accelerate. We not only have an amazing culture, we have diversity. Seven out of our fifteen leaders at EVOTEK are women. We will always put our people first and we will continue to attract the top talents of the industry. While I didn’t intend to build a big company, our growth certainly is making for a fun ride!
Becoming partner is a privilege I am proud of, and I want to share each of our partner’s public announcements:
And, Congratulations to our newest partners added in 2018: