The Perfect Gift

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Last week my 6-year old son came home from school with an "essay" in response to an assignment to "describe the perfect gift." He wrote:

 I was proud, but not surprised. He's been training in the karate dojo since he was three and his sensei always says this and you can see why, it's pretty Zen. I didn't think much about it until yesterday when I was at the Apple store and I bumped into a VC friend of mine. After exchanging pleasantries, he, out of the blue, said to me, "You know, I've been hearing good things about ExtensionEngine. We have a bunch of portfolio companies in common with your customers" and then he went on to name a couple. I walked out of the store with my new iPhone 5 feeling great.

And then it occurred to me that I had just received the perfect gift: praise! Of course, in the business world we tend to speak in jargon so "praise" becomes "word-of-mouth" or "WOM". I have to say that I'm old school on this one. I don't think there is a way to generate WOM other than to just do great work day in and day out and I'm happy to say that this ethos is pervasive at ExtensionEngine.

So with the holiday gift-giving season upon us, I'd like to give some praise:

  • To our clients: You are world-class! You are changing the world for the better; you are setting a benchmark for excellence and I am grateful that you have involved us in your journey.
  • To our employees: You are the smartest, hardest-working and nicest group I have had the opportunity to work with. You make me want to be better.
  • To everyone: Well said. Well done. Thanks for the opportunity!

Thank you for a great 2012 and, with your help, I look forward to an even better New Year!

Furqan Nazeeri

Furqan Nazeeri is a Partner at Extension Engine. He regularly speaks on innovation in online learning and has 20+ years of experience building and managing high-performance teams. Prior to Extension Engine, Furqan was a founder/CEO of VC-backed Pivot Inc. (acquired by NASDAQ:CME) and EIR at Softbank Capital. He has a BSE in aerospace engineering from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Harvard University.

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