Jason Stowe | Crain's Connecticut

In this ongoing series, we ask executives, entrepreneurs and business leaders about mistakes that have shaped their business philosophy.

Jason Stowe

Background:  

Cycle Computing LLC, based in Greenwich, was founded in 2005 and specializes in cloud computing orchestration software. Founder and CEO Jason Stowe describes his company as “doing the plumbing” that creates environments for running computer simulations millions of times without the enormous space and expense often associated with supercomputing. Stowe, 39, an Upstate New York native, came to Connecticut after being recruited to do contract work creating applications for The Hartford. Cycle Computing, which moved to Greenwich in 2010, has 30 employees. Its client list includes Lockheed Martin, Johnson and Johnson, JP Morgan Chase, and Pfizer.

The Mistake:

Focusing too much on technology and not enough on the business plan.

I came of age in the late 1990s with all the dotcoms and their unclear revenue models. There was a lot of competition. I wanted to accelerate the process.

I did not give the attention to sales that it required. I’ve had great investors and I always want to do right by them. I thought that could be best accomplished by proving out the technology. While I was doing that, I was not proving out the business model.

There are such opportunities for us but I had to do more in getting the model down.

I’m lucky. I have smart engineers and smart business people.

The Lesson:

Better time management and the right focus has opened us to a lot of new opportunities. The move to Greenwich has helped because now we’re working with many of the hedge funds in the area. There are a significant number of hedge funds in and around Greenwich. Some people may think it doesn’t matter where a software company is, but it really does.

Being so close to Boston and New York is perfect for us. We have proximity to so many great minds. I’m lucky. I have smart engineers and smart business people.

We’re having a huge impact. Small companies and researchers can do science that they never could have done before. Our newest product will enable creation of a massive supercomputer easily.

People don’t want to wait for an answer. People seem to do better with fast answers. We give them the ability to run on many servers at once. They like that. It’s very useful to them.

But those things would go unrealized if I am not properly focused. The two things I must stay focused on is the customers and the employees.

It’s easy to get carried away by the technology and the fascinating ideas you come in contact with. The most important thing in my job is not to get carried away.

Jason Stowe is on Twitter at @jasonastowe and the company is at @cyclecomputing.

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