It’s always a good sign when business is so busy that you don’t have time to publish this kind of article until the beginning of February.

The Dialexa team and I are riding the momentum of 2017 and are already meeting the new year head on. I want to use this article to share what I’m most excited about in the coming year.

If you liked this article, listen to Dialexa CEO, Scott Harper, on Custom Made talk to the business opportunity of custom development:Listen to all episodes of Custom Made for insights and perspectives from industry disruptors and technology leaders.

But as we kick off our eighth year in business, I can’t help but start off by looking back at 2017 and reflecting on just how far we’ve come. Here are 3 of my biggest takeaways from a great 2017 at Dialexa.

1. Locking Down the Business Cycle

Every year, we get a new batch of data to help us optimize our business planning. We’re always looking to improve the way we model Dialexa’s future. And 2017 was an important year for these efforts.

As the company grew in 2017, we learned a lot about the seasonality of our business and how that relates to serving our clients better. It’s not just as simple as “new year, new budget, new projects.” Instead, we have to look at the changes in sales/buying cycles, recruitment, and account growth throughout a year to make more accurate predictions about our own business.

For a long time, we expected our business to ebb and flow with the fiscal year. Now, we expect (and plan for) it to vary based on client needs.

2. Capturing the Demand for Custom Technology

Locking down the predictability of Dialexa sales (as much as anyone can predict sales) led to a real growth spurt for the company.

In the past, our main focus was building the Dialexa growth engine. And now we have that engine going we are scaling our talent, finding true Dialexans, and integrate a growing team into client work that we’re proud of.

The team has been growing so fast that we had to build a recruiting team. This team has helped us maintain our high standards for new talent, keeping the hiring rate at around 1% of applicants. (By the way, we’re always looking for great new talent. If you’re an A-player, apply here.)

Last year, our efforts to fine-tune the growth engine and hire new talent intersected. We poured rocket fuel on our growth by bringing Chris Garrick on as a Senior Partner.

With a background in Strategy Consulting at Booz & Co, and as the Global SVP of Technology and Innovation at CBRE, Chris is here to create a more structured sales process, identify the right clients to partner with, improve our ability to land great new accounts, and maximize the value delivered to them.

3. Major Recognition, Branding Milestones, and Accomplishments

In 2017, we continued to build our reputation within the industry. We started collaborating more with industry analysts like Forrester and Gartner and were excited to be included in Forrester’s 2017 Vendor Landscape: Digital Experience Service Providers.

But aside from industry analysis, here are some of the achievements I was proud of in 2017:

  • Dialexa was named one of the best entrepreneurial companies in America for the second year in a row.
  • We remain committed to developing our internal talent, focusing on building deeper expertise and becoming V-shaped (not T-shaped) Dialexans.
  • The technology we partnered with ParkHub to design and develop to reduce traffic congestion, maximize parking revenues, eliminate theft, and improve the parking experience, was used at the Super Bowl...again.
  • We have been intimately involved in changing the way people get access to cars—from access models to bringing e-commerce to the dealership and more.
  • We were over the moon when Silvercar, a Dialexa client, was acquired by Audi.
  • From Dialexa Labs, Robin Autopilot grew its robotic lawn mower business and even appeared on Shark Tank. Now, we’re working on building our next company, Rosy.
  • We continue to provide our voice and perspective on custom product development and digital transformation trends. And we’ve expanded to new channels with our new podcast, Custom Made.
  • And as if all that wasn’t amazing enough, 2018 started with the Dallas Business Journal recognizing our work here at Dialexa by including myself in their 2018 40 Under 40 awards

All of these accomplishments (and more) made 2017 a great year for Dialexa. But now that we’re deep in the heart of Q1 2018, I’m even more excited for what’s ahead.

Looking Forward to Everything 2018 Brings

Even just a month into 2018, we’re already seeing the effects of locking down our growth engine and predictability in 2017. We’ve kicked off 2018 strong, doing what we do best—building quality products for our clients centered around the user. For us, the exciting thing about growth is bringing more of the awesome things Dialexa does to the world.

I’m most excited to see how the Dialexans continue to surprise and delight our customers. But beyond that, I want to continue to elevate our leadership and see our employees grow even more throughout the year. As usual, the internship program will be back in full force for the summer. We want to bring in the best and brightest young talent to become the next generation of leaders at Dialexa and deliver cutting-edge services for our clients.

On the business side, I want to continue expanding our ability to define digital strategies for our customers. While many of our partnerships involve building a new product or platform, more and more client work revolves around multi-year digital transformation strategies. For example, last year we set the three-year transformation strategy for multi-billion dollar automotive company. And in 2018, we’re already helping a global airline plan for a multi-year technology transformation.

The move up-market towards partnering with more enterprise clients and tackling their mission-critical projects taught us our fair share of lessons last year, which in turn has fueled our operations side of the business to provide best-in-class service for our clients.

To accomplish this goal, we’ll be doubling down on our Dallas footprint while expanding our relationships throughout the U.S. and overseas. We’ll be spending more time sharing our perspectives around product development and digital transformation with our clients and the industry, hosting events in our Dialexa offices, and working to build deep relationships with great brands.

But it’s not just the business side of Dialexa that has me excited. We’re also investing heavily in developing our machine learning and AI teams to solve the world’s biggest problems for the world’s biggest brands. In the near-term, we can implement these technologies to solve customer segmentation, dynamic pricing, yield optimization, churn prediction, and other challenges for our clients.  

It’s only been a month, but we can already tell that 2018 is going to be a great year for Dialexa.

We hope you’ll join us on the journey.


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