New CEO “Chief Maker” and EllisLab Focus

by: Derek Jones on: 11/25/2012

EllisLab makes excellent software. At the end of the day, it’s the one critical thing that we do for our customers, and directing effort elsewhere frankly ignores that most important endeavor. Our Manifesto is as much an internal reminder as it is a way to communicate to the world what type of company we are and what’s important to us.

As of today I am EllisLab’s new CEO, and while that title reflects my authority, it does not communicate what I do. In a company of makers, everyone, even the CEO, should be capable of contributing directly to the software. My chosen job title is an affirmation of that commitment: Chief Maker. Having a title that reflects what I do as well as our company’s focus reminds us daily of that mission, and provides an opportunity to explain that culture to others. Outside of helping make software, my responsibility is to provide a laser-like focus to the organization.

That laser is not pointed at me or any other individual on the team, but on the most important and visible component of EllisLab, the product your clients rely on every day: ExpressionEngine. What you can expect is a refined, simplified focus on the software we make for you. This is and will be our direction, our drive, our flywheel, and our communication will reflect that focus.

It is absolutely vital before setting off in a direction that you have the right people on board. I’m pleased that today our Maker Strategy has resulted in EllisLab going from a company where less than half of the staff were able to contribute directly to ExpressionEngine, to 100%. This is no hyperbole, from the top down, even our stellar Customer Advocates are now contributing directly to our products. To ExpressionEngine.

“Maker Strategy” may at first sound like jargon, but the term sheds a clear light on who we are, why we do what we do, and how we make decisions. It isn’t a process, it’s a mentality. We are so confident in this direction that we aren’t afraid to generate excitement for things we’re building. We aren’t afraid of competition (ahem, bring it), and we aren’t afraid of potentially disappointing a fantastic customer or even employee that wants us to chase some other Good Thing that in reality takes us away from pushing our product forward relentlessly.

We’re excited for the future because ExpressionEngine is the face of our company, and every single person on our team wants and is able to help make sure it remains the best content management platform available, with rock solid support that you can count on.

That’s our focus, and nothing else matters. Did I mention “bring it”?

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