TL; DR – I am starting a company.

TL; DR – I am starting a company.

In December I wrote that I would be leaving Boeing and moving on to new things with a smaller and more lean company. The time since has been filled with growth and change as I learned how small businesses operate. With the increase in free time, I also found myself assisting multiple start-ups in their ventures into the commercial market. I learned from them the numerous wickets to clear to start a company and have thanked them extensively for the opportunity. Little did I know at the time how important that knowledge would be in the coming months.

First I wish to thank Wyle and more specifically Denise Canter. This will be my greatest regret in the next few months as I part ways with, what has been, an amazing company to work for and with. They have provided me a springboard to learn something new beyond what Boeing allowed. In the short-time I have been with Wyle and working for Denise Canter I have learned that the bloat of a large defense contractor is not needed. It is amazing to see a company operate with such intelligent people on half the resources. From the day I was given a management slot their primary goal is to recruit and retain great talent. Even in parting they have been the most level-headed and professional people to deal with.

I suppose that segue was good as any. In fact it was the opposite. I had been lucky to have those choice few managers who allowed my professional life to blossom. I saw how rare those folks were and desired to have that same impact on a larger group. This goal was of course self imposed and only existed to drive myself, but as I began to climb into my mid-20’s I realized the ability to capture it was slipping away.

My phone rang a few weeks ago from an old buddy and prior cohort. “I have this crazy idea and I am not sure if you are interested, but you are a smart guy and I think we could do something great.” I sat down with that night and thought about the opportunity to venture out into the market with a very smart guy, who could be there to help my risk adverse side branch out. Together we had built some amazing products and ideas and if there was a guy to charge into battle along side of, it was him. What was a joking “I’ll think about it” that night to him, became a “meh I am warming up to this.” Some Scotch and Bourbon later and I was knee deep into an agreement.

I feel like this all happened yesterday, but in reality it has been a calculated and precise process of actions. Jokingly we began a path together that has blossomed into a new company. Spec Ops Technology will be focusing on the C4ISR, Systems Integration, Information Security, and Specialized Engineering markets in the US and abroad. The name Spec Ops comes from a frantic call with my mother to help pick-out a name (thanks Mom!) that matched our mission. She of course hit the nail on the head.

Spec Ops Technology desires to differentiate ourselves in a few ways:

  1. Hire the best and brightest. Either folks recognized in their industries or those people on the rise with a special something. My co-founder and I share the belief that potential well fed grows into amazing.
  2. Provide a great deal of latitude to our teams to develop business and grow technology without bureaucracy inhibiting that progress
  3. Be apart of a small, elite, and unique team that can make amazing things happen. The team is going to be filled with people who are passionate about their work
  4. Live for the challenge, live for the adventure, and strive to build something we are proud of at all times.

Why now? As I mentioned earlier I approaching 30 and my goal is to be in a position to change the game. Maybe it is because I am under 30, but I truly feel that the industry is on the cusp of an adjustment. The marriage of start-up silicon valley and the stripes and bars of our military background must meet somewhere in the middle. I was blessed, lucky, and well mentored to have made it as far as I have at 27. My travels have allowed me to cross paths with some of the smartest and astute people. Given the chance anyone can move beyond great to amazing. At Spec Ops Technology we will always strive to help those on the edge of greatness achieve it.

I am excited to see where the next few months take us. We are at an exhilarating point in our company as we begin chasing our first contracts and customers. Each small accomplishment we have had thus far makes me more ready to achieve success. With my passport and laptop in hand I am ready to take on the world. My first venture overseas begins this weekend. I am excited at the opportunity to see this world and do amazing work! Wish me luck and if you desire to be a part of it, let me know.

nicholas.h.schmidt@specopstechnology.com

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