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Where we talk about business tech,
hardcore development & craft beer

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Your Request for Proposal is a Request for Mediocrity

It is impossible to write a good RFP for custom software development.

Instead of looking for people who can check off your carefully spec’d boxes, you want to look for people who can help you figure out what boxes to spec.

The easiest things to filter for in an RFP response are expertise in a given tech stack or industry experience. But what if there’s a better tech stack? What if the answer isn’t a tech stack at all? And what if the way it has always been done in your industry just isn’t very good.

For example, department stores thought they had distribution figured out pretty well. Then came Wal-Mart. Then came Amazon. Are you sure you want the current “industry” expert?

The point of hiring a collaborative partner is to get insight unfettered by conventional “wisdom.” And results beyond what you thought was possible. Not every project can get there, but one thing is for sure — the RFP process makes it harder for everyone to do their best work.

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SDW Hosts Charlotte Code for America Kickoff Event

For years, we have championed the influx of developers, entrepreneurs and technology startups in the Charlotte area. After discovering Code for America chose Charlotte as one of 10 cities to work with for 2014, we were honored to host their kickoff event. It’s no secret we love Charlotte. That’s why we leapt at the opportunity to utilize our Space Volcano for their press event, fund raiser and supporting brigade meet up.

Josh Oakhurst Interview

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RFIs, RFQs, & RFPs Can Hurt Your Business

rfp strategy

Sending your big technology project to RFI, RFQ, or RFP forces you to play both patient and doctor. Does that ever sound like a good idea?

With myriad and overlapping business and technology problems, doing the ole’ get-a-bunch-of-bids-thing requires self-diagnosis — and self-awareness. Mostly, your request for submissions will require honesty about your business.

Nothing about your RFP will be remotely honest.

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Meet the SDW: Pat Morrell


What do you do here?

I’m the first guy at Skookum you’re likely to meet. If you’re interested in technology investment advice or enterprise hardware/software hacking, you come through me.

How long have you been at SDW?

About one and a half years.

Why do you want to live and work in Charlotte?

Sports (Panthers, Bobcats/Hornets, NASCAR) + climate + bevy of activities (Whitewater Center, Mint museum) + My wife has a great job (yeah, a lot of Skookum employees are married, with kids…) + Skookum is awesome and I want to be part of the greatest business technology innovation shop in the world.

Why work at SDW?

Because we ARE the greatest business technology innovation shop in the world. If you’d be stoked to plant your flag in the ground and work with insanely smart people to solve ugly hairy business problems for real-world business leaders, you should be working at Skookum.

Skookum is the company behind other company’s greatest innovations; we’re a silent partner to Fortune 500 intrapreneurs. We’re like the Wolf in Pulp Fiction. Fixers. Gunslingers. Change agents. And we’re not interested in “productizing” or making a big VC exit. We’re proud to be a services businesses and enjoy helping other business leaders make big decisions.

Drop some knowledge.

Harry Truman drank a shot of whiskey with breakfast every morning. He also took a 2 hour afternoon nap every day. If it’s good enough for the President…

Everyone enjoy their Presidentially authorized naps.


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Friday Tech Talks : Mark Rickert on the Internet of Things and the Killer Sentient Home

In this Skookum Digital Works Tech Talk, Mark Rickert, Hardware Hacker and Senior Developer at Skookum Digital Works, speaks about myriad consequences for all of the emerging Internet of Things. Eventually, the Internet of Things will improve the quality of life, but either Artificial Intelligence or hoards of programmers will have to create what Mark calls Predictive Algorithms.

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Meet the SDW: Pedro Rodriguez


What do you do here?

QA Analyst. We are responsible for ensuring Skookum delivers the highest quality product to the market as possible. We work tightly with the developers and the product team to coordinate the testing schedule and to make sure all issues/bugs and concerns are brought forward. 2014 is going to be a big year for QA and the QA process as we work to perfect our machine.

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