Working remotely is seamless these days — video messaging has changed the game for good — and connecting with fellow co-workers across the globe is as simple as a good internet connection.
Yet, even with the ability to simply connect with others so far away, most of our day-to-day work is done non-verbally — yep, you guessed it, email.
Why can’t we have the best of both worlds? It’s a question that the team at BombBomb has been answering for well over a decade and is continuing to solve as tech evolves.
We went to Colorado Springs and sat down with members of BombBomb’s team to find out how their products are bridging the communication gap and helping users create meaningful connections using video.
EMPLOYEES: 150; 147 local
WHAT THEY DO: BombBomb provides users with a video marketing platform that allows them to create and distribute content that fosters genuine connections with their customers and partners.
WHERE THEY DO IT: Colorado Springs
PUBLISHED PHILOSOPHY: It’s one thing to talk about your philosophy at conferences or on websites — it’s another to write a book about it, which BombBomb did with “Rehumanize Your Business: How Personal Videos Accelerate Sales and Improve Customer Experience.”
IDEAL CANDIDATE: “In tech, we are standing on the shoulders of giants,” said Senior Software Engineer Shane Cowherd. “I’m looking for someone who never stops learning, someone who gets excited when new stuff comes out, but appreciates and respects all the work that came before him or her.”
Patrick McDavid, CTO
Patrick joined BombBomb nearly a decade ago and has worked his way up from a senior software architect to CTO. Now, he takes pride in helping team members develop in their own careers.
THE FUN-GEON MASTER: With fun, creativity and team-building constantly on his mind, Patrick’s recently started running Dungeons and Dragons games with friends and family.
One of BombBomb’s main goals is to rehumanize communication. How is BombBomb accomplishing this?
Almost all interpersonal professional business is text-based outside of real-time video conversations and phone calls. BombBomb found that this particular moment in people’s professional relationships — the moment of reaching out with a smile, some energy and some empathy — can really fast-track the development of trust between two people!
BombBomb believes we’re at a trying time for human relationships today: There are so many people around us and so much communication that it’s rare that people can break through that density and noise to establish the beginnings of real human relationships. Our tools and philosophy help people be their authentic selves with other people and implore them to pay that same respect to those they would call upon.
When you sit down at the end of the day to review what all you’ve gotten done, what makes you the proudest to be a part of BombBomb?
I’m very proud of having been a part of creating a thriving software company in the heart of Colorado Springs — BombBomb employs so many wonderful people and, in turn, helps their families and the local economy prosper.
We’ve had exceptional success hiring early-career software engineers and technologists and helping them grow. I never really anticipated that aspect of it, but now I can point to many people who feel like they’ve arrived at what their lives were pointing towards here at BombBomb. It was always one of my dreams to build a thriving software company, and it’s better than I could have anticipated in ways I never imagined.
Our tools and philosophy help people be their authentic selves with other people and implore them to pay that same respect to those they would call upon.”
You lead a team of engineers as CTO. How would you describe your management and leadership style?
I’m very quick to trust people, and in turn, I ask folks to take on responsibility very early in their work. That can be very daunting at first, but I try to stay alongside folks with honest feedback and encouragement all the time. When people are struggling, or don’t know that they are, I’m right there to help them diagnose and come up with some alternative strategies.
A cornerstone of my approach with folks is to make sure both they and I understand their personal and professional goals in order to craft their work around facilitating those goals. From there, they can enjoy successes in three major circles during their time creating software at BombBomb: bi-weekly, as their sprints deliver value; quarter-over-quarter, as their professional goals are achieved and reset; and then continuously in their personal lives, as their work is committed to helping them find success!
Heidi Hubbell, Quality Assurance Lead
Heidi’s role on the BombBomb team is to manage the software and quality assurance teams and to make sure that putting forth the best product possible.
AIN’T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH: Heidi likes to challenge herself by snowshoeing, which can come with its fair share of challenges. “Dig deep and breathe,” says Heidi of her guiding principles for snowshoeing. “Go slow and steady and a successful finish will come.”
Before joining BombBomb, you mostly worked with one large company throughout your career. What differences do you see in your role now that you’ve joined a growing tech company?
The decision-making process and quick pace at which changes are made stand out as the most different than my previous roles. BombBomb empowers leaders and employees at all levels to make decisions, which are made fast with transparent communication. The organization has also gone through many changes within the software development processes and these are done in an organized way with training, support and continuous learning and feedback.
What steps have you seen BombBomb’s leadership take to ensure that members of the team have what they need to succeed and prosper?
The human resource team and overall senior leadership team at BombBomb are very impressive. The overall recruiting, hiring, development and performance tracking and review process is excellent. BombBomb provides frequent leadership updates and training and provides employees with training tools and coaching to develop skills and competencies required to grow and develop. The managers and leaders invest time in regular one-on-one sessions and have an open door environment to allow access to leadership support whenever needed.
BombBomb empowers leaders and employees at all levels to make decisions...”
You’ve been with BombBomb for a few months at this point. What has your experience been like so far?
I have had an excellent experience at BombBomb so far. As a member of the product and technology team, there have been so many great changes that have allowed the overall product to evolve faster in a thriving work environment. There is never a dull moment and the process allows every employee to excel.
Shane Cowherd, Senior Software Engineer
As the mobile development team lead, Shane is responsible for making all of BombBomb’s services accessible and easy to use on mobile devices.
PASSING THE TORCH: Once a week, you’ll be able to find Shane developing the next generation of app developers at Colorado Springs CocoaHeads, a weekly iOS programming meetup.
You’re approaching two years with BombBomb. What kinds of changes have you seen since you joined the team?
We keep growing! I’m introducing myself to all these awesome new faces every day. Since I started, we launched our new mobile inbox app and built a slimmer version of our existing product. It’s really invigorating and exciting to see something go from a risky idea on a couch at an offsite to a fully built, marketed and tested product. We have so many awesome people on our team, and when everyone comes together to share their strengths, it’s just plain fun!
What impact do you feel BombBomb has on the mobile space and could continue to have in the future?
BombBomb is in a cool spot right now: Our customers all have mobile devices and the technology keeps getting better, faster and cheaper. We focus on video and our limiting factors — cameras and network speed — keep getting better. We just couldn’t build this stuff 10 years ago.
We have the opportunity to create the quickest 1:1 video sharing site on the internet. This is one of our core competencies and something users want but don’t understand why it’s so hard. I find this challenging and fun.
It’s really invigorating and exciting to see something go from a risky idea on a couch at an offsite to a fully built, marketed and tested product.”
For many, the kind of work they’ll be doing is equally as important as where they’ll be doing it. How would you describe the environment that the engineering team works in?
BombBomb is maturing as a company. I can’t remember the last time we had to have an “all hands on deck” emergency #WarRoom meeting. We don’t want to answer a pager in the middle of the night, so we have been building and hardening our entire infrastructure.
Additionally, the engineering team has integrated tightly with our product team. We are embracing the inspired model and changing from an engineering team that did things because it seems like a “good idea” into a team that does things because the data and users told or showed us.