It’s been more than a few years since John Lennon famously penned “Give Peace a Chance,” a song that would be become a refrain for the Vietnam-era peace movement.
You ought to do the same with Richard Sheridan’s “Joy”—as in “Joy, Inc., How We Built a Workplace People Love,” a combination step-by-step guide and evidence-based case for dramatically changing the way we work.
“Joy” is both about building quality software and creating and sustaining organizations to which we would all love to be part and Sheridan, CEO of Menlo Innovations, an Ann Arbor-based firm he co-founded in 2001, tells a compelling story that deserves our attention.
For starters, he has the credibility for not only having done things “badly” (there’s loads of detail in “Joy” to come to your own conclusion) but having helped create a system that continues to thrive.
Another reason for embracing “Joy” is that this isn’t just about software development, although clearly that’s where Menlo’s expertise lies, having produced many hundreds of successful projects that have made possible a great many products that quite likely wouldn’t otherwise have made it to market.
In fact, it’s about several things that commonly form part of a corporate environment, including hiring, managing, designing and building “stuff,” dealing with clients (who tend to not know what they really want, if not need).
Sheridan’s journey to Menlo includes being in almost exactly the right place as a teenager where he was exposed to the seemingly magical creation of what we now call software.
Eventually graduating from University of Michigan with two degrees (computer science and engineering) and grabbing hold of a career ladder that seemingly went in one upward direction, Sheridan eventually found himself at Interface Systems, which made software that would convert so-called “legacy” files (such as the volumes of paper documents law firms had kicking around) into readily accessible electronic versions). By the late 90s Interface had become one of the most valuable public companies (by stock growth) in Michigan.
Source: Corp Magazine