Waxing nostalgic on the streets of Galway City

Earlier tonight I was catching up with my Mom in sunny Manhattan Beach when I told her that for the first time in a few months I was struggling on ideas to write about. The inevitable “writers block” as they say. She recommended I go for a walk to clear my head, so I dutifully followed orders. She also happened to mention that Steve Nash is going to be her new next-door neighbor, which is by far the coolest thing I’ve heard in quite some time.

Former NBA MVP to be future wine buddy with EK on the beaches of LA.

Former NBA MVP to be future wine buddy with EK on the beaches of LA.

http://www.tmz.com/2014/03/23/steve-nash-retirement-pad-house-manhattan-beach-lakers-photos/

While walking the streets of Galway it dawned on me that tomorrow is the first Monday of June, which happens to mark my six-year anniversary at SmartBear. Unrelated but noteworthy I also passed by at least five Hen parties, several lads out on a Stag and hundreds more in the streets sharing a laugh and a few pints on this Bank Holiday weekend. Good thing the majority of Ireland is shut down tomorrow to recover. To say this town comes alive in the summer is a massive understatement.

But back to my SmartBear nostalgia: I will never forget how it all came to be. Spring ’08 I was bartending back at the Cactus Club, fresh off an incredible backpacking trip to Australia, and flat broke. My close friend Jim McD (better known as The Swaine) had recently joined a little startup company on Boston’s North Shore and mentioned he might be able to get me an interview. Being 23 years old and claiming to have it all figured out, I politely declined, citing my lack of technology background (or any real professional background for that matter) and lack of being able to locate Beverly MA on a map. Thankfully, I believe The Swaine’s response was something along the lines of, “Shut your mouth, put your resume together, I have an interview lined up for you with the CEO next week.” When The Swaine speaks, you listen. The rest as they say, is history.

MLK and Swaine in Chicago last summer for the Stanley Cup.

MLK and The Swaine in Chicago last summer for the Stanley Cup.

Since joining what was known as AutomatedQA Corp in June of 2008 I’ve been able to serve our expanding customer base in several different roles, help grow company revenues 12X, and experience the following key highlights through the years:

-2009, acquisition of Pragmatic Software

-2010, rebranded 3 existing businesses under what is now known as SmartBear

-2011, acquisitions of Eviware and AlertSite, further strengthening our brand in the software quality market

-2012, began discussions with senior leadership around international expansion, focusing on the EMEA market

-2013, acquisition of Lucierna out of Barcelona to bolster our APM offering

-2014, official decision to launch a new EMEA HQ in Galway, Ireland. Relocated in the spring to open office and build out new team of rock stars

Intense limbo contest on the SmartBear boat cruise, summer 2013.

Intense limbo contest on the SmartBear boat cruise, summer 2013.

The moral of the story is this: listen to your mother. She’s a treasure trove of good ideas. Oh and listen to The Swaine too, the man is a legend.

Thank you to all the SmartBear’s past and present I’ve been able to work with and learn from through the years. It’s been one helluva ride and I’m excited to see what the future holds for all of us.

For those reading this in Galway, or greater Ireland / mainland Europe and are interested in moving to the beautiful and rugged west of Ireland: I’m actively recruiting the next team of sales rock stars to join me as founding members of the SmartBear Galway office. If you are interested or know of anyone email me @ miles.kane@smartbear.com.

MLK

PS – for your dose of weekly Irish culture, MN export Josh Hartnett compares Dublin to Sin City, and the POTUS has a motorway service station named after him in Moneygall, home to his great-great-great grandfather.

http://www.independent.ie/entertainment/tv-radio/josh-hartnett-compares-dublin-to-vegas-it-can-eat-you-whole-30311640.html

http://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/if-moneygall-can-throw-in-a-bouncy-barack-obama-we-re-there-1.1815282

Have a great week everyone, wherever you are in the world.

 

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