As we move forward on our “Win Together” series, I wish to touch upon the name of the operating system on which we run Pipeliner: Ubuntu. Ubuntu is named for the Nguni word ubuntu, which translates to “I am what I am because of who we all are.”
It’s a small planet we share. If we don’t win together, we will eventually become extinct. It’s been true for over a century that, because of the network community we live in, everything we do affects someone else.
The global approach is not a new concept—it was always in the minds of countries or empires in power who sought to colonize as much of the world as possible. And even before the first world war, governments were also thinking in terms of the globalization of products and services.
Since the advent of the internet, we’ve seen our interconnection in terms of technology. But it’s also clear that our connection extends far beyond technology. For example, a country could be super-clean and environmentally aware. But if a neighboring country is careless of its environment, is reckless in its production factories, the first country won’t be able to prevent the second country’s pollution from crossing its border. The same is true of how we treat our oceans—pollution dumped in one place will eventually affect many others, and often at some distance.
It wasn’t until the 1990s, and the publicity generated by films such as Erin Brockovich, that major corporations began to be seriously forced to take responsibility for the pollution of rivers, lakes and groundwater, as well as the air. Such pollution is still an issue in many places, however.
We can see that “win together” is essential on many levels, and if it is not practiced, we will not survive as a species.
Along with many other companies, Pipeliner has moved its major operations to the cloud. The cloud is a great sustainable strategy, as it means that companies no longer require their own energy-consuming data center. Cloud providers such as AWS and Microsoft Azure utilize highly energy-efficient systems.
As for Pipeliner, our green approach extends even further as we have, for nearly a decade, not possessed any centralized office infrastructure. Our employees have worked, and continue to work, at their own locations. Travel to and from work has not been required. The only power we utilize is computing power.
This trend—which has seen a substantial increase throughout the pandemic—has a significant impact on society. It reduces travel, commuting, pollution, and even stress. Is it possible for every company to have their employees work from home? No, but many of them certainly could.
Besides its impact on the environment and sustainability, this method of operation positively affects any business that practices it. In our case, it allows us to find the best possible person for a particular job, no matter where they are located. Our knowledge workers can live wherever they like—in places with the best real estate prices, natural beauty, or convenience. It’s a true win-to-win, or win together.
We know that it’s easier to manage a person who is doing what they love. With this practice, they can continue doing what they love no matter where they live. They’re happy, and we’re happy.
Several years ago, before this trend took hold, I had a valued employee who asked me if it would be possible for him to move to Florida (our company is located in California). His wife wanted to live near her sister, and he wanted to continue to work for Pipeliner. I told him he certainly could do this. He continues to work for me to this day—just one of many examples of winning together with this practice.
Another way this has been a winning strategy has been our ability to hire different kinds of experts without having to cover a full-time position. For example, we could recruit an expert in HTML newsletter optimization, whose skill is only needed 10 hours per week. We don’t need to find work to keep this person busy during the remaining 30 hours in the week, and they’re free to pursue other work during that time. Again, it’s a win-win.
We learned all about this method of operation way before the pandemic. It has been an underlying strategy for us for many years, and therefore covid didn’t change anything for us. We continued to increase efficiency, which made us more productive and allowed us to innovate our product continually.
As we can see, winning together is far more than just a salesperson-prospect issue—it is a global issue.