Private Lessons

MAR 29, 2013

I put my son in private lessons for soccer.  He came home from the first lesson and looked pretty bummed out.  He was looking at his feet as he told me the coach was teaching him how to pass and kick the ball.  He paused, then looked up at me and said, “Don’t you think if I was a good soccer player I would already know how to pass and kick?”  I immediately understood.  I asked him if he felt bad after the lesson and he said yes.  We went to the family room and sat down.  I told him I understood.  I asked him if he remembered who Tiger Woods was.  He did.  I told him how Tiger Woods was the best golfer in the entire world and he spent months and months completely changing his swing so he could get a tiny bit better.

I mean isn’t that crazy that someone who, at the time, dominates the world would spend day after day making changes to get just a little bit better?  It almost sounds a little maniacal…I told Mason, “Son, your coach knows you are good at passing and kicking.  What he is trying to do is make you great.  I did not get you lessons because I thought you were behind the other kids.  I did it so the coach would understand how you think and then be able to coach you better.  With all those kids on the team (over 30) sometimes a private lesson can really help him see you and what you need to work on.  Not to go from bad to good.  To go from good to great.  Sometimes in order to do that, you have to go back and work on things that seem very simple or basic.  Things like kicking and passing.  But when you master it from someone that really knows how to teach it, watch out.”

I went on to say (and I am sure he loves it when I monologue like this just like my wife does…), “Put your chin up Mason.  You are a special boy and I believe in you.  My guess is, so does your coach now.  You don’t ever need to be perfect, you just need to have the heart to keep trying to get better.  Does that make sense?”

He nodded and went off to play.  I am not sure that he totally believed me or felt any better.  Until he plays that game and scores 3-4 goals or has 3-4 assists maybe none of it will seem worth it.  As a parent you never really seem to know.

Funny the parallels in life.  In many ways I am the “Dad” of Trace3.  The old crotchety  guy talking and writing about the need to change and become more relevant till you are all tired of listening and reading.  Well, after all your practice, I thought maybe I would show you how you performed in the first game of the year.  Let’s call that game Q1…

New Personal Best:  OVER $105,000,00 in 1 quarter. ($76M in Q1 2012)

Jeremy is predicting we will end the Qtr very close to $110,000,000 after all is said and done.  This was the entire years revenue in 2009.

We will make money in Q1 in 2013.  There is still room for improvement but we will make exponentially more money than we made in 2012.  We practiced the basics and added some new skills.  Our traditional product business is taking off.  NTI is cementing  itself as a truly relevant value proposition for our clients.  Andreessen Horowitz is in.  Greylock is in.  Chad and team have crushed it.  Platfora has momentum.  In the last two days we have set up over 30 meetings for SkyHigh.  Firescope is in HUGE POC’s with some of our best clients right now.

The BAM’s have proven worth the investments (read practice).  Jim and the Symantec team just had their best quarter by a mile.  On both product and services.

Our Switch relationship has morphed.  Morphed into something that should strike fear into the hearts of our competitors.  Anoj, Terri, Josh, and I will be ready to show the sales team and the rest of you what we mean on May 1st.  I left my meeting last week with Rob Roy, Switch CEO, in what was close to disbelief about the partnership we both committed to.  I am not bullshitting this.  It actually made me nervous…

I met with Rajiv Gupta, the CEO of Sky High, to talk through what I thought I was seeing with Switch opportunity.  I felt I needed to talk to a pro so I could better understand what moves to make.  If you do not know him or have not spoken with him, Rajiv is brilliant.  I meant to spend an hour with him and catch a plane home.  2.5 hours and 1 missed flight later, I had a whole new understanding of what has presented itself to Trace3 and how to truly take advantage of all we have spent the last 11 years creating.  It was like Hayes Drumwright receiving a private lesson from one of the best Entrepreneur’s out there.  He talked basics, tactics, and futures.  He led me to water a couple of times and almost tricked me into thinking some of the great strategy ideas that came out of the lesson were actually mine…

Right now I am good.  Trace3 is good.  Our goal is to be great.  Each game we play (each quarter), we will improve.  Be willing to practice.  Be willing to learn.  TALK to you clients about what you learn.  Tell them how we are changing.  Send them to our 2012 EBC page ( and have them watch our videos.  Show them Rajiv’s video on Sky High (   Trace3 will EVOLVE and be relevant in the Post VAR Era.  Our clients should join us in the evolution.

Nice work this quarter.  Everything we have worked so hard on is gaining momentum.  I believe in what we are doing and why we are doing it.

The Fighter Still Remains,


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