Leading With Confidence and Shaping the Future of Your Brand

Kevin Hourigan

Kevin Hourigan is the President and Co-founder of Spinutech, an award-winning digital marketing agency providing result-driven strategies, web design, and digital solutions to businesses. Kevin is an accomplished communicator, strategist, and leader with a background in entrepreneurial technology.  He has spoken alongside brands including Google, Facebook, and General Motors, and he’s won multiple leadership awards for his exemplary and innovative mindset. He has also served on several boards, including the University of South Florida College of Advertising, his alma mater.


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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: 

  • Kevin Hourigan describes Spinutech’s process for creating digital strategies 
  • How clients benefit from custom digital advertising solutions
  • Kevin shares how Spinutech was founded — and how he created the best end-to-end digital agency
  • The benefits of acquiring a niche business model 
  • Kevin advises against making decisions based on emotions
  • How AI will change the digital marketing industry 
  • The tools improving collaboration and productivity for multi-location businesses

In this episode…

Running a successful business comes down to making the right decisions at the right time. Though this may sound easy, it can be quite daunting in practice. As a business owner, how do you know when it’s time to make a strategic business move? 

Every young entrepreneur dreams of creating a framework that allows their business to grow and prosper. However, when thrown into the fray, leaders must know how to deal with tough challenges. Following the structure of identifying a goal, gathering information, and evaluating possible options can be beneficial — especially when working in a dynamic and result-focused industry. Having customized digital solutions tailored to your business is crucial in maintaining a competitive edge.

In this episode of The Cyber Business Podcast, Matthew Connor welcomes Kevin Hourigan, President and Co-founder of Spinutech to discuss how clients benefit from custom digital advertising strategies and the advantages of establishing a niche business model. Kevin shares his thoughts on how to make business decisions, how AI is changing the digital marketing industry, and tools for increasing collaboration and productivity in the workplace. 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode...

This episode is brought to you by CyberLynx.com  


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Matthew Matthew Connor here. Host of the Cyber Business podcast, where we feature successful business leaders, top law firms, green energy companies and more. Today, we're joined by the president and co-founder of SpinUTech and the host of the Growth by Fire podcast, Kevin Hourigan Kevin, welcome to the show.
Kevin Hey, Matthew, great to be here.
Matthew All right. Before we get too far, in a quick word from our sponsors, this episode is brought to you by cyber links Dotcom. That's Cyber-L-Y-N-X.com. Cyberlynx is a complete technology solution provider that ensures your business not only has the most reliable and professional I.T. service, but also has the right cybersecurity solutions to ensure your business stays productive and safe.
Matthew You can learn more at cyberlynx.com that cyber-L-Y-N-X.com. Now back to our show. Kevin, thanks. Thanks for joining us today.
Kevin Yeah, Matthew Happy, happy Thursday.
Matthew Same to you. Now, SpinUTech, a leading digital marketing agency. For those not familiar with SpinUTech. Can you give us the elevator pitch?
Kevin Yeah, absolutely. So you think as a digital advertising agency, we like to describe ourselves as an end to end digital agency? What we mean by that is, is we often become the only partner our clients need to manage all of their digital advertising and end to end. The front end of digital advertising starts with having the right strategy in place and designing and developing the right web presence at once.
Kevin That web presence is launched and managed maintained. The end starts to trail into how the websites can be marketed. And so at speedy tech, we have the right strategy in place to design and develop the right website. Understanding who the key stakeholders are. Key buyers are ideal customer profiles, making sure we have content and and navigation that supports that buyer's journey.
Kevin And once that website is launched and published, we have a complete team who helps do all the marketing for that. That's organic search engine optimization, that's managing paid search organic social media, paid social media that's ongoing email marketing and CRM management. But ultimately we help our clients attract new customers, retain and grow existing clients, and improve their overall growth of their revenues.
Kevin Earnings and client satisfaction. And so often our journey starts with our clients either need help with the website or they need help with the digital advertising. But typically, once you fix one area or help them improve one area of their digital advertising, it then exposes the other area as a weakness. And so typically the start of our relationship is helping them generate more leads for digital marketing in finding out the website as an opportunity to perform better, or they know their websites or they're outdated and get that launched.
Kevin But just launching a new website doesn't mean the traffic and targeting clients are going to come. It takes a bit of a marketing. And so that's what we do. We help our clients grow through making sure they have the right web presence in the way marketing initiatives in place. And you know, my partner Mark always jokes. We're a data agency disguised were a data company disguised as a digital advertising agency.
Kevin And so very data driven, helping our clients understand what the great or the key performance indicators are and having a strategy that complements that measures against it and help them grow.
Matthew Yeah, that's awesome. So what would you say your target audience is your ideal clients?
Kevin Yes, our ideal client So often, often businesses like what's your niche? What's your niche? Our niche isn't necessarily vertical focused. Our niche is being a digital expert horizontally across many industry verticals. And it's intentional for a couple of different reasons. In that niche, that horizontal niche would probably be the middle market size businesses. I'd say 100 million to 1000000000 in revenue.
Kevin And there's going to be companies are way larger than a billion in revenue. There should be some that are be smaller too. But who we target would be that middle market size, 100 billion to 1000000000 in revenue, and that would again be across many different verticals and why not have vertical focus in our industry Being a digital advertising agency, we're helping our clients attract new customers.
Kevin When you go vertical depth, there's a risk out there or a likely risk that at some point, as you're doing a great job for the companies, you're serving others in that vertical, their competitors are going to want you to work for them too. And that could be a conflict of interest to be working for one brand to help it grow.
Kevin And their competitors are asking you to do the same thing for them, and it completely makes sense. So vertical depth for an agency, it restricts growth for the agency. Secondarily, there's so much to learn in other verticals that are existing vertical isn't using from an advertising perspective. And by learning in different verticals, the knowledge that you gain can be transferred into another vertical without it being a risk of violating any confidentiality.
Kevin And we learn all to offer our clients their choice to be their digital advertising partner is going to be someone who's vertically deep in that niche knowing they speak that language very well, but risking they may be working for a competitor and risking some confidential information may be shared. But we offer all. We learn so often that when we do earn an opportunity for someone who is preparing us to a vertical depth agency, the feedback often is using vertical depth agencies in the past, they never brought us the ideas to bring us that table because they didn't have the exposure to the experience that you have.
Kevin And so, you know, our target market again, middle market, we want to be their digital expert horizontally across many verticals so it doesn't run the risk that we have a competitive threat to our clients, which absolutely makes sense. And to be able to experience the knowledge gained in other markets that we wouldn't be able to experience in just one vertical.
Matthew Yeah, I mean, that makes perfect sense. I mean, the reality is you can't I mean, imagine if you did that just in one one city where you get one client, right, you don't want to be be doing the same thing for their their local competitors. It makes no sense. And then to be able to bring in all this expertise from other industries, I mean, basically the same thing that the the large consulting firms do.
Matthew I mean, their value is really in that that they help so many in so many different areas that they bring knowledge that, oh, I wouldn't have thought about that from inside our our industry makes perfect sense.
Kevin And Matthew, you're in technology. I'm in technology. I've been doing this for 26 years. But one of the famous phrases I've coined, especially in technology and in marketing, is it's not what people know that concerns me, it's what people don't know that concerns me. And, you know, we have a team of 165 people, which is very large for digital advertising agency.
Kevin I think there's a statistic in the United States that only 4% of agencies in the United States get beyond 50 people. So the amount of knowledge we gain with a team of 165 is significantly different than the majority of agencies in the United States. So that there's an old saying knowledge is power, right? So we're gaining a lot of knowledge going to all these ten verticals.
Kevin And again, it's not competitive information or competition that's at risk of being shared. It's in different vertical verticals and in all of that just makes our team more knowledgeable and able to share that knowledge with our clients and not have it be a competitive threat seems to be part of the secret formula that our clients value.
Matthew Well, I got to ask, since you brought up 160 people, I mean, to get to that point, I mean, that is that is no small feat. So I'd like to kind of rewind, if we could, to to the founding. If you you know, I love founding stories. If you could share the story of how you how you got started, because I'd love to understand how you go from, hey, I got this great idea or however that started all the way to 160 because like you said, not many people can do that.
Matthew So if you don't mind, share the secret sauce or at least the story we'd love to hear.
Kevin Sure. So there'll be a riddle at the end. But Matthew, I started my career in the same industry. You are. It just was. It managed services through the cloud and things of that today. But I was I.T. integrator in my first career. I went into local businesses back when servers were in a closet in someone's office and not in the cloud.
Kevin That's where I started in and back, you know, 26, 27 years ago, I had an engineer who asked to build our company's website. This was in 1995 when most companies didn't have a website. And I started to say no, but I could tell by his body language he wanted a different answer. And so he said, I'll do it on my own time.
Kevin And he built our website. He was proud of it. It didn't hurt me. But when he was done, he said, Do you mind if I ask our clients if we could build one for them to work out what we do? I can see again, he didn't want the answer to be no. I said, You know, so what would you do for them and what would you charge?
Kevin And he said, Well, I built them a three page website. I charge $500. I said, Okay, well, how long would it take you to build that three page website? He said, 3 hours click could do like that's more of a rate per hour than I'm charging you to be a Novell engineer out in the field. I'm like, No hard sell.
Kevin You like you're going to ask. But, you know, and so his joke, you know, he went to 100 clients and 99 of them said, what is a website? Or we'll never need one of those. But six months later, people started saying, Hey, John was at our office a few months back and you talk about this website thing and we told them we will never need one, but actually we'd like to talk to him again.
Kevin And so that's what started the company. That's back in 1996. Fast forward to where we are today. I learn I'm a voracious learner. I have an appetite to learn and get better every day. And one of the ways I've done so is being an SEO peer groups. And I met a an owner of another digital agency who was very, very similar to mine.
Kevin And two and a half years ago we merged our two companies together and the two companies together built a team of 165 people. And why did we merge? We wanted to be the best and digital company you could have, and we were both were attempting to do that. But as a company of half the size and it's hard to be the best and end digital company because Digital Kitchen is the pressure of digital continues to get broader, the need for skills continues to get deeper.
Kevin You can only be so good at end and digital with a team of 75 people, 65 people, 85 people. You can only be so good. You can be aspirationally great at some, but really you aren't great. My partner's company was stronger on the digital marketing side and my company was stronger on the website and together we decided we'd be better to go to market for our clients to be an end and agency being able to be really strong on the web and the marketing side.
Kevin My customers got better opportunities to have more marketing services than what my company could offer, and this company had an opportunity to bring to their clients different web solutions that they didn't offer. And so for our clients, we were able to give them more choices that would be a better fit for them than just the ones that we were limited to with the team.
Kevin We had the time for our coworkers. We were able to create a career path that each company independently can offer because now we had such a diverse level of skill sets and so it gave an opportunity for our coworkers to have just an amazing new journey for their career that neither one could offer independently. And then for our company, we felt that we are bringing better solutions for our customers or bringing better career paths for our coworkers.
Kevin It can't harm our company. And so how do we get 265? It's merging two companies together, but both companies were already far beyond the 50 point headcount and part of it's time, but it's been a business for more than 20 years. Both of us were able to have amazing teams who were able to do amazing work and and be able to grow a business from a lot of repetitive business from existing clients abroad, referral from existing clients, and a lot of partnerships that fostered new opportunity.
Matthew Well, let me ask you. So a lot of people say those first hires and still after that are really crucial and kind of critical, you know, to your business. Would you say that that that's true or would you say that it was, you know, kind of the key to success going from that? You know, it's you doing your, you know, doing your i.t.
Matthew You know, company. You've got a what? Just is it just you and one engineer at the time And you know.
Kevin We probably probably about 20 people at the time. But the interesting thing was this is six months into the digital journey we decided to shut down the managed services side of our business. And it was, you know, I was at a meeting last night for another business and they were telling this business owner to abandon their current business model and go niche into this one.
Kevin And if they did, there was a quote unquote a huge pot of gold but had to abandon where they were at. And that's the most fearful thing that any business owner wants to hear is abandon what's been your bread and butter for 20 years and go over here where there's a pot of gold that you're told exists, but you can't see it, smell it or taste it.
Kevin And that's what my company did, is we had 20 engineers managing our clients, but but felt there was a threat to where that model was going. And certainly, you take advantage of what it was. But there was a paradigm shift in going to what we were doing into what we would have had to go do. And it was paradigm shift of switching the business model.
Kevin But we chose to intentionally make a shift and go pure digital. There's an old saying niche in Get Rich. It's scary to go niche. It's very scary because you're giving up your bread and butter. In my journey, abandoning the managed services side of things was a difficult decision to make, especially into the digital sector, which really didn't have any track record yet.
Kevin But it was a gamble that that was the wave of the future, so to speak, in that gamble paid off.
Matthew Wow. Okay. That's that's really cool. And, you know, not to go too far down it, but I'd love if you could share a little bit more if it's okay. I'm curious the conversation you had last night, what was the industry kind of niche and what what are they looking at? Just because this is I mean, those are those are huge jumps.
Matthew I mean, that's scary stuff.
Kevin So I'm probably blushing because this could be an embarrassing story. It's about to come out of my mouth, Matthew. But so I think in my journey of being able to be a partner in a in a in a digital agency of 165 people, I didn't get here because I was the smartest person. I didn't get here because I was an amazing digital advertising or web developer.
Kevin I got here because I was inspired by others who helped me see beyond what my own vision could and gave me inspiration to pursue things that if I was just left to my own mind, I would have never gotten here. And I think in my journey, I'm so thankful I had people out there who told me that the North Star was way brighter, way bigger, but way farther away, but told me that the trust in the journey and and in that I feel like you have to reciprocate those opportunities backward.
Kevin Right. And so you know, I enjoy sharing my experiences to others who are looking for someone to be able to learn from or grow from. And so where I get my haircut, the lady who owns the salon, where I get my hair cut, cut my hair for 20 years, it just got a cut last night. She has an opportunity to expand her salon.
Kevin She's had her salon for 20 years. She cuts she she cuts men's hair. And she is a stylist who does Ladies Erin Colors, but she has a vision of diversifying that business model and adding in hair extensions. Not for guys, for girls, obviously, But I learned this last night. A woman who has hair extensions is making a $7,000 a year commitment to have hair extensions, $7,000 a year.
Kevin What does a normal woman or man spend at a hair salon annually by haircuts, $25. And, you know, it's, I don't know, $300 a year if it's more than $300 to sit in the chair every six weeks. They have hair extensions. But so there's a pot of gold there. The pot of gold. I probably spent $300 a year to air salon the $7,000, but there's only four chairs in the salon.
Kevin Who do you want sitting in the chair? That's a $25 haircut or a 7000 or your customer. And so, you know, that was that was the example last evening.
Matthew Oh, wow, That's fantastic. That's now I mean, why wouldn't you I mean, at least, you know, dedicate part of the store just to that and then, you know, bridge, you know, get rid of your you don't want to lose your, you know, your barber, of course, But hey, I'd love to see her just do great things. So I feel you in.
Kevin Why not here? You know, I think early in my career, someone said, you know, when you make decisions, you make decisions often on emotion. And it's either you're mad, you're sad, you're scared, or you're glad. In many of those emotions, you're going to make the wrong decision. If you're sad and make a decision, you're probably not making the best decision.
Kevin If you're scared and you're making decision, you're probably not making the best decision. If you're mad and you're making a decision, you're probably not making the best decision. But if you can be glad and make a decision, you've probably thought if not making that opportunistically and not realistically glad, if you get to the point where you're glad because you feel like you've vetted out what needs to be vetted, that you're not making it because you're scared and desperate.
Kevin You're not making it because you're mad and frustrated. You're not making it because you're sad. You can often make good decisions, and so why wouldn't you make that decision? That seems like there's a pot of gold because you're scared.
Matthew You know, it's funny because I think I think you're spot on with the decisions. I think that interestingly, though, I think that everybody makes all their decisions based off of emotion and then they justify it with, you know, the logic and those those scared or let's just go with scared. You're scared. It's really the emotion is just telling you there's something you don't know and you need to figure that out.
Matthew Once you figure out those things, then you'll be glad and you'll make the right decision. So you got there the same way. And I love that because I feel the exact same way. And all too often people just don't think through it enough and really analyze it to be able to get through the scared or the mad or the whatever it might be to get too glad, which is then, yep, that's your green light.
Matthew Right?
Kevin So it's a green light then. It's it's interesting to watch. I've got two young adult boys and it's interesting to be a father. Don't be afraid. So people make decisions with emotion and then try to support it with logic afterwards. And whether it's watching my boys or know maybe some of the coworkers that I share day to day experiences with it.
Kevin It's interesting sometimes to watch emotion, make the decision, and then search for the logic underneath it to support it. And yeah, you know, I can smile at it cause I'm sure I'm guilty of it every day myself. But it's interesting to be able to watch others journeys and then to make a quick emotional decision, then seek for logic to help support it and stuff of that nature.
Kevin So I can smile now because I didn't see that earlier in my career and I'm sure I'm guilty of it as anybody else. But it is it is is fascinating to watch sometimes as well.
Matthew Earlier in your career, you saw that digital was going to be the transition. That was the future. I think everybody nowadays is seeing A.I. as the future. So let me ask you, where does where do you see AI coming in in the you know, in the digital marketing world? How do you see that that plain part?
Kevin Yeah, I think it's good. So we're experiencing AI in our business today and we don't see it as threat. I think initially the knee jerk reaction was scared that this is going to take our job, right? I think we're in a state of glad now. We're going to probably beat this horse to death today. But I think we're going I think we're in a state of glad to be because I can be an amazing companion to help our team be able to leverage it, to help our clients or our teammates be able to get to an outcome faster, less expensive.
Kevin We more creatively to get to an outcome differently than we have in the past. And so some areas where we may be testing it so a significant amount of what we do is strategy that that turns into into copywriting. We're not telling you, we're not going into there and saying, you know, write this article or write this blog, but we have writer's block.
Kevin It may take hours to cure writer's block. I can help cure writer's block really quickly. And so that can help us be more efficient, more effective, and spend more time executing that deliverable than being stuck in writer's block. So we see it complementing there. There's some aspects of software development where I can do some quality assurance or code review.
Kevin We're not asking you to write code, but we may be asking you to test code and things of that nature. And so I think again, when change happens, fear is fast. Emotion that fears a fast emotion that can come. But when you have a chance to process things and take put fear to the side and be able to logically visit things, fear may still reside or opportunity may be what knocks on the door.
Kevin And we've seen a high to be an opportunity. And I think we've just scratched the thing. We just scratched the surface of what that opportunity can be.
Matthew Yeah, it's funny. So I don't know if you know the story about refrigerators, right. When this when refrigeration came around, that was, you know, great and whatnot. But the people who who came up with refrigeration, they made a lot of money. And but it was really the people who did more with it, like Coca-Cola. You know, they they really used refrigeration to to expand their business and become a brand.
Matthew And I think I think air is going to be much like that, where it's going to be, you know, people like you, where you integrate air into things beyond just using like, you know, the chat for hey, ideas. I think it's going to be those those products and you know and service is where it it really you know kind of it kind of gets into it not necessarily a niche but really leverages it to do a certain thing, you know, whether it's, you know, building a web, let's say SEO, for instance.
Matthew Right. You currently you can't go to Chad GTP and say, hey, what's you can you give me some advice? They can give you some general advice on your SEO, but not won't dig into your site and be like, Oh, we got to fix this, fix that. I mean, I think when you're leveraging that internally and you can say, Hey, look, and it goes through and just, oh my, I mean that's that's some powerful stuff that you'll be able to turn on for a client and you know, fix their website SEO at least, you know, some of the basic stuff that might take hours and hours and hours to go through if they've got a, you
Matthew know, even a small site. Right. Let alone a very large site with lots of problems. Big, really cool to have a tool that just goes in and, you know, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam. You go at it.
Kevin And, you know, and you also check activity. Obviously, it's been like, know, I overflow in the media and stuff like that. And where I think a lot of us today are are getting I think a lot of mainstream America is getting their first real life example of where a I might exist. But quite frankly, I spent our best friend from a digital advertising perspective on our client's best friend for a long time and just helping managing effectively media spend and, you know, targeting things that nature.
Kevin And so, you know, the cost of media isn't getting any less these days. The opportunity of leveraging API to make it to make that expensive media more effective has been in place for a long period of time. And so, you know, artificial intelligence has been around for a while. We've been using it. It's been a little bit somewhat behind the scenes to some degree that some people's visibility.
Kevin I think we're just becoming more and more aware of it as we see these cool things that that techy beauty and things of that nature have been brought to the table. But obviously it's been around for a while in different taste points and and we know we know what's been out there because certainly as we spend time online and you know, we've been browsing a particular website and then that websites, you know, hunting us I mean following us around the Internet for a while, you know, we was like, okay, so I got to be cautious when I browsing because you know that, you know, sports stories continue to follow me on a personal ski's I
Kevin was considering buying or whatever it might be. And so, you know, that's been artificial intelligence working for years. And we do it behind the scenes. You know, I can't tell you how many, you know, coffee conversations or cocktail conversations. People like I was at home and I was talking and I think Alexa overheard me talking about buying a new golf club because I went on to MSN that day and that same golf club appeared on my advertising.
Kevin And so, you know, we've been talking about it over coffee for a year or so. And but, you know, certainly chat activity has really brought an awareness over and above what I think we've been talking about for a long time.
Matthew Yeah, that's great. So okay, so we put I now I'm really curious because you have 160 ish employees, this whole, you know, in office versus remote stuff. I mean, you guys are in, in multiple locations, right?
Kevin Yeah. Yes. So pre-COVID five offices. Once COVID happened, we told our when COVID first really went down, mandatory can't go to the offices. Many of the communities we were in Denver, Chicago, I'm in Tampa. It was mandatory. You couldn't come into the office at some point. Different restrictions, different communities started to lighten up. And our Tampa office, I think I'm in a 12 storey office tower here in Tampa.
Kevin I think the building was locked down for three weeks. Eventually it opened up. I recall in our Chicago office, in our Denver office, those communities said that if you weren't from the same household, only so many people could be in the square footage from different households. And so there was no way our team could go back into the office because it was, you know, probably 20% of the team could go into those those offices because those communities respected people, not from the same household being in the same space.
Kevin And so here we are, you know, back and now we're in 2023 and we are what we call an optional option option to go back to the office. I'm in my Tampa office today. I'm going to imagine there's about 45 people in the Tampa marketplace, but I would guess I'll probably see five or six of my teammates here today.
Kevin And so I would say probably on any given day, a 165 team members, we probably have around 25 going into the office. A lot of those would be, you know, using the 8020 rule, maybe 80% of those are the same people because they choose to work in the office for whatever their choices may be. And then 20% may be a variety of wanting to go into get the team exposure, wanting to go in, because maybe the meeting wanting to go and maybe just get out of the house, whatever it might be, but also in this COVID world, we've gone from, you know, five offices in four states to now having, you know, team members in
Kevin 28 states. And so you know, the message of, hey, everybody, guess what? We're going back to work. You know, that doesn't fit everybody because everybody is in a geographic region to be able to go back to work. And so, yeah, there's areas that, you know, there's a there's a pro and a con to everything about going back to work or staying remote.
Kevin And, you know, in any given day you can support one side of the logic of it'd be better to go back to work to support the logic, be better to stay remote, but being as distributed across 28 states as we are today, it's that's a problem that's harder to solve than some of the facts or opinions about whether it's better to go back or not.
Kevin It's going to be a difficult message for us to determine how to go back to work when we're in 28 states with offices only in four.
Matthew Right. And I think, you know, in your particular case, do you find it I mean, I would think that collaborating in 28 states is perfectly fine. I mean, it'd be one thing if you had one office. Everybody was in there. You know, again, there are, you know, advantages and disadvantages to everybody being in there. There's a lot of extra, you know, talking, there's a lot of extra everything that goes along with it.
Matthew But is it are you finding that you have all the collaboration tools you need? People are very productive, you know, in 28 states. And so it's like, do we need it? The offices?
Kevin It's it's you know, it's such a good question. And it and I think that there's probably fact and then there's probably opinion that can answer that question. Do we have the tools? I believe we have the tools. We have Slack, we have Zoom, we have all these different tools. What I think we haven't figured out in how to use those tools to the maximum they can help us is in my early career, I used to go to work at 7:00 every morning.
Kevin My goal was to be at work at 7:00 every morning because my boss went at 7:00 every morning and I got to say good morning to my boss before anybody else did every morning. And I went in on my day. I had one day off. I went in at 7:00 every morning. I'm on my day off to turn in my weekly report.
Kevin And I saw my boss, even on my day off every morning at 7 a.m., I turn in my report, spend about 20 minutes in the office. It was a half mile from my house. It was convenient, but my boss saw me every day. I believe that was a differentiation and how I got to climb the career ladder differently than all my other peers who started the same onboarding class than I did.
Kevin I think in this remote world today, some of that interaction doesn't take place. And the stars, the stars of the world don't have the same exposure to their leaders as they had before. And so there's a way that can be fostered. But that happened more in a inorganically than it would today. And it was intentional on my part.
Kevin I was intentionally doing that and I got a lot of time with my boss that nobody else did, and he recognized the commitment I was making. And guess what? He tapped me in there sort of a Kevin, I want you to come in this meeting with me and Kevin, I want you to do this again. And I set a record for career growth in that career faster than anybody else I'd ever had met before.
Kevin But I believe it was because I intentionally did things differently than everybody else did it. My boss had exposure to it. I could have teammates today who are making those same commitments that the exposure is not there and so those tools could potentially foster it. But I know that they're exposing that. You know, you talk about, you know, in office, you know, there's a lot more chatter and all kinds of stuff going on.
Kevin And certainly I have a judgment that that is true and that could be considered a downside. But here's where I see there's a potential loss of upside to that, that chatter maybe. Hey, Matt, what are you doing for a month? We have lunch plans today. No. Hey, you want to go down to go to Chipotle for lunch today?
Kevin Yeah, sure. Let's go to lunch. Matt, I promise you, you and I got to go to lunch today as coworkers to support me. At lunch today, we would talk about work. You might talk about I just got this crappy assignment. I don't know why you're giving it to me. I don't know how to do this. And I'd be like, Yeah, that sucks.
Kevin But you know what? I got that before, too. And here's how I solved it. And so we may be bellyaching about work, but at the same point we're learning. Yeah, we're growing. And so those, those conversations at the WaterCooler, well, at some point they'd be like, Oh, the WaterCooler, what's festering at the WaterCooler, the pro side of that, what's also festering at the water cooler is people having exposure to issues or problems that they're also being aware of how they got solved in their growing in their knowledge as a result of that.
Kevin And so, you know, we have platforms today that allow that to be fostered, but I don't know if we have the circumstances and where that organically fostered in the way we're doing it today.
Matthew That's a really good point. I mean, I could see, you know, going back to, you know, to people. Let's go back to your story right where you you you got in the office every day at seven. You thought differently. You found a a unique way of of, you know, kind of gaming the system to your advantage. And I think there are plenty of opportunities now with new technology.
Matthew Most people will do the norm and they will stay with their herd. You know that they were onboarded with no progress. Normally, those that find the advantages in the system and take, you know, and create some they thought creatively they came up with creative solutions. I think the same applies now. But what you point out is is I think brilliant that that you often don't hear is that those opportunities like the lunch, like the, you know, the griping at the cooler where you're learning these things.
Matthew I don't know of any you're right the system's just not there. You you know you what you're going to get off the zoom and then just the your pitch to whoever's around you, your kids, your wife, your whatever, you know. And there's no learning that's going on. It may be therapeutic. Yes, but it is not you're not learning from somebody else's experience in your your business.
Matthew So that's a really good point.
Kevin Well, and I think today, too, you know, we may have a 30 minute Zoom call with the intent of educating and sharing experience, all that stuff. And it may finish in 15 minutes and we hang up if we're in a meeting room, if we may not hang up right. We may talk about can we may talk about the weather.
Kevin We may talk about, you know, who's going to go to the Super Bowl this year, whatever it might be. But there's maybe some sprinkled in knowledge share, too. And in Matthew, I think, you know, I, I always I always wanted to you know, there's an old saying you are who you hang with. I always wanted to surround myself with the people who knew the most.
Kevin Right. So I went in at 7:00 in the morning because my boss more than anybody else, and I got an opportunity to just have 5 minutes with that person in the morning and I got to learn from all that. And so in Zoom Call today, when you hang up the communications done, you know, you're in you're in a conference room and you might not just you might not just hung up, you might have just hung out.
Kevin And the difference with hanging up, hanging up and hanging out, there's there's a gap there that potentially we're not maximizing the opportunity to learn from each other.
Matthew I couldn't agree more. I think I think the future is is more hybrid. And those people who care about their career advancement, you know, will want to spend more time, the office around people. They'll grow, they'll be groomed more. They'll they'll have those opportunities, they'll learn more. But if it doesn't fit your life goals, that's fine. If what you're really looking for is, is that, you know, stay at home, work from home, you know, work is fine.
Matthew Go then you can have that. I think that's.
Kevin An it's a little up enough to say, here's how we're trying. So we have the tools, we look, we've lost the environment. But here's some of the things we're trying to do to counteract it. We have a young lady in our in our office is is focused purely on culture. Her entire role is to help foster the culture of SpinUTech intentionally.
Kevin She's created an amazing number of channels and venues to interact online, and it may be around interests outside of work. It may be you're not doing yoga, meditation, family pets, you know, just the gamut. It runs very long. There's just weekly or multiple times weekly, just informal get togethers. And, you know, when COVID first happened, it's like, Oh, let's do the virtual happy hour at 5:00.
Kevin Like you like that wore out within 90 days. Right? But the intent was get people together. Right? So nowadays, you know, is our organization, Rachel, she's amazing and she is trying to foster intentionally ways to use the platforms and tools we have to get that interaction with a focus of why they get together. But probably a little bit a little bit of free flow once it does get together.
Kevin And so we are counterbalancing the lack of interaction physically, face to face with intentional ways of optionally being able to join areas of interest that you may have and be able to interact with team members that you may never have a chance to spend much time with face to face. And so, you know, we are seeing games and leveraging those types of exercises to counterbalance what we lose from the accidental interchanges that took place at the WaterCooler, so to speak.
Matthew Oh, that's cool. And how long have you guys been? How long have you been doing that, doing that?
Kevin So it's actually something that was a pre code is a pre coping initiative to have someone focus strictly on culture. It's just adjusted to what it's, you know, it's adjusted to a post-pandemic reality of of what to do using those pandemic situations. But know something intentional that we had pre-pandemic. It's just the vision of what that was to what it's become today has changed.
Kevin And so, you know, we are very intentionally trying to, you know, foster the best culture we can. And part of fostering the best culture is is getting better at what you do every day by learning from your teammates.
Matthew I love it. Well, I can't thank you enough for coming on. But before we go, can you tell people where they can find out more about you and SpinUTech?
Kevin Yeah, absolutely. So, Matthew, thank you for the time today. My name is Kevin Hourigan. Kevin@spinutech.comcom would be email my LinkedIn is Kevin Hourigan you can find me there. I love to interact with you answer any questions, but I love anybody. If you want to connect later, be happy to chat with you.
Matthew Awesome. Well, thanks again, Kevin. It was great having you on.
Kevin Thank you so much.

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