(From left) 463 partner Tom Galvin, 463 chairman Tim Dyson and 463 partner Jim Hock at, appropriately, a baseball game
Five years ago today, 463 Communications publicly launched (and so did this blog).
We never have been good about talking about ourselves, and there is no reason to start chest thumping now, but a few random observations...
- Mind the gap. We started 463 because we saw a great gap between Silicon Valley and Washington, DC and thought our collective experiences would serve as an effective bridge. Fortunately, we were right, and we've done quite well, thank you. However, it never ceases to amaze me how much of a gap still exists. Even living, breathing techies in the Obama Administration will tell you the same thing.
- Great work. When Tom, Jim and I started 463, we wanted to focus day-to-day on actual client work. We weren't excited about marketing, hiring a bunch of people to do the work for us or pontificating as "PR leaders." We just wanted to work with great clients at a senior level and accomplish stuff during a fascinating time. Fortunately, all of this has come to pass.
- Great team. Luckily, we have been able to hire folks over these five years who have shared our same entrepreneurial spirit and, crucially, have been able to put up with the partners. 463 is not for the faint of heart. We have folks who are at the top of their game from a PR, policy and common sense perspective and can also thrive without lots of management. They're an amazing bunch and we're stoked to have them. (Although, they really need to learn how to post to this blog more).
- Opportunity. We are of the mind that careers always need to be moving forward and opportunity should always be seized -- even if it means outside of our four walls. One of the best validators for our success is that folks who have left 463 are currently furthering their careers in high-level and important communications positions at places like Yahoo!, Juniper Networks and H-P.
- What we really do. Tech policy stuff, right? Yes and no. Tech policy communications is our core and our differentiation. But, the reality is that 463, through client demand and the virtue our collective experience, has organically evolved into a firm that provides senior communications consulting of many forms. This means lots of work creating thought leadership campaigns, reputation management efforts, executive platforms and messaging. We also help some companies take a completely fresh look at their communications programs and help them reshape a smart path forward. Personally, I love doing that.
- Thank you. Our clients are obviously essential to our health and our growth. But, we especially thank them for being great partners who can accept often tough/blunt recommendations and who are always striving to do better and create positive impact. Our friends in the media should also be thanked (those of whom that are left). We may have invited you to a few stinker press conferences, but, hopefully, these have been the rare exceptions. And, to our friends -- those in the tech policy world-- and folks like our partners at Next Fifteen, Bite Communications, OutCast Communications and Text 100, thank you all of your support, for coming to our parties and for listening to Tom and Jim tell the same damn jokes over and over again.