As the year comes to a close, I've found myself on the road visiting customers as much as I have been sitting at my desk coding features. I've written about the importance of building relationships with our customers before, but another interesting perk is seeing parts of the country that I normally wouldn't get a chance to.
Over the last month, I've spent some time in Jackson, Mississippi, and Birmingham, Alabama, and coming up next week I’ll be in Jacksonville, Florida. Besides spending a year in Louisiana as a child, this was my first time back in the south. Although we keep pretty busy on our trips visiting doctors and hospital staff using our charge capture, secure messaging, HIE, and care coordination software, we do have time to ask for recommendations for places to grab the best local cuisine after a long day (and in the case of Birmingham, enjoy a delicious home cooked meal at a colleague's house). I can honestly say there have been few places I've been to where total strangers are as warm and kind as the south. Southern hospitality, I'm glad to discover, is alive and well and something that should be emulated.
Living and working in San Francisco, one of the major criticisms for most technology companies here is that they often get a distorted sense of priorities in terms of products and markets. pMD originally began in Georgia, moved to New York City, and then most recently moved to San Francisco. So perhaps the varied geographic background has helped us avoid this problem. Yet it takes vigilance to avoid falling into a myopic view of what’s important for our customers. Visiting far and wide to hear first hand what's working well and what could work better is perhaps the best way to make sure your vision and priorities stay relevant.