Farewell QSR International

After 14 years with QSR International, it’s time to move on and explore something new.

It’s been an honour and privilege to work with, lead and learn from so many capable people over the past 14 years.  There have been many great times and some difficult changes navigated; including forming new teams, creating new products, and introducing new development methodologies.  I’ve made many great friendships along the way which I will always appreciate.  I particularly enjoyed working with my teams, direct reports and peers in the executive team over the years.  It was a special privilege to have worked closely with the original founders Tom Richards and Lyn Richards, as well as long term serving CEO John Owen.

My time at QSR International took me to many countries around the world; United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Sweden, Netherlands, Bulgaria, Qatar, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam.  The travelling was hectic at times, but it has broadened my understanding of the world and given me a greater appreciation of different cultures and what connects us as humanity.  Particular travel highlights included attending Apple WWDC conference in San Francisco, attending Microsoft Build conference in Seattle, presenting at Universities around the world, and conducting a live-demo in Japan with Japanese data (and no I don’t know Japanese, but did have a translator).

I am proud of what my teams have accomplished over the years.  Firstly, adoption of new technology, from building NVivo for Windows 7 using .NET 1.1 when it was a relatively new language, to building NVivo for Mac 10 using Objective-C when few of us had any knowledge of it.  Secondly, innovation of new data analysis methods, from new analytical approaches to identify patterns within data to incorporating machine learning to handle larger volumes of data.  Thirdly, early introduction of new infrastructure, moving from physical servers to virtual servers to the cloud.  Lastly, hack days were an important event to surface ideas and demonstrated the breadth of talent within the company.

It was great to see the company receive recognition along the way with numerous industry awards, including Governor of Victoria Export Award for ICT and the Dell Small Business Excellence Award for innovative use of information technology in better serving customers.  The Dell Award was particularly fulfilling as we got to meet Michael Dell in person and spend 2 days with Dell executives overseas.

I would also like to thank the many technology partners that I have worked with that ensured our success, including AWS, Dell, Lexalytics, Microsoft, Monash University, and Readify to name a few.  Building integrations with other software vendors such as SurveyMonkey and Qualtrics were both challenging and rewarding.

QSR International had fantastic company celebrations for important milestones, from flying the whole company to Sydney to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge, to flying the whole company to King Island on DC3s for the day.  I recall fondly presenting at a Board meeting and having the Board of Directors serve champagne to celebrate my 10 years of service.  I appreciate the opportunity afforded to me to study at Harvard Business School.

Ultimately, looking back you remember the people whom you interacted with and what you accomplished together.  We did great things.

What’s next?  Something new.  What that is?  I will let you know soon.

Note: This blog post also appears on LinkedIn Pulse.

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