By Philip Lew, XBOSoft Founder and CEO
A few weeks ago, I went to Beijing for our company’s 10-Year Anniversary celebration. Although we are based in the Bay Area, most of XBOSoft’s quality testing and assurance employees are in China.
What a great celebration, filled with joy and a sense of accomplishment. Not many companies make it to 10 years — especially in China. The celebration began with people signing a large banner on the wall, followed by mime acts using white gloves.
Then came introductions of our guests — one of whom flew from Switzerland just to join the party. We also invited past employees who wanted to come back and celebrate with us.
I invited several senior members of the team to talk about their experience at XBOSoft. As one of our team leaders spoke, she began to cry, citing her growth and the kinship she shared with her team members as they went to battle together, conquering hardship after hardship; making our clients happy.
What sets us apart
I then gave a brief talk. I reflected back on our 10 years of providing quality assurance testing services since our founding right at the end of 2006. I mentioned the three things that I believe have made our company successful, enabling us to thrive while others have perished.
- Our hybridization – I’m an American, born in Washington, D.C. How can you be more American than being born in the nation’s Capital? And yes, I’m willing to show my birth certificate. I’m of Chinese descent; my grandfather immigrated to California back in the early 1900s.
But it wasn’t until 2002 that I visited China, on a journey to discover my heritage. After a stint at Beihang University as a professor in the Software School, and one year at a large Chinese IT outsourcing company, I founded XBOSoft.
I decided to focus on my strength versus other China-based companies: communicating with and understanding clients needs. Through the years, we have developed a hybrid approach, bringing together the work ethic of the East with the freedom, creativity and practicality of the West. I remember wearing shorts one day to the office in China during our first summer. One of the guys asked me “Can we wear shorts too?” I said of course. We want to get our work done, I don’t care how we dress. I believe that the mindset of practicality rather than show, and the “Get stuff done” attitude was a refreshing change for our employees, compared to other companies where they had previously worked.
- Our focus on software testing – Many companies, especially in China, are very opportunity based. If a project or opportunity comes up that is outside of their specialization, they go after it just because they can make money. From the beginning, we decided to focus only on software quality assurance testing.
Over the last 10 years, each project and client has continued to build our expertise and experience, and this has led to our thought leadership in the quality assurance field.
There were other opportunities, projects and clients that were in similar or related domains, such as development. But if we had pursued these, we would not be the QA experts we are today.
- Our focus on family – Lastly, and perhaps most important, is our concept of family. Some companies talk about it, write about it and put it in their company mission statement, but at XBOSoft, we live it. We are happy in our co-workers’ professional and personal victories. We share their sadness as well.
We celebrate our success together, and we learn from our failures together. We don’t blame, but rather seek to understand from each other what happened and how we can improve.
We trust that each of us wants to help each other to be our best and do what is the best for the company, the XBO family.
Heart and soul of the company
My talk was followed by numerous performances by the staff. Turns out they are a talented bunch outside their work lives! Some solo performances such as kung fu, singing, or dancing combined with a play and dancing. All of the performances were done with such passion that one of our guys said, “We are in the wrong business!”
Our team put their heart and soul into the performances and you could feel the energy and joy as everyone took an active part.
I felt a great deal of pride, as well as humility, in the presence of this amazing team. It’s because of them that we have completed our first decade and look forward to the next one!