Reinventing an Atomic Tradition for Pandemic Conditions

As I write this, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to loom large in almost every aspect of life. Atomic Object is open and thriving as a company, but our offices remain closed, and our employees are working remotely. Returning to our physical offices in Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, and Chicago still remains an important part of […]

Staying Socially Connected in a Socially-Distanced Office

As I write today, we’re in our fifteenth week of all-remote work at Atomic Object, and we don’t expect to return to our physical space any time soon. This is tough for us. While some companies are embracing remote work and using the pandemic as an opportunity to downsize their physical footprint, in-person collaboration is […]

How I Learned to Stop Approaching Conversations as Contests

Earlier this year, I had a profound experience at a Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute (SIYLI) event hosted by the Center for Positive Organizations. SIYLI’s programs teach neuroscience-backed techniques for practical mindfulness and emotional intelligence. Over two days, I participated in dozens of immersive activities geared toward learning in these domains. The whole experience was […]

Avoid Four Leadership Pitfalls with Amy Jen Su’s ‘The Leader You Want To Be’

Recently, I read Amy Jen Su’s new book, The Leader You Want to Be: Five Essential Principles for Bringing Out Your Best Self–Every Day. An experienced executive coach and productivity expert, she shares principles for how to be effective and more energized. This includes finding “in-flow” days and recognizing and recovering when things are out […]

How Atomic Goes About Setting a Project Budget

If you’ve worked with other custom software companies, you’ll notice that Atomic’s approach to budgeting is unique. It’s a lot more time-intensive and comprehensive. In fact, when I deliver a budget model to a customer who is comparison shopping, they often tell me something like, “This is the most comprehensive analysis I have seen from […]

Why Milestone-Based Payments Are Never a Good Idea for Custom Software

During two separate meetings with potential new accounts this week, milestone-based payments (sometimes also called fixed-bid payments) came up in conversation. One potential customer was interested in working this way; the other one had just been burned by it. These conversations reminded me of the reasons milestone-based payments are a bad idea when you’re building […]

How I’m Getting a Business Education Without Going to B-School

For several years now, I have wanted to further my professional development in business administration and management. I researched MBA programs and other related certificate programs, but the timing never felt right for me in terms of the time and financial commitments that business school would require, and the other life goals and activities I […]