The New Era of thoughtbot, inc.

Chad Pytel

We are excited to announce that as of February 26th, thoughtbot, inc. is no longer a full service IT consulting company. We are now exclusively a software and web application development company.

For some time now, we have been pursuing (and finding!) business growth on the development front—and the technical support side of things has made up less and less of our business, but continues to take up much of our time.

Since day one of thoughtbot’s existence, now almost four years ago, our clients, friends, wives and business advisors have questioned our decision to remain a full service IT firm. Throughout that time, I have been stubbornly persistent and held that it was possible to provide great IT service of all kinds at a fair and profitable price, to small and medium size businesses. While I still believe that this is true, we believe that it is no longer the correct course for us to pursue as a company. Instead, with a renewed energy, we will be focused on providing ridiculously competent development services for organizations of all shapes and sizes.

As a business, this is a big step for us. It will change relationships with many of our clients, and will affect the types of new work we pursue. On a personal level, it’s just as big - if not bigger - of a step, and the business analysis has been coupled with an equally challenging emotional analysis.

As we made this decision, it was important to realize what we needed to do as business owners and employees:

  • Identify what we are best at and focus on that
  • Identify what makes us happy and focus on that
  • Identify how to maximize value to our customers and focus on that

Software development and the business consulting that comes with it are not only things that we excel at as a company, but they are things that make us happy as well, and that is incredibly important to us. Because of our expertise and because we are happy flexing that expertise, we can provide immense value to our customers by focusing strictly on development services.

As a final note, while this is not purely a technology-driven decision - there is no denying that Ruby and Ruby on Rails have played an incredible role in the development of our company over the last 18 months. This framework and the community around it have allowed us to solidify our ideas about software development and design methodologies, embrace and enforce best practice design in our projects, and as result - develop excellent software for our clients and ourselves. Without the enjoyment we’ve found in the framework and its conventions, we may be where we are today—but we would certainly not be having as much fun now that we’re here.

Stay tuned for more exciting news out of thoughtbot—we hope you’ll join us for the ride.