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Tim May: Changing the Way Critical Infrastructure Companies do Project Management

In an interview with Insights Success, Sitetracker Chief Technology Officer, Tim May, shared insights gleaned from his journey to triumphant success as an entrepreneur. As a fervent supporter of innovative entrepreneurial methods and technological advancement, he continually looks for ways to improve the platform. Tim May’s goal is to standardize and optimize the way critical infrastructure is deployed around the world.
As the global standard for managing high-volume projects, Sitetracker offers a platform that enables growth-focused innovators to optimize the entire asset lifecycle. From the field to the C-suite, Sitetracker allows stakeholders to perfect various segments such as planning, deployment, maintenance, and growth.
Market leaders in the telecommunications, utility, smart cities, and alternative energy industries — such as Verizon, Nokia, Fortis, Alphabet, and Panasonic — rely on Sitetracker to manage millions of sites and projects representing over $12 billion of portfolio holdings globally.
Read the whole interview:    
How do you define leadership?
For me, the key is empowering smart people and leading by example. You spend time recruiting the best folks you can find because they know what needs to be done and they are good at it.  Empowering them to make decisions and lead their areas is critical — and when needed, dives in and spend time in the trenches with them.
What were the challenges and roadblocks you faced in the initial phase of your entrepreneurial career?
Having the courage to go for it, I was working full-time; I have a family, a mortgage. No matter how passionate you are, it’s hard to make that call because failure is a very real option and the statistically likely outcome.
There are so many people that would be successful if they took the shots — you just have to go for it. Bet on yourself, and if it doesn’t work out, you’re going to be okay. That was the biggest thing for me: mustering the courage to go for it.
You took a different route than a lot of people who launch startups, who test the waters first by holding onto their current job. You just took the shot, as you put it. What made you do that rather than taking it more slowly?
I knew that it was going to take a lot of focus and work for Sitetracker to be successful. It was going to require 80 hours a week, minimum. I had to make the clean break: put everything I had into it. That’s what it took, to do it.
How do you diversify Sitetracker product offerings to appeal to a diverse audience?
We focus on the problems that we see in the industries we serve. Listening is important. Two ears: one mouth. When we are building new Sitetracker functionality, we focus on coming up with the simplest design that also meets the customer’s needs. My favorite quote from Albert Einstein is, “Keep things as simple as possible but not simpler.” Don’t over-engineer, over-complicate, or over-think it.
How do you tackle product competition in the market?
I try not to dwell on what other companies are doing. By focusing on our strengths and listening to our customers, we will inevitably overpower our competitors. Every time you choose to focus on feature parity, you’re choosing not to work on something that you believe will provide value to your customers. It’s a bad idea to prioritize something to match a competitor feature list instead of adding something you believe the customer really needs. Our roadmap is entirely customer focused — we base it on what customers and the industries we serve tell us.
What past experiences have shaped your current outlook on leadership?
All life experiences culminate and contribute to your perspective. You end up realizing that you didn’t really come up with this master plan, but somehow, looking back, it all makes sense and comes together to create the person you are today.
Early in my career, I spent a lot of time on endeavors like developer evangelism, programming, and building new software. Based on early successes, I was moved into managing multiple projects, programs, and portfolios. I became much more interested and engaged when I realized that project management is leadership. I realized that you have to be able to get your team to rally behind shared goals. That challenge is what motivates me every day.
My experience doing this work informed how we built Sitetracker — it’s based on real-world experience in managing projects and programs and working with applications that never met all of my needs.
There’s nothing I did in my career, both personally or professionally, that does not connect to the way I see the world. I think if you just constantly course correct by fighting for the right things every single day; you’ll end up where you’re supposed to go. And then, in the end, if you’ve stayed focused, you will achieve your goals.
Where do you see yourself in the near future and what are your long-term goals?
My near-term goals are focused on making Sitetracker the absolute best company it can be. That’s the goal for the foreseeable future.
What’s your advice for emerging entrepreneurs?
It comes down to grit; lots and lots of grit.
It’s all about hard work, execution and surrounding yourself with the best people you can find — that means people who share your dedication and have the ability to prioritize and focus on shared goals.
There are lots of people with great ideas, but what separates successful people is the ability to bring an idea to life through focus and hard work. You have to relentlessly prioritize what needs to be done on a daily basis, stick with it, and never give up. It’s easy to say, but very hard to do.
On the path to a successful venture, you will find adversity. Fight through it and don’t let the small things get in the way. Always stay focused on the long-term goal.  What we say here at Sitetracker is: “Fight for inches every single day.” You aren’t going to reach from where you are to the end zone in one pass — it’s done inch by inch by inch.
Is there anything else you want to share about your experience as an entrepreneur?
I am grateful for the amazing people I’ve had the chance to work with while building Sitetracker and for the unbelievable support from my family. When I was contemplating leaving my job, it was my wife who gave me the push. She told me, “You have to do this; we’ll be fine. I’m not worried because you’re going to be successful.” She believed in me. You have to treat the people on your team the same way. When you believe in them, they will do incredible things.
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Source: The 30 Most Influential Entrepreneurs to Watch 2018